Another impressive performance from Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen didn’t ultimately help his team in an 11-point Feb. 25 defeat.
The hot streak for the Chicago Bulls standout second-year power forward Lauri Markkanen continued against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 25. In the third game for the Chicago Bulls out of the All-Star Break, Markkanen had yet another big outing. It was a great way for Markkanen to follow-up on his career scoring night in the win over the Boston Celtics on Feb. 23.
In the 117-106 loss to the Bucks, there just wasn’t much that the Chicago Bulls could do to generate momentum for a sustained run. The Bulls just lost all sorts of control over this game after the first quarter. The Bucks never looked back for the final three quarters, including winning the second by a margin of 22 points.
However, this seemed like a good opportunity for the Chicago Bulls to get the footing right against the top seeded team out of the Eastern Conference right now. Milwaukee came into this game missing its best player in the starting lineup as star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was held out due to a knee injury.
Since Markkanen wouldn’t have to worry about locking down on Giannis, he had the chance to continue his big time hot streak since the All-Star Break. Markkanen did at least accomplish that feat as he posted 26 points and 12 rebounds in the eventual loss. He shot 11-of-22 from the field to keep his efficient scoring streak running too.
With his efforts in the past four games, Markkanen saw his player efficiency rating climb above 18 thus far and his points per game average above 19. He’s also combined for 86 points and 36 rebounds in the past three games.
However, in this loss to the Bucks it was the front court for the Bulls that kept them in the game the entire way. Markkanen and center Robin Lopez each posted a team-high 26 points. Lopez also registered three rebounds, two assists, and one block.
If the goal at this point of the regular season for Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is to get as much out of Markkanen as possible, he’s accomplishing that mission so far. Markkanen is emerging as the potential star for this franchise and something to build around heading into the future.
With the way that the seven-footer Markkanen is playing of late, he’s proving every bit of his worth to the coaching staff and front office. His combination of physical tools and offensive creating ability aren’t something that is easily found in the NBA Draft year in and year out.