Lauri Markkanen played like a man possessed this weekend in the FIBA’s Eurobasket tournament for Finland.
Markkanen is averaging 24.3 points per game, shooting a staggering 56.3% from the field. Along with his 7.7 rebounds per game, Markkanen currently stands in third place for scoring and 10th in rebounds out of all the players in the tournament.
Markkanen helped carry Finland to an overtime win over France in the opener. Markkanen had 22 points on 9-15 shooting along with seven rebounds. In the second game against Slovenia, Markkanen had a very strong showing. He put up 24 points on 9-13 shooting including 3-4 from three-point distance. Markkanen again added seven more rebounds to the stat sheet in Finland’s 81-78 loss. The Bulls first round pick suffered a minor ankle injury on what would have been the game tying shot. Fortunately, it didn’t keep him out of the tournament.
In the third game of the tournament, Markkanen put up his best performance in a double overtime thriller. The Arizona standout scored 27 points while pulling down 9 rebounds. Markkanen made a great play with 12 seconds to play on an inbound pass by stealing the ball and had an electric two hand slam to tie the game and send it into overtime. Finland went on to win the game 86-84 in 2OT.
Finland has two more games this week in the group games against Iceland on Tuesday and an unbeaten Greece team on Wednesday.
Markkanens performance is exactly what Bulls fan want to see from their 2017 first round pick acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade. Hopefully this success transfers over to the NBA come October.