Age: 21 Height: 7-0 Weight: 230 lbs School: Arizona
The Chicago Bulls endured injuries to key players and a coaching change this week. Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points and drove for the go-ahead layup in the closing seconds to lead the Bulls to a 114-112 victory over Oklahoma City on Friday and their first win under coach Jim Boylen. The Thunder's Russell Westbrook had just hit a tying layup when Markkanen spun around Paul George and banked in a layup over the outstretch arm of Steven Adams, making it 114-112 with 4.9 seconds left.
As Jim Boylen prepares to make his home debut as the coach of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, his expectations of what is acceptable are just starting to take shape. Boylen, who took over the struggling Bulls this week after Fred Hoiberg was fired, has already make it clear that a lack of energy or competitiveness will no longer be the status quo as had become an issue under Hoiberg. Lauri Markkanen made his season debut this week and Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis are both moving closer to returning from injuries that have kept them sidelined for much of the season.
Jim McCormick Special to ESPN.com Jim McCormick is a fantasy football and fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. Follow on Twitter A somewhat sleepy Tuesday night in the NBA didn't see any prolific individual performances occur, but we did witness Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks earn their
The Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg on Monday and now it’ll be Jim Boylen running the show for the season. Yesterday, he talked about areas the Bulls need to improve, saying defensive rebounding, transition defense, and then offensive execution were the three biggest issues. The Bulls didn’t have Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis for the vast majority of the season with Markkanen making his season debut on Saturday, and most of their lineups have pretty decent defensive rebounding percentages.
On Saturday night the Bulls got back Lauri Markkanen after a nine-week absence from a sprained right elbow. Markkanen, 21, will be the key piece as the Bulls move forward in their rebuild, a 7-foot do-it-all forward who is built for today's NBA. Markkanen will be the one to lead the Bulls into the next chapter of their rebuild, and if the Bulls contend in the next few years it will be because of what Markkanen, the face of the franchise, was able to accomplish.