Chicago Bulls Lauri Markkanen is the player of the game

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 8: Lauri Markkanen
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 8: Lauri Markkanen /

The Chicago Bulls snapped their 10-game losing streak on Friday with a win over the Charlotte Hornets. Who shined brightest for the Bulls?

This year of Chicago Bulls basketball has been so trying that I have basically forgotten what it feels like to watch them win. In the same vein, that also means that I have entirely forgotten what it’s like to write about a win.

I suppose I should start with the actual results. The Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte on Friday night 119-111. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Bulls.

Normally, I’d struggle to pick a player of the game, given that the Bulls don’t have many very good players. On Friday night, though, the Bulls looked like they actually had a few decent players! Kris Dunn posted a double-double and a career-high in assists. Dunn finished with 20 points and 12 assists and played a pretty good game.

Bulls came out of the gate attacking Dwight Howard in the pick-and-roll with Dunn and Robin Lopez. Lopez finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

David Nwaba had some really great moments off of the bench again. It was rookie Lauri Markkanen who really shined for the Bulls.

Markkanen finished with 24 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. He was an incredibly efficient 8-15 from the floor, 3-5 from downtown, and 5-5 from the free throw line. It was Markkanen’s name that Fred Hoiberg called with the Bulls up two late in overtime:

This play is a horns set that we’ve seen the Bulls run a lot this year to spring Markkanen open for a three. Markkanen will screen for the point guard, then pop for a flare screen from the other big man on the floor. The fact that Hoiberg is calling this out of a timeout in crunch time is big for the Bulls, and big for Markkanen.

That wasn’t the only big bucket he had down the stretch on Friday night, either:

Since Markkanen’s career-high 26 points against Phoenix in November, he’s shot just 31 percent from the floor, and 27 percent from three. He showed on Friday night that he’s so much more than just a shooter:

In a limited sample size, Markkanen is scoring .91 points per possession on post-ups this season, which ranks in the 63rd percentile, according to He’s also shooting a respectable 58.5 percent from inside the restricted area this season.

Markkanen has had his off nights. That’s expected from any rookie, but we know he’s a good shooter. Despite the off nights, Markkanen has shown the confidence in his jumpshot that’s necessary to be a good player in this league.

He’s also shown that he can be so much more than a shooter. Markkanen can take opposing bigs off the dribble, and he can post them up. He’s even defended and rebounded so much better than we thought he would.

So for the fourth time this season, the Bulls are victors. But for the first time, Lauri Markkanen hit some big shots resulting in a win. And that is a big step for his development.