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Lauri Markkanen looking to adopt a more aggressive mindset

Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is taking a hard look in the mirror, hoping to break out of a four-game skid by adopting a more aggressive mindset.

“Got to look in the mirror at myself and how can I do better,” Markkanen said Thursday after the Bulls practice at Portland State University prior to a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com. “It starts with that. If there are times guys don’t find me, they will find me once I am more aggressive; it can be a little bit of both. It is still a new system and the sample size is not too big. We are all trying to stay positive and keep an open mind.”

Markkanen is still getting used to playing at a much slower pace under new head coach Jim Boylen, as well as operating in different spots on the floor.

The Finnish power forward spent all of last season and the first month-and-change of 2018-19 playing under Fred Hoiberg’s system. But Markkanen played only one game under Hoiberg this year, and then had to adapt to Boylen’s style. That forced the 21-year-old to break out of his comfort zone and explore other aspects of his game.

Markkanen is posting excellent numbers through 18 games this season, improving his scoring to 17 points per game while connecting on a crisp 39.3 percent from deep. His comfort level with the offense will grow as the second half of the season rolls along, making it just a matter of time until he finds his sweet spots and develops the right chemistry with his teammates.

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