Lauri Markkanen is piling up the highlights at EuroBasket


Lauri Markkanen is piling up the highlights at EuroBasket

Lauri Markkanen had an up and down showing in the summer, but has turned some heads with his play for Finland at EuroBasket.

The Bulls' first-round pick in the June draft has been leading Finland, one of four host countries in the tournament along with Israel, Romania and Turkey, through the first three games in the tournament.

Markkanen carried Finland to an overtime win against France in the opener. He scored 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds. He also took over late to carry Finland to the win.

In Finland's second game, Markkanen once again led the team in scoring with 24 points, but the Finns lost 81-78. He was once again efficient from the floor, making 9 of 13 shots including going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. He again added seven rebounds.

In that game he picked up an ankle injury on the last play of the game.

Markkanen did play Sunday and put in another big performance, again coming up huge down the stretch to give Finland a win in double overtime against Poland. He scored 27 points and had nine rebounds.

He also came up with a massive play to send the game to overtime:

At 24.3 points per game, Markkanen is currently third in the tournament in scoring and he is doing so while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. He is also 10th in rebounds per game at 7.7.

Finland is getting huge crowd support as one of the host teams and Markkanen is the team's star.

At 2-1, Finland is in good position to advance to the 16-team knockout phase of the tournament. They still have group games against Greece on Tuesday and winless Iceland on Wednesday.

Markkanen seems to be enjoying his time in the spotlight in his home country. Bulls fans will be hoping this success translates to the NBA.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns


Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the Phoenix Suns Sunday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. Something's got to give

What's the opposite of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object? That's what we'll be looking at when the Bulls have the ball in their hands. Chicago ranks dead last in offensive efficiency, while the Suns have the 2nd worst defensive efficiency in the NBA. That means the Bulls, after scoring a season-high 123 points against the Hornets, can build on that momentum against a Suns defense that allowed 90 points in the FIRST HALF to the Rockets on Thursday.

2. Kris Dunn for real?

Fresh off the best game of his young career - he scored 22 points in a win over the Hornets on Friday - Kris Dunn continues to look like the best point guard on the Bulls roster. He's going through a really solid stretch right now, averaging 13.2 points on 47 percent shooting, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals over his last four games. With Eric Bledsoe out of Phoenix, Dunn could be in line for another big game going up against Mike James and Tyler Ulis, regardless of whether or not he starts over Jerian Grant.

3. Watch out for Devin Booker

We'll try to get an opponent in here once for every tune-in, and Devin Booker certainly fits the bill. Much like Dunn is doing, Booker is on quite a roll these days. Over his last four games Booker is averaging 30.5 points on 51 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. The Bulls will need to keep their eyes on Booker at all times, especially after allowing Kemba Walker to go off for 47 points on Friday.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?


Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.