— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 17, 2017
This hopefully marks the end of the Chicago flu bug that has been bothering the team for weeks. On top of Mirotic, it has sidelined rookie Denzel Valentine and guard Jimmy Butler.
This lack of depth hit the Bulls the hardest last week when they dropped three straight to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. The return of Butler has already helped them bounce back as they have won their last two in a row.
Mirotic’s return puts the team pretty much at full strength. The third year forward out of Spain is yet to make a major step forward this year, averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds on only 39 percent shooting.
The thing the Bulls need from Mirotic is outside shooting, which the rest of their rotation so greatly lacks. But he has struggled from behind the arc all season, shooting only 31 percent from three after shooting nearly 40 percent from deep last year.
The forward is reportedly eight pounds lighter, similar to Butler who lost ten pounds while he was sick. Butler was able to bounce back quickly and has played well in his last two games. Mirotic will be hoping to do the same tonight against the Mavericks.