The Chicago Bulls will be without Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono, Chandler Hutchinson, and Tomas Satoransky on Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, and potentially into the next week.
Per head coach Billy Donovan, all four guys are out in accordance with health and safety protocols mandated by the NBA.
NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson had the information:
Billy Donovan said Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison are out vs. Wizards, per NBA’s health and safety protocols.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 31, 2020
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According to Donovan, this is something that will likely last more than a day.
I assume Markkanen is out due to the calf situation, but that’s not clear yet. Hutch on injury list for health and safety protocols, so sounds like Satoransky and Arch are same. Donovan said this will likely last more than one day. #Bulls
— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHBulls) December 31, 2020
Donovan spoke with the media prior to the 4 pm CT tip-off:
Who’s Filling In?
Satoransky had been playing the backup point guard role to Coby White. With him and Arcidiacono out of action, the Bulls will have to look elsewhere for reserve minutes at the point.
There is a chance we could get our first glimpse of Devon Dotson on Thursday. The athletic, undrafted rookie free agent out of Kansas would normally be in the G-League, but considering the volatile nature of the season, the Bulls and other teams have more players available in the event of a need for a late roster change.
Dotson is a 6’2″ Chicago native who averaged 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and shot 30% from three-point range in his sophomore season with the Jayhawks before making himself eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft.
He’s considered a plus athlete, but definitely a developmental project. Anything the Bulls get from him on Thursday or moving forward would be a huge bonus. Expect the Bulls to lean heavily on White.
As far as filling in for Markkanen, veteran Thaddeus Young will see time, but Otto Porter got the start. It will be Young’s first action of the season after missing the first 4 games with an infection in his leg. Markkanen is averaging 17.3 points per game this season and has been a steady offensive force this season, so his production would be missed. Expect Porter to come out looking aggressive.
As for Hutchinson, who had been playing a key role as a reserve small forward, his minutes will likely be filled by Adam Mokoka, Denzel Valenthine and perhaps more playing time for Young and/or rookie Patrick Williams. Thankfully, the Bulls also have veteran Garrett Temple who can play either guard position and even small forward if needed.
The Schedule Ahead
The games ahead will be a serious challenge for the Bulls. On New Year’s Day, the Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks which will obviously be a major test.
The Bulls figure to struggle with Milwaukee even if they are at full strength. Coming in without Markkanen, the Bulls will have to find a way to score and match up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and others, and perhaps beyond.
We’ll have to wait to see how the Bulls perform on Thursday as they won’t get much rest after the battle with the Wizards.
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