The acquisition of Otto Porter Jr. prior to the All-Star break has Chicago playing their best basketball as of late, coming off a three-game win streak which was the first of the season.
Things are changing and quickly for the Bulls. Their once stagnant offense that was miserable to watch has become this free flowing barrage of three pointers and exciting fast break plays.
Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen have been incredible and look like they’re going to be stars in this league. I’ll give Jim Boylen some credit for adjusting his play style to complement the strengths of his core players.
This should excite you.
The Bulls got something special in the works. Zach is going to be an NBA superstar one day. You can see it in his movements 🔥 LaVine and Lauri combined for 77 points in a win over the Celtics last night. (Via @nbatv) pic.twitter.com/g1FFKwHkgu
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) February 24, 2019
It’s about time Markkanen became the focal point of the offense. Zach can score on his own, but I felt this team would ascend to the next level by running majority of their offensive sets through Lauri. Jim Boylen talks more about Lauri’s involvement in the offense here:
“Lauri’s involved in so many plays and the ball finds him. He’s a big part of what we do. The ball is in his hands a lot, which is what we want – it’s good for us. There’s an awareness on our team that he’s a primary guy and we’ve got to get him the rock.”
Lauri Markkanen career FGAs: 13.7 per game. 14.9 in December. 14.4 in January.
18.3 FGAs in February.
Add his 49.1% shooting this month and you've got the roll he's on.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 26, 2019
Markkanen recorded his tenth double-double in his last 12 games and his seventh 20-10 game in his last eight.
Kris Dunn seems to finally realize his role as the distributor of the team. He’s not playing bad, but not good either and I still expect an off-season shake up at the point guard position to take place.
And Otto, prior to his injury was averaging 22.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, while shooting 62.1 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from three. His leadership and experience seems to have rubbed off on the rest of the roster, getting them in the winning spirit (while also compromising a high draft pick).
Don’t forget about our favorite Robin Lopez who has been balling lately too.
Robin Lopez is putting up 21 and 5 on 65% shooting in his last 5 because why not?!
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) February 26, 2019
This stat right here has me excited and sad about how Wendell Carter Jr. would be playing in the new and improved Jim Boylen offense.
Things are looking better for Chicago and exciting basketball has returned.
For the moment.
What I want to see for the remainder of the season is more toughness on the defensive side of the ball, resembling how they played when Boylen took the reigns. The offense looks great and I want it to continue, but more gritty and tough ball will be the next step in growing for this roster.
Something Otto Porter Jr. can help with.
The Bulls fell to Milwaukee 117-106, failing to play defense in the 2nd quarter, and finding no offensive rhythm in the 2nd half while missing their good luck charm in Otto Porter Jr.
This team still has flaws and that’s okay, but this recent run should excite Bulls fans as they’ve taken a step in the right direction.
Follow Jalen on Twitter (@jalen_sherman) for more Bulls news and opinion