The Bulls’ 2013-14 playoffs may be over, but they are just getting started for Real Madrid PF Nikola Mirotic, the team’s first-round pick in the 2011 draft who is expected to join the Bulls this summer.
There are three weeks left in the Spanish League regular season, and Real Madrid leads the league with a 30-1 record. They will take on rival FC Barcelona on Sunday, and as long as they win two of their final three games, they will once again finish the season with the best overall record in the ACB.
Mirotic was named ACB Player of the Year last season, and while his overall stats are down slightly this year, he still ranked 3rd in the ACB in Performance Index Rating (similar to the NBA’s PER and EFF ratings) through 27 games. He is only third on his own team in scoring during ACB games, but of course he is also only fourth on the team in field goal attempts.
Additionally, he is only fifth on his team in 3pt attempts, which should tell Bulls fans that he isn’t exactly the focal point of the Real Madrid offense. Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez and Sergio Llull are all several years older than Niko, and they all have much more professional experience.
Because of this, you have to take Mirotic’s stats with a grain of salt, since he isn’t even remotely the go-to guy on his own team. But he does lead Madrid in rebounds per game and free throw attempts.
Combine that with the fact that Real Madrid is easily the best team in the ACB, and Mirotic’s domestic statistics actually look pretty good:
58.2% 2pt FG (51.6% overall)
35.1% 3pt FG
In Euroleague games, Real Madrid finished the first two group stages with an overall 21-3 record, which was best in the entire competition. They won their first-round playoff series 3-2 over Olympiacos, which qualified them for the 2014 Euroleague Final Four, a single-elimination winner-take-all weekend Friday, May 16 and Sunday, May 18 in Milan, Italy.
Mirotic was just named 2nd-Team All-Euroleague, according to this release from Euroleague.net:
Nikola Mirotic, Real Madrid
Producing memorable, award-winning performances in every one of his full Euroleague campaigns, Nikola Mirotic continued his trend of delivering the goods in 2013-14 to help take Real Madrid to their third Final Four together. Both crafty around the rim and deadly from long range, the 23-year-old forward was a vital part of Real Madrid’s success and its having one of the best-ever offenses in the competition. Mirotic ranked among the top three on his team in scoring (12.2 ppg.), rebounding (4.6 rpg.), fouls drawn (3.3 per game), three-point shooting (46.3%), steals (1.1 spg.) and blocks (0.8 bpg.). His versatility led to Mirotic recording the eighth-best average performance index rating in the competition (15.5). He was the only player in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague to rank among the top 15 this season in scoring, steals, blocks and index rating. This is his second time on the All-Euroleague Team, after a Second Team selection last season. Mirotic is also the only two-time winner of the Euroleague Rising Star Trophy, which he took home in 2011 and 2012.
Mirotic’s complete Euroleague stats heading into the Final Four:
53.3% 2pt FG (50.7% overall)
46.3% 3pt FG
As soon as I get the confirmed Euroleague Final Four television schedule, I will post it. Hopefully there will be some way for Bulls fans in the USA to watch live, because most have never gotten the chance to see Mirotic play in actual game competition.