Selection day is every day for Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic
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MILWAUKEE — Is Nikola Mirotic a good fit for Fred Hoiberg’s offense or isn’t he?
Mirotic’s production has been inconsistent in his two seasons with the Bulls but never more so than the last two weeks. Coming into the game Sunday against the Bucks, Mirotic had scored 28 or more points or eight or fewer in his previous eight games — six, 35, eight, four, five, 28, 28 and six points. He’s shooting 55.1 percent (27-for-49) in the double-digit games and 24.3 percent (9-for-37) in the single-digit games.
“The biggest thing with Niko that we’ve talked about is his shot selection, especially in this last month,” Hoiberg said. “You look at his numbers when he shoots a rhythm shot as opposed to taking a shot off the bounce. When he takes a step-back shot, it’s pretty glaring what his numbers are.
“So we’re talking to him about making simple basketball plays. When he does that, he generally plays very well. Sometimes he’ll get a little ahead of himself and try to get himself a heat check, and it usually doesn’t go well. We talk about his pump fake. He got to the line six times off his pump fake [against the Rockets]. It’s just a matter of doing it and making sure he can draw the contact when he does it.”
After scoring 28 points in back-to-back games against the Pacers and Rockets, Mirotic scored six points on 2-for-7 shooting in a 94-90 loss to the Pistons on Saturday night.
“He had a couple go in and out,” Hoiberg said. “I didn’t think his shot selection was bad. Just one of those nights where the ball wasn’t falling for him and Doug [McDermott, who scored seven points on 3-for-5 shooting]. Those are two guys — it’s very important that we get a couple of shots that go down.”
Rose sits again
Derrick Rose missed his second consecutive game with a sore elbow. Rose tested the elbow before the game and was a late scratch. He has missed 14 games this season, including seven of the last 21, with various injuries.
Taj Gibson missed his second consecutive game with a fractured rib.
“Believe me he wants to be out there, but he’s not right,” Hoiberg said. “His muscles are still spasming around the fracture. He’s got a lot of pain and soreness in that area. He takes one hit, it’s going to be extremely painful even with the padding that they’ve made for him. He’s just not ready.”
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