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Lauri Markkanen says failure to make playoffs ‘bothers’ Bulls

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

Chicago Bulls rising star Lauri Markkanen has only one goal for himself and the team: make the playoffs.

Instead of discussing individual goals and increasing his production, the Finn forward emphasized that winning is the main priority for the Bulls this 2019-20 season. Markkanen added that their failure to make it to the postseason in the past couple of years has been bothering them.

“We haven’t made it to the playoffs and haven’t won many games since we’ve been here,” Markkanen said, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “That really bothers us. So we want to win first.”

The last time the Bulls made the playoffs was in the 2016-17 season. They were the eighth seed in the East and lost in six games to the then-Isaiah Thomas led Boston Celtics. Since then, Chicago has been one of the worst teams in the league.

Markkanen and his teammates want to turn things around this year, and there’s no doubt they have the potential to be good. However, one issue that could prevent them from achieving their goal is heir health.

Last season, Markkanen only appeared in 52 games for the Bulls, while Zach LaVine played in 63. Meanwhile, Kris Dunn missed more than half of the team’s 2018-19 campaign.

If they will continue to suffer from injuries, it will be difficult for Chicago to gain the momentum they need.

Markkanen has the potential to be an All-Star in the NBA. All he needs to do is stay healthy and continue to improve on his game, especially on the defensive end. Should he be able to raise his game to the next level, the Bulls might just find themselves in the playoffs come April.