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Rockets rout Bulls despite Lauri Markkanen’s return

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Lauri Markkanen returns for the Bulls but still fall to Rockets on the road - Locked On Bulls

The Rockets spoiled Lauri Markkanen‘s season debut with a 121-105 win over the Bulls on Saturday night.

James Harden lifted the Rockets past a struggling Bulls defense. The Bulls started slowly while Harden scored half of his 30 point total in the first quarter. This marks a season-worst for the Chicago Bulls with an active six-game losing streak.

Markkanen wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard, nailing the first 3-pointer he took against the Rockets. He had two of the Bulls’ eight total 3-pointers in the game. The 21-year-old sophomore finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting in his first regular season game in over seven months. Along with his 10 points, were four rebounds, a block, and a steal. Markkanen came off the bench Saturday night, playing just 25 minutes in the Bulls loss.

Zach LaVine responded well to a disappointing scoring outing in Detroit Friday night as he notched 29 points. LaVine shot 11-for-17 from the field and was perfect from the stripe. He led the team in scoring yet again, but was still not enough for the offensive juggernaut that is the Houston Rockets.

Jabari Parker continued his hot streak adding his 5th double-double this season, with four of them coming in his last seven games. He finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 8-for-15 from the floor. Although the Bull fell short, it’s good to see Parker finally getting into a rhythm.

It was the Bulls’ defense that led to their league-high 19th loss. The team allowed 121 points, with seven Rockets players finishing in double digit. It was Rockets big man Clint Capela that fueled the team on both ends of the floor. Capela had 18 points along with 15 boards in their team’s 11th win of the season. Chris Paul matched his season-high in assists with 13.

The Bulls will get two days of rest before flying to Indy for their matchup against the Pacers Tuesday night.

My name is Ben Repay and I am a sophomore studying Mass Communications at Purdue University. I've always been an avid Chicago sports fan and look forward to talking all things Bulls with you guys.

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Game Recap

Bulls offense getting a boost from Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine

Coming into last night’s game, head coach Jim Boylen let the media know that the Bulls were had the best offensive rating in the NBA over the last five games.

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Bulls offense is getting a boost from young guns Markkanen and LaVine - Locked On Bulls

On today’s episode of Locked On Bulls, Matt goes solo and breaks down the Bulls’ Monday night loss to the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks.

The conversation starts with a close look at the way Zach LaVine has increased his assist numbers while maintaining his efficient scoring streak and his growing chemistry with Lauri Markkanen. Matt notes the poor shooting night from Lauri Markkanen but discussed the ways in which the Finnish kid positively affected the game despite the 6-21 shooting. Notably, his continued success grabbing rebounds, and his willingness to put the ball on the floor to jump-start transition offense opportunities after corralling boards.

In the second segment, Matt discusses Jim Boylen’s latest attempt at a small-ball lineup from last night, which saw Otto Porter Jr. getting minutes at the 5. With Cristiano Felicio essentially being unusable in an NBA game, Boylen has started to use more small looks with Markkanen and now Porter at the center position for certain stretches. Unfortunately, the Bulls are so weak in their second unit that the Porter-Luwawu-Harrison-Selden-Arcidiacono experiment last night looked awful. But when the Bulls hopefully add some better depth to this roster, they should – with or without Boylen – continue to experiment with these small-ball kinds of lineups.

And finally, Matt wraps up the show questioning the latest head-scratching decision by Boylen and his staff to let an injured player keep playing. Kris Dunn took a nasty fall and landed on his backside. Despite being invisibly serious pain and taking a trip to the locker room, Dunn came back into the game in the 4th quarter. He looked immobile. Why was he out there? It’s yet another example on the heels of Zach LaVine playing through a re-aggravated ankle sprain and Chandler Hutchison fighting through 41 minutes with a broken toe. For a team with just 13 wins nearing the All-Star break, Matt asks: what is the point of this, and why is no one telling Boylen to stop?

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Game Recap

Boylen’s Bulls were supposed to be filled with spirit and passion…

The Bulls were booed off their home floor last night for the third time under Jim Boylen in a 112-84 loss to the Magic.

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Jim Boylen's Bulls were suppose to be filled with spirit and passion - Locked On Bulls

Locked On Bulls is back with a fresh episode, the guys kick off the show talking about the Bulls and Orlando Magic last night. A discussion about how things spiral out of control, the lack of offense, and making the Magic look like one of the best teams in the East. The guys talk about a solid first half for Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine – who shot 12-20 from the field and lead the team in scoring. The guys talk about Boylen’s lineup choices, needing to see Hutchison more, and why Carter was benched last night.

Are the Bulls playing Holiday and Robin Lopez more over the last few weeks to increase trade value? The guys talk about how Jabari Parker was not used even in a blow out last night and what Boylen said he plans to do going forward. Should Bulls fans be concerned with the way Carter is playing right now? Jim Boylen explains why he thinks you can learn more from sitting on the bench than playing in the game. The guys compare Carter’s numbers under Hoiberg and Boylen so far this season.

In a small sample size, Kris Dunn has shown improvement finishing at the rim this season. Locked On Bulls discusses his jump in numbers, what he needs to improve on, and how Boylen will use him will be key to his success.

Locked On Bulls talks about how the players are reacting to Boylen’s style, how night’s like last night is about as bad as the loss to the Celtics. If the Bulls continue to lose games at a high rate it may bring a top pick but will also come with some consequences. To wrap up the show, the guys talk about LeBron James’ comments on being the greatest player of all time. The guys compare that to when Michael Jordan was asked in 2009 about calling himself the goat. All of this and so much more on Locked On Bulls.

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Game Recap

Did Bulls show some spirit and passion after brawl, blowout vs. Thunder?

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Bulls-Thunder spills over into near brawl, Robin Lopez ejected - Locked On Bulls

Locked On Bulls is back with a fresh episode, the guys have plenty to talk about after being off on Monday. The guys get to last night’s Bulls-Thunder game in which tension boiled over into a near brawl. The guys break down who really started it, Robin Lopez getting in the mix and eventually ejected, and Jim Boylen right in the middle. Did the Bulls show spirit and passion by fighting back or is this eyewash for toughness?

They start first with the Bulls 21-point comeback win against Jim Boylen idol’s San Antonio Spurs. How the Bulls dug themselves such a hole and were able to climb out of it. Does Kris Dunn have the clutch gene? Yes? No? Too early to tell? The guys break down Markkanen and Dunn’s performance being able to get them back into the game.

Locked On Bulls has a conversation about the Bulls advanced metrics, how they stack up during the Boylen Era vs. the rest of the NBA. The guys talk about the usage of Wendell Carter Jr., his first-half foul trouble leading the NBA, and some explanation on why it might be happening.

The weekend brought rumors about the Bulls taking calls on Jabari Parker from as many as 15 teams according to sources. Are the guys buying 15 teams being interested? Will the Bulls be willing to talk on bad money? Probably not, they also talk about the most likely team involved in talks and how a buyout with Parker is still the most realistic option. To wrap up the show, the guys talk about quotes from Gar Forman in the LA Times. All of this and so much more on Locked On Bulls.

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