The Chicago Bulls showed a lot about themselves in yesterday’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks, for better and for worse. The win was a long time coming, ending as their first victory since a 111-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 5.
Leading by 29 points from starting big Lauri Markkanen and 61 total points from the bench, the Bulls withstood an outstanding night from Dallas superstar Luka Doncic to take home a convincing victory.
With their losing streak over, now is the perfect time to look at the Bulls strengths and weaknesses. They did a lot well, and a lot not so well, in their win over the Dallas Mavericks Sunday afternoon.
With this in mind, here’s a deeper look into three takeaways from the Bulls win over the Mavs, by a solid 16-point margin, on the afternoon of Jan. 17.
1.Lauri Markkanen is back, and is the key to Chicago’s success
In his first game back from COVID-19 protocols, Markkanen was far from his usual self, registering just 16 points and six rebounds on 5-of-14 FG in the Bulls’ overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the night of Jan. 15
Sunday night marked the true return of the Finnish big man that fans hope can ascend to All-Star status. Markkanen finished the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds, leading the team in both stats.
Having Markkanen healthy and in the starting lineup adds a whole new dimension to the Bulls’ offense. He was doing it all yesterday, and doing it with an aggression that he’s often criticized for lacking.
Having a scoring presence in the frontcourt helps balance the attack in a way that they don’t have otherwise available to them, and will be a key factor going forward. If Markkanen can stay healthy and stay this aggressive, it completely changes the outlook of this team for years to come.