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Nikola Mirotic expects to play for Bucks in Game 1 vs. Pistons

Nikola Mirotic, Bucks, Pelicans

Milwaukee Bucks big man Nikola Mirotic expects to play in Game 1 of his team’s first-round playoff matchup with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday evening, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

Mirotic has been out since last month with a fractured thumb.

The Bucks acquired Mirotic in a deadline trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. In 14 games since joining Milwaukee, he averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds over 22.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor, 35.6 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the free-throw line.

Through 46 games during the 2018-19 campaign overall, the 28-year-old registered 15.2 points and 7.4 boards across 27.1 minutes a night while making 43.9 percent of his field-goal attempts, 36.5 percent of his long-distance tries and 84.7 percent of his foul shots.

Mirotic, who is originally from Montenegro, was originally selected by the Houston Rockets in the first round (23rd pick overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft. However, he was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and then to the Chicago Bulls.

He made his NBA debut during the 2014-15 season, appearing in all 82 contests and registering 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds through 20.2 minutes per game while connecting on 40.5 percent of his shots, 31.6 percent of his triples and 80.3 percent of his free throws.

Mirotic spent the first three-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Bulls and did not really begin to break out until his final half-season with the club, where he averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 boards per game before being dealt to the Pelicans.

He owns career averages of 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from downtown.