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Lauri Markkanen claims the ‘second year is always the toughest’

Bulls, Lauri Markkanen

Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen says he’s had an up and down second year in the NBA.

Markkanen missed the first 23 games of the season after suffering an arm injury in training camp. He’s played in 51 consecutive games since returning.

With the season almost over, Markkanen reflected on his sophomore year in the league with the Bulls.

“I feel like second year is always the toughest no matter what level you’re playing at because people are getting to know you and kind of making the adjustment,” Markkanen said, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “Looking at that, I thought I did decent. Obviously, I’m not satisfied or anything like that. I’ve had ups and downs.”

Lauri Markkanen is averaging 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game this season for the Bulls. The 21-year-old is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 87.3 percent from the free-throw line.

February was Markkanen’s best month of the season. He put up 26.0 points and 12.2 rebounds in 10 games and shot 34.8 percent from the 3-point line. Markkanen, along with Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr., are the core players the Bulls are looking to build around.

Markkanen wants to finish this season strong. Chicago has eight games left in the regular season.