After the Bulls’ morning shot around Thursday, Billy Donovan approached Kobe White and Lori Markanen.
“Basically, I told the two how much I appreciated them,” Donovan said.
This is because, in Donovan’s words, they have moved from “starters and focal points” to “main boys.” But – not in Donovan’s words – reserves, so the coach mainly thanked them for accepting the role.
“I still believe that they are extremely important figures for our team,” Donovan said. “But I give them a lot of credit. A lot of things changed and a lot of boys had to make sacrifices … I appreciate not only the way these guys handled this, but also the way they worked and tried to come to games ready to play and to contribute. “
Markanen will not calculate an average point per minute ̵
If he does, well, someone will be a very rich man, come a limited time for a free agency.
But for the second consecutive game, he and White, who added 15 points in 27 minutes, proved a decisive victory in their new reserve roles.
No one could have predicted that Markanen would step off the bench in his fourth season, widely considered a year of breakthrough or breakthrough, after he refused to extend the Bulls’ multi-year contract to bet on himself. But here we are.
“I appreciate that he appreciates what we are doing,” Markanen said of Donovan’s meeting. “We all have to make sacrifices – not just me, Kobe. I think everyone has sacrificed with the new guys coming in and the way we play.
“As a competitive person, you want to play as much as possible. But I can’t control that, so I’ll get into my role and do everything I can in the minutes I get. “
In five reserve appearances since Donovan defended the idea of starting Markanen with Nicola VucevicMarkkanen averaged 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds at 62.1 percent shooting, including 53.3 percent of 3 points.
That’s all in just 21.6 minutes of play and including Markkanen, registering a few minutes with a small forward. This distinguishes it by the fact that it more often puts smaller players in the paint. Against the Raptors, he finished 6 to 6 in that range and shot an effective 8 to 10.
“It’s just a little different just reading the matches,” Markanen said. “If I have a smaller person, I think I posted more and now it’s just part of the emphasis on being physical. I’m just trying to be aggressive, anyone. “
Raptors coach Nick Nurse acknowledged the impact of the Bulls’ new appearance with Markanen on a small striker.
“I just think, man, these are three really good players, you need to find a few minutes for them. I want to say that Markanen was amazing and he played for 18 minutes, “said the nurse. “Every time I touched the ball, something good happened. And every time we make a mistake, he makes us pay and he’s only there for 18 minutes. That’s part of the reason they have to play it there, I think. All three boys are worthy of big minutes.”
Markanen would certainly prefer big minutes. Instead, he will control what he can control, and will accept three consecutive victories, two of which have a positive effect.
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