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Bulls coach Jim Boylen explains decision to rest Lauri Markkanen in second half of loss to Raptors

Jim Boylen, Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

For those wondering why Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls did not play in the second half of Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, here is head coach Jim Boylen’s explanation.

According to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, Boylen said that the second-year man felt some fatigue. Thus, Boylen and his coaching staff decided that the right thing to do was to pull him out.

“Lauri had some fatigue and was feeling a little sluggish. We just felt it was the right thing to do to keep him out the second half. He has been practicing hard and playing hard. Keep him out and see how he feels afterward.”

Lauri Markkanen, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has slowly been making waves in his young NBA career. In his second-year campaign, he’s averaging 18.9 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting, along with 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists across 32.7 minutes. He also converts 2.3 3-pointers per game on 36.2 percent.

An elbow injury prior to the start of the season limited his game exposure. But as soon as he stepped back onto the floor, he showed everyone how much he improved his game in the offseason.

It seems like a wise decision for the Bulls coaching staff to let the 21-year-old take the night off. He still lots of games to play and is faced with the task of carrying the Bulls back to playoff contention.