The historic start of Nikola Mirotic on his return to Spain

Two MVPs of the day at the ACB, leader in scoring and valuation, good performances in the Euroleague ... this has been the spectacular start of the Mirotic season.


Nikola Mirotic is on a roll. At least that is what he is demonstrating at the beginning of the season in which the Hispano-Montenegrin is making history. His match against Valencia Basket on the last day of the Endesa League crowned him, but since the campaign began, the Barça star is chaining one exhibition after another leaving a trail of victims along the way.

The start was not easy. The return to Spain to play with the eternal rival after five years in the NBA was the biggest bombing of the Spanish transfer market. Mirotic rejected offers of up to 45 million in 3 years by the US competition to return to the Endesa League and become the highest paid player in Europe.

His debut in an official match was against Valencia Basket in the Super Cup played in the WiZink, which was his home before heading to the best League in the world. The Madrid public received him between whistles, although that did not prevent Mirotic from going to 14 points and 9 rebounds with 9 valuation. In the final against Real Madrid the dicks doubled and the numbers were similar (14 + 6 to 13). The averages of the first competition of the season were 14 tanttos, 5.5 rejections and 11 valuations. A difficult start against his former audience, playing against his former team and with the added pressure of playing a trophy that Barça would lose.

The explosion

Since then, Mirotic's level has skyrocketed. He has played 6 matches between Endesa League and Euroleague scoring 17 or more points in all of them. In four of the games he managed to overcome the score and in the last he went to 33, personal record in the ACB. In addition, he has achieved 6 or more rebounds in four of the duels and has broken his record of assists with the 6 he achieved in the last clash.

The thing does not stay there. In the 6 games of this start of the campaign Mirotic has only dropped in one of the 20 valuations (against Andorra on the third day of the Endesa League). In total, he has achieved 39, 20, 19 and 43 valuation in the domestic championship plus the 22 and 21 achieved in the continental competition.

His averages in the Euroleague with 20.5 points and 7 rebounds. Against Efes he was the best of his team while against Zenit he had a less outstanding performance but appeared in the last quarter to give the definitive advantage to those of Pesic, which meant Barça's second consecutive victory in the tournament.

However, where he is truly breaking records is in the ACB. The Barça star goes to averages of almost 25 points, 5.5 rebounds, and more than 30 valuation, impressive numbers that place him as the best player in the competition. In addition, he has been MVP of the first and fourth day, getting two twisted in four games after having achieved 3 in the 168 that he played with Real Madrid.

He is a leader in points per game and in valuation of the Endesa League and in the last match he beat his personal mark in points in Europe (33, his previous record in the ACB was 28) and the third in his career (he reached 36 and the 35 in the NBA). It is also his second record in valuation (he made 46 against Valladolid in 2012-13) and his top in assists with 6 (before 4) .

It doesn't end there. The power forward ended with 10 of 18 in field shots (4 of 9 in triples) and 9 of 11 in free throws. His influence was such that, at 8:51 he was on the bench, his team fitted a partial of -12, while adding a +15 with him on the track. The best in the +/- of the whole game

and more. In addition to his 33 points, he overcame the barrier of 5 in assists, rebounds and steals. That is, in four of the five statistical categories. Only two other players in the history of the ACB starred in a match like this: Michael Anderson (40-8-7-7 in 94-95) and André Turner (34-7-10-9 in 1996-97). Almost nothing.

It is clear that the Mirotic that has returned is not the same as the Mirotic that has left. He is a more complete, more mature player. A man who has no difficulty assuming responsibilities. What was the greatest promise of Real Madrid has become the face of the eternal rival. And, for the moment, he is the absolute protagonist of a start of the season in which he is making history.



Photos from as.com
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