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Let’s strain to find anything good about last night’s Bulls debacle against the Thunder

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a couple rookies scored points

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Among the wreckage which was Chicago’s offense in the Bulls latest blowout loss to the Thunder (in which they had their worst opening quarter in franchise history), there were two players worth mentioning whose play wasn’t all terrible. It was the duo of Lauri Markkanen and Antonio Blakeney. The two rookies led Chicago in scoring with 16 points each, hitting a combined total of 6 three-pointers. Markkanen also pulled down 6 rebounds.

It was more of the same from Markkanen in terms of his performance. The rookie was stretching the floor for Chicago and continuing to punish teams for leaving him open near the three-point line.

Here Markkanen was guarded by Carmelo Anthony, a player who isn’t exactly known for his defensive skills. Markkanen is able to have a little separation from his man considering how behind the three-point line he is along with Melo ball-watching. It was an ok strategy on Melo’s part except he ball watched a couple of seconds longer than he needed to. That allowed Markkanen to get off a clean jumper after receiving the pass from Denzel Valentine. Anthony hesitating on his closeout also helped out the rookie.

During garbage time (aka the second half), Markkanen also had a very nice slam dunk, plus this quality hang time layup.

Above, Markkanen receives the ball at the top of the three-point line and instead of shooting, chooses to attack his matchup. He goes left, which is something he does a lot, and is able to get to the rim with relative ease. Jerami Grant, who is guarding Markkanen on the play, is right there with him and does a good job contesting the layup. Noticing Grant’s contest, Markkanen does an exceptional job of readjusting his body and getting a shot off before his feet touch the ground.

Blakeney, who was inserted early in the first quarter, had a decent game as well. Thanks to the lopsided deficit, he was able to show off his quick fire scoring ability and took over Chicago’s offense in terms of shot taking. Blakeney ended up attempting 12 field goals, second most on the Bulls in the game.

Blakeney won’t be with the Bulls for long stretches of time due to him being a two-way player, which includes playing for the G-League Windy City Bulls. In the 45 days he’s going to be with the main team, he should be getting more minutes. He’s got an explosive offensive game and can show it in the times he gets on the court. Blakeney can get hot in a hurry and it’s something which could spark Chicago’s bench unit. He should be getting more of a look from Hoiberg as the Bulls are desperate for offense.

Running a two point guard lineup doesn’t work

Chicago started the game off with the two point guard lineup of Kris Dunn and Jerian Grant. By the end of the first quarter it was clear this lineup wasn’t working. Both Grant and Dunn played horribly. It resulted in Grant getting yanked and not starting the second half with Hoiberg choosing Valentine instead. Both went a combined 2 of 16 from the field and scored a combined 9 points. Only positive you can provide is Dunn grabbed 6 rebounds. Other than that, they were terrible and the worst of all is it did nothing to help solving the on going dilemma of which one should be the starting point guard for this team.

This could have been worse

Looking at the box score, it’s terrifying to think how bad this game could have been if OKC would have shot a tad bit better. Known for one of the best offenses in the league the Thunder struggled from the field, shooting 36.1% from the field and 26.7% from three. They only knocked down 8 of the 30 three-pointers they attempted with no player hitting more than two. This easily could have been an even bigger blowout.