The Cavaliers somehow scored less than 100 points against the Bulls defense Tuesday night. It was comforting to see Dwyane Wade in another uniform (seriously, who can muster to give a shit about his influence on the Bulls) playing his brand of garbage entitlement-ball, along with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith shooting a combined 1-18. Hoiberg still owns the Cavs!
But way more fun (because seeing a LeBron team not take the Bulls seriously for the 266th time was more just boring) was seeing Lauri Markkanen catch fire in the 2nd half. He had a rough start to the game but eventually found himself open on pick/pops and let it fly, following it up with more varied scoring too.
Check it out!
The Cavaliers were mostly small in these lineups in the 4th quarter where Markkanen scored 15 of his 18 points. But the Cavs are pretty small in pretty much any of their lineups, with Robin Lopez had a nice first quarter against Love in the post too.
This is a feature, not a caveat: it was very good to see the ease at which Markkanen could get his shot off. Whether it was over somebody running to close-out, or in that nice turnaround over Kyle Korver. One of the strategies of countering a player like Markkanen is to play a smaller but quicker player on him, figuring he won’t make you pay with his size on the boards or with inside scoring. But if he can more easily get looks on threes and finish well in transition (we know the Bulls will struggle to break down a set opponent) then it puts a pain on the defense in that way instead.