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Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen admits he’s no longer surprising any team this season

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen has emerged as one of the most promising young bigs in the league. He admits now he’s at the point in his career where he’s no longer sneaking up on anyone.

Markkanen got his career off to a solid start as a rookie. According to Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score, the young big man has noticed the difference in how teams have covered him in the 2018-19 NBA season:

“Last year, I was kind of able to surprise some teams, shoot the ball and have good games. I’m not surprising anybody this year, so I have to figure it out, how to get around different coverage and stuff like that.”

There is certainly plenty of truth to Markkanen’s comments. Although he was the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, there was not as much hype surrounding the 7-footer from Finland as much as some of the other prospects in his class. Regardless, it did not take long for him to help vindicate trading away star Jimmy Butler at the time.

After a strong rookie campaign, Lauri Markkanen has managed to kick things up a notch this season. He’s currently averaging 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists heading into the final stretch of the season. While Chicago is not playing for much at this point in the year, these last games will provide an opportunity for Markkanen to show he can remain a focal point of the offense regardless of how teams try to cover him moving forward.