It’s no secret that Lauri Markkanen, the 7’0 sweet shooting forward drafted seventh overall in 2017, could score the basketball. His ability to score the ball from every angle of the court to go along with his incredible size made him such a tantalizing prospect. It may have taken Markkanen a few years, but the man affectionately known as The Finnisher has figured out how to become a star in the NBA.
And with a career-high 49-point performance to lead the Utah Jazz to a 131-114 victory over the Houston Rockets, Lauri Markkanen has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he’s here to stay as an elite offensive force.
Nonetheless, Markkanen remains hesitant to toot his own horn. During his postgame interview, the 25-year old forward was quick to credit his teammates for putting him in such a great position of success.
“Again, my teammates, that’s all it is. The coaching staff is doing a great job of putting me in the situation to succeed. And my teammates are giving me the ball, having trust in me. So it feels good. Just like I have confidence in those guys, they believe in me,” Markkanen said, per the Jazz official Twitter account.
🎙 @sportsiren with Lauri after his career night and he's giving the credit to his guys.
"My teammates. That's all it is."#WalkoffInterview | @lhmauto pic.twitter.com/gkTi3WlXed
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 6, 2023
Lauri Markkanen, indeed, is shooting like a confident man. Back in his days with the Chicago Bulls and even for some stretches with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Markkanen was wrapped up too often in his own thoughts, overthinking every shot he hoists up. But now, he’s letting it fly and it has yielded some All-Star level results. Through 38 games, Markkanen is averaging 24.5 points and 8.4 rebounds on elite shooting splits of 53-42-88.
Nonetheless, it’s Markkanen’s unselfishness that makes him such an incredible player for the Jazz to build around. It’s always great to see a quality player figure it out and make the leap from role player to star, and Markkanen has done that in spades.