It wasn’t the type of shot chart often associated with Lauri Markkanen: a few circles scattered outside of the three-point line and a Rorschach test in the paint.
Coach Fred Hoiberg called it a “breakout game’’ for his 20-year-old rookie. But the reality is that it might be a new way of life for the 7-footer.
In losing to Eastern Conference powerhouse Cleveland on Thursday, Markkanen put up 17 shots — his most in December — but only four came from outside.
The shot selection was not necessarily by choice for Markkanen. Teams have been able to scout the seventh overall pick for a while now, and adjustments have been made. Now it’s Markkanen’s turn to adjust. The 25-point showing against the Cavaliers was a good start.
“Lauri was phenomenal,’’ Hoiberg said. “It was great to see him have a breakout game like this. We were really trying to clear out a side for him and give him the whole side to drive it to the basket, and he was really aggressive getting there. I think his footwork is getting good on the midrange, face-up spot plays, so again, he’s got to find different ways to score other than the three-point line, the way teams are hugging him out there.’’