Lauri Markkanen

Fun with tall people: Lauri Markkanen takes photo with Yao Ming and looks short

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USA TODAY

Fun with tall people: Lauri Markkanen takes photo with Yao Ming and looks short

Lauri Markkanen doesn't often feel short.

The Bulls forward is 7-feet tall, which even in the land of NBA giants makes him one of the tallest players on the court at all times. So when Markkanen stands next to Yao Ming, it changes perspective quite a bit.

Markkanen posted a photo with him and the 7-foot-6 Chinese Hall of Famer. Markkanen looks like a child.

Makes you wonder if Markkanen pulled some "What's the weather like up there?" jokes just because he otherwise never can.

 

Bulls will open 2018-19 season against Joel Embiid and the Sixers

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USA TODAY

Bulls will open 2018-19 season against Joel Embiid and the Sixers

It's The Prospects vs. The Process.

The NBA announced Wednesday afternoon that the Bulls will begin their 2018-19 campaign in the City of Brotherly Love against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 18.

It'll be a difficult task for Fred Hoiberg's group as they begin Year 2 of their rebuild, facing a 52-win Sixers team that touts an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and the reigning Rookie of the Year in Ben Simmons.

It's also the return of the #TNTBulls. In one of the most peculiar and unlikely streaks in the NBA, the Bulls have won 20 straight home games on TNT.  So while this won't necessarily count, the Bulls still enjoy playing on the network.

A year ago the Bulls took one of three contests against the Sixers, though both Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine missed one of those three games. The highlight of last year's matchups between the two teams was Bobby Portis scoring a career-best 38 points and nearly hitting a game-winner in a 116-115 loss.

The Bulls bring back much of last year's team, with the addition of rookies Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison, as well as Chicago native Jabari Parker.

They'll be tasked with slowing down Simmons, who averaged a triple-double in those three games a year ago (23.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 11.7 assists). Embiid appeared in just two games against the Bulls (the first two of his career), averaging 26.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

It won't be an easy tak for the Bulls, as Philadelphis went 30-11 at home last season, tied for the fifth best home record in the league.

FIBA releases Lauri Markkanen top plays from first round of World Cup 2019 European Qualifier

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USA TODAY

FIBA releases Lauri Markkanen top plays from first round of World Cup 2019 European Qualifier

Lauri Markkanen is surely excited to get year two of his NBA career started, especially with the Bulls making moves in the offseason that have, for the first time in awhile, put them in the national spotlight. But Markkanen has stayed busy, working on his game (and body) with the Finnish national team.

He has played well with Finland in the World Cup 2019 European Qualifier, having his biggest performance against Iceland in a 91-77 win. In the matchup, Markkanen had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block in 33 minutes of action. The biggest shock in the game was that he finished 2-for-3 from the 3-point line. Markkanen dominated with his inside scoring rather than his outside shooting stroke, something the Bulls coaching staff will surely want him to build on during the NBA season. 

Finland's next World Cup Qualifier will be against Bosnia and Herzegovina on September 13. Check out Markkanen's top plays below!