Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic will test his right ankle prior to game against Cleveland tonight — and there’s hope he can return after missing 12 games. Pelicans upgraded him to questionable this afternoon.
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Scott Kushner: Alvin Gentry said Nikola Mirotic practiced most of today and is “getting close” to returning.
Will Guillory: Gentry says Darius Miller will also come back tonight after dealing with an illness recently. Nikola Mirotic is getting closer but will remain out
Will Guillory: Nikola Mirotic is out, E’Twaun Moore is in for Pelicans tonight, per Alvin Gentry
Jim Eichenhofer: Alvin Gentry indicated that Nikola Mirotic might have to miss game(s) in order to get his ankle right physically. Gentry: “It’s been bothering him since he came back. The best thing to do is shut him down until he gets himself healthy.”
Scott Kushner: Alvin Gentry told reporters that they’re going to sit Niko Mirotic (ankle) out until he gets healthy. Said Mirotic has been trying to play through it and is “a gamer” but it’s not making things better.
Abby Chin: Per #Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic is OUT for the rest of the game with a sore right ankle. Just 1/5 on the night with 3 points.
Will Guillory: Alvin Gentry just told reporters in Detroit that Nikola Mirotic lost six pounds in one day because of the illness that cost him two games.
Scott Kushner: Niko Mirotic is available. Julius Randle will start. Per Alvin Gentry.
Jim Eichenhofer: Mirotic said he expects to undergo an MRI on his right ankle Thursday but he is hopeful it is nothing serious. A sprain to the same ankle kept him out of two recent games before his return to action tonight in Minnesota
Will Guillory: Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic are both listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to right ankle sprains pic.twitter.com/u2rOax0xCL
KC Johnson: Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says it’s unlikely Nikola Mirotic will play vs. Bulls.
Jay Allen: Rajon Rondo (right wrist) will not play tonight vs. the @Portland Trail Blazers. Ian Clark will make his 3rd career start (2nd this season). Nikola Mirotic (right hip) is available for the #Pelicans. #RipCity @RipCityRadio620
KC Johnson: Lauri Markkanen was excused from practice for personal reasons. Nikola Mirotic sat with a lower left leg strain.
Nick Friedell: Niko Mirotic is out tonight because of a stomach virus. He is not at MSG now. He will rejoin the Bulls later tonight and will be checked out by the Knicks team doctor.
Darnell Mayberry: Nikola Mirotic (stomach virus) will not play tonight against Houston.
Nick Friedell: Niko Mirotic has a stomach virus. He did not go through shootaround and in doubtful vs. Rockets.
Nick Friedell: Niko Mirotic checks into his first game of the season.
KC Johnson: Mirotic will dress for 1st time tonight, won’t play. Hoiberg on Friday avail: “The biggest thing will be how he responds to the practice tomorrow and then the shootaround on Friday. If he gets through without any setbacks, then he will be available on Friday.”
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Mirotic will practice Tue then team will decide whether he’ll travel. Says Niko playing Wed at Indy is a stretch. #Bulls
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic “will be in the rotation” but now says not guaranteed he’ll travel on 2-game trip. Practicing with Windy City could be more beneficial.
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic said the plan is to play this week. He’s lost about 5-6 pounds from this summer, said his conditioning has improved
Mike McGraw: Nikola Mirotic is sitting at his locker at the United Center. First time he’s attended a regular season game this season. #Bulls
“It’s great having [Nikola Mirotic] back on the floor,” agreed Hoiberg. “Just looking at where we are right now, getting Zach back with full contact and David is going to try to do a little bit in practice and then getting Niko back on the floor with us is a very important step. As far as what he can provide on the floor, he’s had some really good moments in this league and given us some great production. Getting him back out here is certainly a step in the right direction. The plan is for him to do some contact and see how he responds and then put a plan together from there.”
KC Johnson: Nikola Mirotic is practicing today, won’t address reporters.
Vincent Goodwill: Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic won’t play tomorrow but will make the trip to Denver later this week
There was, however, progress. Coach Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic continued to ‘‘ramp up his activity’’ and was doing a better job of communicating with his other teammates. ‘‘Niko had a really good week of workouts,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s continuing to ramp up his activity. He had good strength workouts and he’s increasing his workload on the floor, so we’re hoping to get him back with the team shortly.’’
