Bucks news: Mike Budenholzer hopeful Nikola Mirotic will be ready for start of playoffs
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Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer hopeful Nikola Mirotic will be ready for start of playoffs

Mike Budenholzer, Nikola Mirotic, Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer hopes Nikola Mirotic will be available for Game 1 of the first-round series against the Detroit Pistons.

Budenholzer also noted that guard Sterling Brown will remain in the starting group — regardless of Mirotic’s status.

Mirotic, 28, missed the Bucks’s final regular season game Wednesday. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on .439.365.847 shooting splits this season — having played for Milwaukee, and the New Orleans Pelicans earlier in the year.

The 6’10” stretch 4 hasn’t appeared in a game since Mar. 19, healing up from a fractured left thumb that was initially supposed to keep him sidelined for two-to-four weeks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Bucks could be without their former Rookie of the Year in Malcolm Brogdon for an extended chunk of the playoffs, so Mirotic’s impending return in round 1 should smooth things over a tad.

Brogdon, another key Bucks member, was originally expected to miss more than a month after suffering a plantar fascia tear in his right foot in mid-March — which will likely keep him out at least until the Divisional round.

The Bucks can manage, however, as they face an inferior Pistons squad that barely squeaked into the playoffs with a 41-41 record.

Having the shooting and rebounding of Mirotic at their disposal should allow them to space the floor eloquently, as they’ve done most of the year.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and homecourt advantage throughout. They play the Detroit Pistons Sunday at 7 P.M. ET.