Key Matchup vs. Chicago Bulls: Marvin Williams vs. Lauri Markkanen
A pair of teams both in the midst of five-game losing streaks will collide at the United Center on Friday night when the Charlotte Hornets take on the Chicago Bulls for the first of four meetings this season.
Marvin Williams has turned a corner for the Hornets in November, posting 10.5 points on 50.0 percent shooting (43.5 percent from three-point range) and 4.2 rebounds in six monthly outings. Overall on the year, the Charlotte veteran is shooting a career-high 46.6 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from behind the arc (second-best mark of his career).
Williams should spend much of his time in Chicago guarding the Bulls’ first-year Finnish sensation, Lauri Markkanen. The seventh overall selection in last summer’s draft currently ranks fifth amongst all rookies in scoring (14.7 points), second in rebounding (7.7) and first in three-point field goals made per game (2.4). Markkanen also finished as the seventh-leading scorer at this summer’s European Championships as well (19.5 points per game).
Despite shooting 36.3 percent from long range, Markkanen is continuing to establish himself as an intriguing combination of size (7’0”) and skill at the NBA level. Look for Williams to force the young Finn into settling for plenty of contested jumpers while keeping things physical in the paint.