KC Johnson: Hoiberg: Mirotic won’t travel on 4-game trip that starts Sunday in Phoenix.
Fred Hoiberg said it hasn’t yet been determined whether Nikola Mirotic will travel on the Bulls’ four-game trip that begins Sunday in Phoenix. What is settled is who will be the starting power forward when Mirotic is physically cleared to play. “I would say Lauri (Markkanen) is our starter moving forward,” Hoiberg said.
KC Johnson: Pax: “Both Niko and Bobby are on our roster right now. And Niko’s getting cleared to do more and more. This obviously is coming to a position where it’s going to have to be resolved between the two.” Reminder: Mirotic can’t be traded until Jan. 15.
KC Johnson: Bulls initially said Mirotic would miss 4-6 weeks. Tomorrow is 4 weeks. Pax: “The timeline for him getting back is all how he’s feeling and recovering from what he went through. He obviously has to get his conditioning up to a level that he needs to. That’s all a process.”
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic is in the building. John Paxson said Niko hasn’t had contact with Bobby Portis, won’t say if the trade request has been rescinded
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic did shooting for first time today.
Meanwhile, though he is free of his concussion symptoms, Nikola Mirotic remains weeks away from returning from the two facial fractures that Bobby Portis caused with a punch to the face during an Oct. 17 altercation between the forwards in practice. Mirotic remains upset enough over the disparity in time of absences that he has had little contact with teammates, and his camp has made clear to management that, for now, it doesn’t see a way the two forwards can coexist.
Hoiberg says Mirotic hasn’t done any on court work, but was able to do some rehab work in the pool recently. Hoiberg says Mirotic is in good spirits — it remains to be seen when he will work out with all his teammates again.
Mirotic has yet to change his stance on not wanting to play with Bobby Portis after Portis punched him in the face during an Oct. 17 practice altercation. That gave Mirotic a concussion, two facial fractures and a recovery period of up to two months.
Hoiberg wouldn’t answer whether he thinks, based on his conversations with Mirotic that included a phone call Friday, that he’s still upset with Portis. “It’s something we’re going to take it day-by-day,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see him (Saturday) and go from there. I know he’s going to continue to come in and get his treatment.”
KC Johnson: More Mirotic: Hoiberg talked to him by phone today after 3rd day of workouts. No more headaches after activity. Meets w/ doctor in 2 weeks.
KC Johnson: Hoiberg on Mirotic: “He said he’s watching all games and loves the effort guys are playing with. He’s been very positive in conversations.”
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic timeline remains same even tho no surgery. It’s been 2 weeks. So another 2-4 at least.
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Nikola Mirotic will work out at Advocate Center today after team leaves for Miami. #Bulls pic.twitter.com/84bJtsTNY2
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic has not been back to the facility for the supervised activity he’s been cleared for. Hoiberg said maybe Sunday or Monday
KC Johnson: Justin Holiday: Bobby came in, worked hard like he always does. I reached out to Niko too. Make sure he knows he’s supported.
Fred Hoiberg says he has texted with Niko Mirotic. He says Mirotic is still sore after sustaining injuries in fight with Portis. It remains unclear when Mirotic will be able to return to practice.
KC Johnson: Paxson said doctors feel surgery best but up to Niko.
KC Johnson: Bulls suspend Portis 8 games.
KC Johnson: Bulls say Portis can practice during suspension.
Josh Lewenberg: Dwane Casey on player fights when he was an assistant in Seattle… So, Gary Payton and…? “We had some doozies in Seattle, I’ll tell you what, some fisticuffs. One that started on the court and went in the weight room and went outside, come back in. It was a long one. I’ve seen those. The good thing about that, the people that were involved in that were able to come back together and bond back together, which is the hard part. You can’t let what happened yesterday come into tomorrow or next week or next month or hold it inside. That’s the trick and luckily in Seattle we had some of those but guys were able to get back together and maintain the team chemistry.”
