Nikola Mirotic’s return to the lineup has sparked a major turnaround in Chicago.
With Mirotic, the Bulls rank No. 10 in offensive rating, No. 2 in defensive rating and No. 2 in overall net rating.
Mirotic’s play is the primary reason for their recent success.
The floor-spacing power forward is averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.9 three-pointers per contest.
He’s also knocking down 52.2 percent of his shots from the floor and 48.8 percent of his triples.
All of those marks – if sustained – would shatter Mirotic’s previous career-highs.
Chicago is outscoring opponents by an outrageous 17.2 points per 100 possessions with Mirotic on the court.
Even more impressively, he’s doing most of his damage coming off the bench, as he’s backing up stud rookie Lauri Markkanen.
More than anything, Mirotic should be commended for becoming a stronger player mentally.
Especially following the ugly incident with Bobby Portis.
Even during his Real Madrid days, the big man would run far too hot and cold for a player with his talent level.
Now, he’s showing incredible confidence every time he steps on the floor.
Though he owns a no-trade clause in his contract, it’ll be interesting to see if a rival team tries to make a move for Mirotic.
He could be a game-changer off the bench for a contender.
If not, provided he maintains this form, the Bulls could decide to make Mirotic one of their core pieces – and a key member of the rebuild.