Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks expected to have Nikola Mirotic for Game 1 vs. Pistons

The Milwaukee Bucks are dealing with a few injuries heading into the playoffs, but Nikola Mirotic is expected back for Game 1 against the Detroit Pistons.

There are varying degrees of severity, but the Milwaukee Bucks are dealing with multiple injuries as they get set to start a playoff run as the No. 1 seed in the East. But one player is good to go — forward Nikola Mirotic is expected to play in Game 1 against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

Mirotic practiced on Friday and Saturday, and told reporters “I should be ready to go.”

Mirotic suffered a broken left thumb on March 19, and has not played since. He was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans to bolster Milwaukee’s perimeter shooting and averaged 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 35.6 percent from 3-point range over 14 games for the Bucks before being injured.

Counting his time with the Pelicans, Mirotic averaged 15.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while converting at a 36.5 percent clip from beyond the arc over 46 regular season games.

Beyond whatever he’ll add on the floor, Mirotic adds some extra playoff experience (26 games) to the mix for Milwaukee. He cited that on Saturday, while also citing the need for the Bucks to stick to the formula that won them a league-high 60 games during the regular season.

This is going to be my fourth playoffs in five years,” Mirotic said. “The guys are ready, but the message from our coach is that there’s nothing different in the playoffs. We need to play our same basketball. Play hard. I think we should be fine. We are a very deep team and very hungry.

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With 23 points in that March 19 game against the Lakers, Mirotic appeared to find a stride with his new team just in time to be injured and miss a few weeks. Some rust will be in play on Sunday night, but Mirotic was a playoff standout for the Pelicans last year (15 points per game; 43.1 percent from 3-point range) and he’ll be a key piece for the Bucks in these playoffs.

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