Chicago Bulls: “We anticipate Niko being out 4-6 weeks, but needs to clear concussion protocol.” – John Paxson
KC Johnson: Bulls say exec VP John Paxson will address reporters, then Fred Hoiberg & Robin Lopez. Portis not at practice facility. Suspension imminent.
KC Johnson: But internal view is incident involved blame on both sides. Situation escalated over several possessions during scrimmage. 2/2
KC Johnson: As reported yesterday, Portis will be suspended after Bulls conclude standard policy of communication with league office. What factor this plays in suspension is unknown & obviously can’t throw punch. But Portis widely regarded for work ethic, commitment to team.
A source who spoke to Mirotic after he was released from the hospital said the forward suffered two fractures and placed an early estimate for his absence at “a few weeks, at least.” He possibly will have to wear a mask upon that return.
In their statement, the Bulls said they are “evaluating disciplinary action.” But a source said the team is merely following protocol for all such incidents by communicating with the league office and that Portis will be suspended for multiple games.
According to several witnesses, tensions heightened between Portis and Mirotic during a competitive scrimmage. Several words were exchanged over trips up and down the court. Some shoving escalated matters and Mirotic once moved in Portis’ direction. And then Portis landed the lone punch, which placed Mirotic on the ground for several minutes before his hospital trip.
Vincent Goodwill: Mirotic does have a concussion and broken bones in his face. Expect Bobby Portis’ suspension to be significant
Mike McGraw: #Bulls confirm Portis-Mirotic altercation at today’s practice; said Mirotic suffered concussion and maxillary fractures, out indefinitely.
Jeff Zillgitt: Re: Mirotic-Portis altercation, it was two guys fighting for position that turned into altercation, I’m told.
Vincent Goodwill: This has been three years in the making, a source said. Mirotic has broken bones in his face, apparently instigated, and Portis punched him
Darnell Mayberry: Mirotic is out indefinitely…Bulls are evaluating disciplinary action. Suspension for Ports likely. Hearing league office is now involved.
KC Johnson: Mirotic is home after going to hospital. He has 2 broken bones in his face and was evaluated for concussion, per source. Punched by Portis.
KC Johnson: Early estimate on Mirotic absence: “A few weeks,” source said.
Vincent Goodwill: Apparently there was some pushing and shoving and Mirotic was punched by Portis. Mirotic is being evaluated for a concussion
Shams Charania: Sources: Bulls forwards Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic were involved in serious altercation in practice today, leaving Mirotic hospitalized and out indefinitely. Story coming.
Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: In practice scuffle with Bobby Portis in Bulls practice, Nikola Mirotic suffered a fractured bone in his face, league source tells ESPN.
KC Johnson: Bulls PR said Nikola Mirotic is out for rest of game with sprained left ankle.
Mike McGraw: Today’s recap: Wade (illness, wrist) is not at arena. Butler & Mirotic expected to play; Zipser (ankle) out. #Bulls
Mike McGraw: Jimmy Butler won’t play today at Minnesota. Nikola Mirotic out with back spasms. #Bulls
Chuck Swirsky: @threekola congratulations on the win. Hope you’re ok. Nikola Mirotic: @ctsbulls Thanks Chuck. I’m good , it’s just a strong hit on the knee.
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January 22, 2019 | 10:31 pm EST Update
Brett Dawson: Thunder 123 Blazers 114 F | Paul George 36 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals; Russell Westbrook 29, 10, 14; Steven Adams 14, 8; Terrance Ferguson 14, 4 steals ; Jerami Grant 11; Dennis Schröder 13.
Josh Lewenberg: VanVleet: “It’s been up & down from a health perspective… I was OK the other night I just didnt make shots… Obviously not up to my standards. So it was good to get some rest, get some treatment, try to build some strength up & be able to be my best self on a consistent basis”
Gerald Bourguet: T.J. Warren will not return to tonight’s game due to a sore left ankle, per Suns PR
January 22, 2019 | 10:04 pm EST Update
Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss reiterated her support for Luke Walton, saying that Magic Johnson and the organization is behind the coach on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post pod. “I can tell you right now, that everyone, Magic, [GM Rob Pelinka] myself, everyone in the organization is behind Luke… We are doing everything we can to make sure that Luke is successful in his job.”