This is the paradox of this beginning of the season in Chicago. The Bulls seem better armed than the previous season, but their home leader, Lauri Markkanen, is currently struggling. His performance last night symbolized his shy start to practice with 13 points to 3/10 shooting, 6 rebounds and a decisive pass in 33 minutes.
If we put aside his first regular season game (35 points to Charlotte), he turns to a mediocre 12.7 points per game with 35.1% shooting success …
Wendell Carter Jr. pushes him to take his shots
Is it necessary to worry about the disjointed productions of the Finnish interior? Not really according to teammate Wendell Carter Jr who encourages every day the No. 24 Bulls to take more place in attack.
"He just has to shoot, that's what I tell him every time we're in a match"he explains. "Take your shots, do not worry about the progress of the attack or the fact that you want to make sure you do everything perfectly. Take your shots. When you do that, whether you score or not, you end up getting the right attitude. It does not say that he must necessarily score a lot of points, but from my point of view, I expect him to play as he did last year. Take his shots no matter what happens. Given the athlete that is, he will put more than he will miss. I will stay behind him because I believe in him. I saw what he was capable of.
For Lauri Markkanen, it is by being more aggressive towards the circle that he will regain confidence. Suffering from a distance (0/5 tonight, 27.9% success at 3-points this season), he also made a perfect example 7/7 on the line of throws against the Rockets. "It means I'm trying to be aggressive and driver. That's one of the things I'm trying to focus on, to get on the line more often. "
No more shooting, no more driving, or letting the game come to him?
Now, within a hierarchy redefined by Jim Boylen, not only does the fleeing interior take fewer shots, but it is further relegated far from the racket in order to rule out the game. "We clearly have a different attack, we are still trying to analyze where our strength can come from, where are our preferential spots. I do not work so much at the low position now, I am more at the perimeter within our attack "he slipped to NBC, adding that he remained confident as the team improves day after day.
The question of the mind of the Finn can also be mentioned, the player having sometimes denoted by his lack of assurance. Could it be Jim Boylen's "hard way" coaching that makes him lose his means?
The latter has played down the situation in his own way, pointing out that Lauri Markkanen was not the only reason why the Bulls had been kicked by the Rockets.. "Sometimes when you're in the hard with your shot and things do not turn in your favor, you have to know how to ask, create and be guided by others."
To each his method to find the right way … What is certain is that Lauri Markkanen can count on Wendell Carter Jr to push him. "I feel like he's trying to play the right way, you can not blame him" continued the sophomore of the Bulls. "At the same time, he knows he needs his points to be a good team. We exchanged on this and I am more than certain that the wheel will turn in its favor.