According to Shams Charania, Lauri Markkanen has been selected to the NBA Western Conference All-Star reserves.
2022-23 NBA West All-Star reserves: Ja Morant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Damian Lillard, Jaren Jackson Jr., Domantas Sabonis, Lauri Markkanen, Paul George.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
It’s a well-deserved honor for the Utah Jazz forward who has put together a remarkable, break-out season.
Markkanen’s career numbers of 16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists have gone up with the Utah Jazz to 24.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. That alone is impressive but when you look at the improvement in his percentages it’s even more impressive. Markkanen’s career averages of 45.5% from the field, 37.6% from three, and 85.6% at the free throw line have gone up to 52.0% from the field, 43.2% from three, and 87.5% from the free throw line. But wait, there’s more! Markkanen has been doing this on a playoff-contending Utah Jazz team as the main scoring option of the team. That means this improvement has come while being the #1 option. It’s a truly incredible season that he’s having.
It also passes the eye test. Markkanen is playing within the offense of the Jazz and is taking what the defense gives him. Whether he’s running the floor in transition, posting up a mismatch, hitting spot-up and pull-up threes, or cutting to the basket, Markkanen has figured out how to be a weapon for the Jazz every night.
His progression as the season has gone along has also been impressive. Here’s how his scoring has gone up month to month:
October: 22.6 ppg
November: 22 ppg
December: 26.8 PPG
January: 28.5 PPG
The Jazz should be ecstatic with what has happened this season as Markkanen has become a top 20 player in the league and will be a cornerstone of what the Jazz do for years to come.