Bulls news: Lauri Markkanen intentionally missed first free throw vs. Magic
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Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen jokes he missed first crucial free throw vs. Magic to ‘make it a little interesting’

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

On Friday, last-second free throws from Lauri Markkanen decided the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic by a score of 110-109 in favor of Markkanen’s Bulls. The game was tied, and the 7-footer missed the first free throw with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.

The Finnish sophomore then joked with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, saying that he wanted to “make it a little interesting.” He obviously didn’t miss the shot on purpose, however, it’s funny that he’s able to joke about it afterward.

The former Arizona Wildcat is averaging 18.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc this season. Markkanen has been an excellent stretch four for the Bulls this year and has proven to be one of their best players overall and the centerpiece of their rebuilding stage.

The Bulls started out their season with some personnel shuffling. They fired their head coach Fred Hoiberg just two weeks into the regular season. The front office spoke of his lack of leadership and ability to gain the trust of his players.

However, it was more of a product of the team’s construction more than anything. The front office never put together a roster that fit Hoiberg’s offensive scheme until his third season. By then, it was too late. The organization hired Jim Boylen from within and continued to tank for a high draft pick in the draft.

The Bulls are now 15-44 on the season and they sit in the 13th seed of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They will face off next against the Boston Celtics at home.