Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic misses team walkthrough
CHICAGO — Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic missed the team walkthrough before Friday night’s game against Milwaukee, and coach Fred Hoiberg said he could be headed for a fine.
Mirotic missed his first game of the season when Hoiberg decided to keep him on the bench during the Bulls’ 108-97 loss to the Bucks on Thursday night. Hoiberg said Mirotic worked out Friday morning and they had a meeting, but he wasn’t excused from the walkthrough and he would talk to him after his session with the media.
“Just like everybody who would be late in this situation, it is a fineable offense,” Hoiberg said.
The 6-foot-10 Mirotic is averaging a career-low 8.7 points through 24 games this season. He is shooting 38 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range, also career lows.
Mirotic declined comment when approached by the media before the matchup with the Bucks. He told team officials he forgot about the walkthrough, according to a spokesman for the Bulls.
Asked about their meeting, Hoiberg said Mirotic’s mindset “was as good as he can be in a situation like that.”
“Obviously, any competitor isn’t going to be happy when you get taken out of a lineup,” Hoiberg said. “But talking to him about keeping himself ready … It was good to see him in there this morning getting in extra work and getting up extra shots, keeping himself prepared when his name was called, and that’s what we talked about. Obviously he’s going to get another chance this year. He’s got to keep working, keep himself ready, and when opportunity comes, go out and play well.”
The 25-year-old Mirotic made his NBA debut in 2014 and averaged 10.2 points while playing in all 82 games during his rookie year. He made 38 starts last season and averaged 11.8 points, but he has been plagued by inconsistency throughout his time in Chicago.
Also Friday, guard Michael Carter-Williams got the cast off his injured left wrist and said he is hoping to practice next week. Carter-Williams has been sidelined since Oct. 31 with wrist and left knee injuries.
“I’ve been doing everything with my cast on,” he said. “I’ve been running and working out, just trying to stay in shape, so when I come back it won’t take me long to get back to playing (in games).”
The Bulls acquired Carter-Williams in an October trade with Milwaukee.