Markkanen stays behind after fatigue issues
The Chicago Bulls had enough concerns about Lauri Markkanen's fatigue issues that he stayed in Toronto and visited the hospital with director of performance health Chip Schaefer.
According to the Bulls, Markkanen experienced extreme fatigue during the first half of Tuesday's loss to Toronto. He contributed 10 points and 9 minutes during 16 minutes of action, and sat out the second half.
Markkanen was feeling well enough to return to Chicago on Wednesday.
"He was in my office at 2 p.m. today," coach Jim Boylen said before the game. "He'd like to play. He went over to see the doctors this afternoon.
"I think it's always serious when a guy doesn't feel well. We always take those things to heart. He's a big part of what we're building, an important piece to the future. He's a young, developing guy. As much as we think every moment on the floor helps us, we also have to protect him and his future."
With Markkanen joining the injured list, the Bulls started a lineup of Shaq Harrison, Antonio Blakeney, Wayne Selden Jr., Brandon Sampson and Robin Lopez.
Blazers' bad break:
Everyone loves to point out that no one feels sorry for you in the NBA. But the Portland Trail Blazers were on everyone's minds after center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a compound fracture of his left leg during the second overtime of Monday's win over Brooklyn.
Wednesday was the first game Portland played since the injury occurred.
"I just texted him," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the game. "I think he's doing well. He's hoping to get home today or tomorrow. Obviously, everything went well. I think he's still on some pain meds and things like that."
The Blazers did add an experienced big man in Enes Kanter not long ago. He started against the Bulls, while Zach Collins and former Illinois center Meyers Leonard saw extended minutes.
"We'll use the next couple weeks to find our what works best," Stotts said. "We're not looking for answers right now, we're looking for possibilities."
Bulls deplete Windy City:
Because of all the injuries, the Bulls had to pull two-way players Brandon Sampson and Rawle Alkins from the Windy City Bulls as they made their G-League playoff debut.
Alkins traveled to New York with Windy City and was sent back to Chicago on Wednesday morning. Windy City lost to the Westchester Knicks 95-82, ending their season.
"That was a heartbreaker for me," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. "There's nothing like a playoff experience, to go through that, and so I talked to (Windy City) coach (Charlie) Henry and I talked to John (Paxson) about it, and we thought it was very important to have those guys be a part of that experience, but with what's transpired throughout the week here, we thought it was more important for them to be with us."
Sampson had mixed feelings. He missed out on a playoff game, but instead made his first NBA start at the United Center.
"Quite a shift change. Most definitely excited about it," Sampson said. "Wishing them the best of luck."