Nikola Mirotic was out for the first 23 games of the Chicago Bulls season because of an injury during an October 17th practice. After a heated exchange, Portis squared Mirotic in the face resulting in a concussion and 2 broken facial bones. Eyeing a return, Mirotic wanted to put that aside him and contribute to the struggling Bulls team.
“I’m not angry at anyone,” Mirotic said to Bulls media on December 6th.
Mirotic made his season debut coming off the bench in a 119-111 win over the Charlotte Hornets on December 8th. That has set off a very confusing and absurd chain of events. Before that win, the Bulls were struggling with a 3-20 record and had found themselves with a 10-game losing streak.
What was once supposed to be a Tank Season has begun to confuse fans in thinking the Bulls are good and are a playoff contending team. Mirotic has brought a spark of liveliness this Bulls team resulting in such fan madness.
It is as if Mirotic forgot Portis even punched him. The are gelling so well together, people are noticing and labeling them as the Bulls ‘1-2 Punch’ these last 7 games.
They even root each other on the court like normal teammates do.
Oh yeah, they also help each other score!
Since Mirotic’s return, both him and Portis have taken over the Bulls offense. Mirotic is averaging 20.3 points per game on 51.9% shooting and 7.3 rebounds per game. His first start came against the 1st place Celtics. The Bulls took the win thanks to his 24 points and 8 rebounds. Portis is averaging 15 points on 58.1% shooting and nearly 7 rebounds per game since Mirotic arrived. All off the bench. Had back-to-back double-doubles against the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bulls need to get back on track (as in losing). They need to guarantee themselves a solid draft pick that will benefit them in the future. Winning will not be easy with these competitive, young teams in the Eastern Conference.
Ayton? Doncic? Bagley? Porter? Bridges?
Only dreams if things don’t change.
Do not worry! The Bulls take on LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday at the Quicken Loans Arena. James is averaging 28.6 point, 8.8 rebounds, and 10.9 assists per game in the month of December
Lebron might not be the only one eyeing the MVP award right now.