The Right Way to Use Markkanen, Porter Jr. Sighting, Young Speaks, and Other Bulls Bullets

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The Right Way to Use Markkanen, Porter Jr. Sighting, Young Speaks, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’ll do anything to avoid an awkward confrontation.

This morning, in my naturally groggy state, I stopped by Dunkin. I asked the woman behind the counter for a medium black coffee and a donut. Simple order. As I’m inserting my credit card, I notice she is pouring two coffees. Then, I look down, and notice I’m being charged for two coffees. What do I do!?

I left with two coffees. I’ve drank one. Ugh.

Bullets …

  • Lauri Markkanen is a hot topic … and not for the right reasons. Over the last several days, it feels like everyone has chimed in on Markkanen’s recent struggles – including me! But while Markkanen has failed to assert himself among the Bulls’ starters (at least against our expectations), it’s difficult to toss the blame at his feet. He’s a 22-year-old player with – what certainly feels like – a boat load of potential. The only missing link appears to be his confidence. A player of his makeup needs a coaching staff and a player development team that can help him tap into the skill set he so clearly possess. Jim Boylen has failed to do that.
  • Not to mention, smart coaches run a system that finds a way for their best talent to succeed. Instead, the Bulls have been following league-wide trends blindly. The Sun-Times wrote about how analytics are working against Chicago, and specifically, Markkanen. In short, the Bulls have forced a seven-foot, versatile big man into becoming a spot-up shooter. Sure, he shoots the ball well for a guy his height, but Markkanen’s at his best when he’s on the move and around the paint. As we’ve written about before, this entire offensive scheme is built more on league constructs than actual logic.
  • At this point, it’s hard to believe the Bulls can fix this problem mid-season, but Mark Karantzoulis has some ideas. Good read.

  • We all know the Bulls use of Thaddeus Young has been … ill-advised, at best – the veteran is averaging his fewest minutes and points since the 2007-08 season when he was a rookie – but it’s been even more confusing lately. When the Bulls signed Young this offseason, getting Markkanen and Young together on the court at the same time felt like a given. I mean, heck: the Bulls even talked about their desire to play Markkanen more frequently at center and that seemed to be the point of him adding weight this offseason. Yet, even in the wake of injuries to the team’s top-2 centers, Markkanen is seeing little time underneath the basket. Why? Karantzoulis talks more about this, and he outlines a new rotation that could hopefully give Markkanen a much-need boost.
  • Even Thaddeus Young is talking Markkanen:

  • Cool, except the Warriors went to the playoffs and played much better basketball.

  • I guess this is good?

  • Zion Williamson returns tonight as the Pelicans take on the Spurs at 8:30 on ESPN. Instead of sulking through another Bulls game, you can flip the channel and sulk over the Bulls not landing Zion!

  • Check out the All-Star shoes, they’re pretty dope.
  • I bet Boylen would sign this kid and play him over Denzel Valentine.

  • Having a good day?

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.