The Chicago Bulls season got de-railed before it really even started with the altercation between Bobby Portis and Niklo Mirotic, causing Mirotic to have a few broken bones in his face. That was the not the note the Bulls wanted to start the season on. With Mirotic out 2-4 weeks at least, the already injury prone,shallow roster, got even weaker.
With everything leading up to the season opener at hand, the Bulls made their way to Toronto to open up against the Raptors. With the injuries for the Bulls, Rookie Lauri Markkanen got his first career start. The Bulls would end up losing the game 117-100, but were able to hold their own for three of the four quarters in this game. It became evident the lack of depth and talent the Bulls have with the young team, when neither the first or second unit could break out of a funk the team go into during the Second Quarter.
Robin Lopez lead the way in the game with 18 PTS and 8 REB, Markkanen had a nice debut with 17 PTS and 8 REB. As a team the Bulls shot 41.7% from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc. For a depleted and young team in the season opener, it could have gone a lot worse against a playoff team from last season.
After the loss the Bulls flew home for their home opener against the San Antonio Spurs which did not go much better. The team as a whole had trouble getting into a rhythm only shooting 37.8% from the field. Robin Lopez once again led the way with 16 PTS and 7 REB. Rookie Markkanen recorder his first career double-double with 13 PTS and 12 REB in the loss. With only one big on the bench currently in Felicio it is already showing how the team is getting worn down and tired in the Fourth Quarter, leading to a 87-77 loss.
There are still 80 games to go, and it looks to be a long season for the Bulls. A small bright spot so far has been Lauri Markkanen, and hopefully when Dunn comes back from injury and Portis from suspension more depth will help the young team.