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Lauri Markkanen is hurt, and the Bulls belatedly just mentioned it

growth plate can’t grow unless you’re tough enough

NBA: Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a concern in Bulls-ville that Lauri Markkanen has regressed this season. Maybe some of it is a shooting slump that will ‘luck’ itself back into alignment.

Or the guy is hurting? At least for the past 10 days or so. It was November 1st when Markkanen exited a game late holding his side. But only today was it referenced by anybody.

“I’ll stick up for him a little bit. He’s fighting through an injury,” Boylen said. “He hasn’t stopped practicing. He hasn’t stopped working out. He has fought through, which I think is growth for him to fight through some of that. He’s never complained. He’s never whined. He’s never (said), ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ It’s, ‘Coach, I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to give you everything I have.’ When you have a mentality like that, good things happen for you. When? I don’t have a crystal ball.”

Oh boy(len)...

  1. nice of coach to praise himself for sticking up for his player, when that comes so late
  2. I fear the worst with this guy, so I have to wonder if he is thinking like an NFL coach who doesn’t want opponents knowing this stuff or some other cover-your-mouth-so-they-can’t-read-my-strategy-lips crap he does.
  3. Lauri HAS stopped practicing, just yesterday! Why lie about this, like the ‘I don’t yank guys’ thing?
  4. Another instance of Boylen admiring the ‘toughness’ of playing through injury. It’s a long-standing concern over his coaching philosophy.

Regardless of the coach stuff, Markkanen is playing through it. His shooting has actually been better but he’s just overall less active.

This does also put some spotlight back on Lauri’s overall durability.