Did the Chicago Bulls open their season with a loss to perhaps the worst team in the NBA? Yes. Unfortunately they did.

But keep the faith. This team is a lot better than what they displayed on Thursday night. One bright spot from the opener was how well Lauri Markkanen performed. He lead the team in both points (35) and rebounds (17) all while grabbing his first double double of the season. To some this may come across as just a ‘good night’ in the NBA but I did a little digging and it was actually quite a special performance.

Here is the entire list of players in the last 20 years to go for 35 points and 17 rebounds before turning 23:

  1. Lauri Markkanen
  2. Karl-Anthony Towns
  3. Anthony Davis
  4. Kevin Durant
  5. Kevin Love

That is an elite class to be in but it gets even better:

Last night Lauri Markkanen became the first Bulls player with 35 points in a season opener since Michael Jordan in 1995.

Not a bad way for the third year pro to start his season, right?

If Markkanen can remain healthy — expect nights like this to be the new norm as this might be the break out season we’ve all been waiting for.