Bulls wish Rising Stars Challenge is ambience of what’s to come

The day after Lauri Markkanen roughly done manager Fred Hoiberg pass out, a unflappable Bulls rookie acted as if zero happened.

“He had a good suggestion about him,” Kris Dunn recalled. “He didn’t gloat or act cocky. He only came behind to work.”

Markkanen and Dunn enjoyed a fruits of their first- and second-year labors Friday night during Staples Center in Los Angeles, competing opposite any other as a World organisation degraded a U.S. organisation 155-124 in a Rising Stars Challenge to flog off NBA All-Star weekend.

Markkanen finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds in 22 mins for a World team, while Dunn, in only his second diversion movement given his nasty tumble and concussion Jan. 17, had 9 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in 19 mins for a U.S.

Enes Kanter and sank 8 3-pointers en track to his season-high 33 points. That’s also a night Dunn valid his stability and bravery during shutting by falling a go-ahead basket in double overtime notwithstanding blank 14 of his initial 17 shots.

And that was a night Hoiberg lightheartedly pronounced Markkanen’s highlight-reel asperse roughly done him pass out.

“I’m astounded with his jaunty ability,” Dunn pronounced this week. “You wouldn’t consider he could arise a approach he can, (but) he has a lot of jaunty ability. He’s a unusual shooter.

Zach LaVine to try a through-the-legs baseline asperse (that LaVine missed on his initial try) so Markkanen could film it on his phone.

He takes honour in his athleticism.

“I don’t consider people were awaiting that from me,” Markkanen said.

To hear some contend it, expectations were even reduce this deteriorate for Dunn, who didn’t get a spot of a Rising Stars Challenge final deteriorate notwithstanding a Timberwolves selecting him fifth overall. Even second-round collect Malcolm Brogdon, a contingent Rookie of a Year, snagged an invitation.

There were copiousness of armchair critics who already had labeled Dunn a bust after his underwhelming rookie deteriorate with a Timberwolves. Funny thing is, a boss of basketball operations who traded him didn’t tumble in that category.

“I felt he was going to have a good year this year,” Tom Thibodeau, also a Timberwolves coach, said.

Thibodeau formed this on a exit assembly he had with Dunn after final deteriorate and Dunn’s response to it, that fundamentally was, in a preference that Thibodeau always chooses, to work harder.

“Kris is a really intelligent kid,” Thibodeau said. “He’s a tough kid, realistic in a good way, and he was rarely motivated.

“The defensive partial of it, he had that entrance in. The descent part, he put a lot of work into it and has played really well.”

So good that Dunn has emerged as a Bulls’ best closer.

“He has that purchase gene,” Hoiberg said.

In a grand intrigue of things, Friday night was a tiny cherry on a sundae. If a Bulls’ reconstruct is going to take flight, Dunn, Markkanen and LaVine need to start earning berths in a grown-up All-Star Game on Sunday.

But Friday night also noted a magnitude of clearance for Dunn, that is because he took his family with him to suffer All-Star weekend. And a night also continued a clearly seamless rookie deteriorate for Markkanen, 20, who never seems fazed by anything even as his exploits, such as his asperse on Kanter in January, means a stir.

“He’s a rock,” Hoiberg said. “His altogether certainty has been really impressive. The approach he can rebound behind from a tough opening and perform during a high turn a subsequent game, that’s not easy to do when you’re a rookie and we can’t buy a splash yet.

“He does so many small things, and he’s a good teammate. On some other teams, we could have some passion for a rookie to get a courtesy he’s getting. But guys are honestly happy for him.”

kcjohnson@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kcjhoop

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