chefo wrote:On O, Lauri's biggest problem by far is that he tends to revert back to Boylen-ball and chuck semi-contested 3s almost EVERY time he sees daylight certain games, like last night. Why? Because it's an easy shot for him to take that doesn't require him to try or work hard on O. He usually does that after he doesn't see the ball and/or is frustrated. It's a tendency his next team will have to beat out of him.
He got a couple of very nice pin downs where he got his guy right underneath the hoop, didn't get the ball in either case and then just gave up even trying the rest of the game. I'm sure in his head there's an excuse, but it's just lazy, sloppy ball both from him and from his teammates. You have to keep trying and if they still don't pass you the ball when you've got a clean attempt from 3 feet, you need to get in their ear... forcefully. I don't think he has it in him. Not at 23 or however old he is. Maybe he'll be that one day, but it won't be on the Bulls.
I've been saying for 2 years now that Lauri needs a sports psychologist much more so than he needs an Icelandic "strongest-man-in-the-world" type coach to make him pump iron. I can tell that on probably 90% of his on-court possessions, he starts in the weakside corner. The problem is, for 80% of these, that's where he stays put. If I'm him, I'd be like--"screw the scheme; screw that's what the coach tells me; that's what Mr. Egghead told me to do last year. It was a shyte idea back then, it's a shyte idea now. I'm breaking the O to get myself going and I'll keep breaking it until he takes me out. Our O is shyte anyways with me sitting in the corner."
Anyways, probably best that he and the Bulls part ways.
It's been a shyte franchise for some time now, and it will probably be one going forward. And he, for as good as he looked as a rook and soph, has flamed out here, whether out of his making or not. Just a waste of talent from the Bulls, but at this point, it's a closed chapter. Onto the next great hope... oh wait, we don't have one right now.
The trouble is, I don't think his next team will do anything like that. Lauri's next team will probably have analytics guys who'll take one look at him - a 7 footer who can shoot 38% from the perimeter while not "needing" the ball - and tell the head coach to use him pretty much the same way he's been used on the Bulls.
And... they're not "wrong". Not really. They're following the logic that's ruling everything in the NBA right now. When you can get 3pt looks almost whenever you want (Lauri can, being 7ft) and make them at a good clip, its the best shot in basketball... after a dunk. Even if you can't
make them all the time, there's other advantages to being a perceived threat from the perimeter. That's why the Bulls have never had a problem with teams surgically attaching defenders to Markkanen when he's standing 25ft from the basket. Wonder why we've never sent guys to screen for Lauri in these off ball situations? Because the Bulls have always had a paint-clogging, non-shooting center out there playing with him. The perception has been that by and large, Lauri is worth more
just providing that gravity on the perimeter than trying to work his way closer to the basket, where there's too many bodies as it is.
Sucks for him, but hey, take one for the team, right? Unfortunately, the team has sucked royally for years at trying to exploit that added space. Why? Bad coaching, lots of dumb players.
In the modern NBA, it's just so extremely convenient to tell a guy like Markkanen to stand in the corner. There isn't any malice in it, and it's not like the coaches don't know
he can do some other things as well... but everyone needs spacing. That's a fact. And the ideal guy to provide spacing is a 7ft guy who's not a threat off the dribble. I remain extremely disappointed that Markkanen neglected to develop his half court ballhandlling. IMO it's by far the worst mistake of his career and will probably cost him millions of dollars.