In the Chicago Bulls competitive 119-112 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, rookie Lauri Markkanen made history.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Markkanen is the fastest player in NBA history to reach ten career made 3-point field goals, accomplishing the feat last night in just his third game in the NBA.
Markkanen’s 49 points through three games also puts him among exclusive company within the Chicago Bulls franchise.
Markkanen’s impressive start to his NBA career has captured the attention of some of the best players in the NBA. Per Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson, here was the impression Markkanen left on LeBron James:
Watched him a lot at Arizona. He wore my shoes a couple of times. He actually did. He wore my retros. I liked that. Had to stay up very late to watch those Arizona games. But can shoot the heck out of the ball. He's going to continue to get better. The best thing about it is he's getting an opportunity. So you can make mistakes and learn on the fly. He's going to play a lot because he's learning. He's a good player.
You can see if a guy knows how to play basketball when you first see him, right away. In the preseason, we all said he can play. No matter his age he can play. He's aggressive. He understands they need him to score.
And Derrick Rose:
Caught up pregame w/ Derrick Rose and Rose, unsolicited, complimented Markkanen. Players always know.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 25, 2017
Against the Cavaliers on Monday, Markkanen finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. However, it wasn’t all positives for the rookie. Most of his damage came in the first half. A combination of the Cavaliers doubling him, his teammates not finding him on offense, and Hoiberg leaving him on the bench for most of the third quarter led Markkanen to shoot 1-for-4 from the field for only two points in the second half. He also had two turnovers in the game.
Markkanen goes left on drives every time. A turnover waiting to happen against most defenses this early in his career— Mark (@mkarantzoulis) October 25, 2017
But since this is the Bulls, and exposing ourselves to even more negativity is borderline dangerous for our mental wellness at this point, here is the full Markkanen highlight package from last night.
Markkanen has looked awesome through this extremely early start to his career. Teams will likely figure out that they can neutralize the entire Bulls offense by either doubling Markkanen, switching more, or taking it out of his hands like the Cavaliers did Tuesday night. It’s impressive that he’s already putting pressure on defenses, how he responds to their adjustments will be an interesting storyline to follow in the coming weeks.