The Finnisher Looks Back on His Early Days in Jyväskylä
by Joe Gabriele (@CavsJoeG)
1/21/22 | Cavs.com
For starters, can we talk about what an underrated nickname “the Finnisher” is for Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen?
Markkanenen – the versatile seven-footer from Vantaa, Finland – is technically the squad’s starting “small forward” – one-third of a jumbo frontline that’s barnstormed through the NBA through the season’s first half and put Cleveland squarely into the Playoff picture.
The 24-year-old, acquired by the Wine & Gold in a three-way deal between Portland and Chicago during the offseason, has had a rock-solid NBA career – averaging double-figures through each of his first five seasons. This year with the Cavaliers, Markkanen – the 7th overall pick, originally by the Timberwolves – is averaging 13.7ppg and 5.4 rebounds per.
Markkanen’s also coming off his best offensive performance of the season – dropping 28 points on his former squad on Wednesday night in Chicago, going 9-for-14 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from long-range. The 5th-year man has been very good overall of late – averaging 16.2 points per on 55 percent shooting from the floor, 47 percent from long-range over his last six outings.
Markkanen – whose father Pekka was Finland’s Player of the Year in 1989 – has excelled in separate stints with the Finnish national team and, in his single season at Arizona, was named All-Pac-12 First Team.
Through his first 37 games with the…