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NBA links: Nikola Mirotic, Johnny O'Bryant, Evan Fournier and more

Detroit didn't play much defense or do much of anything right against Indiana last night. And that bench performance was... let's just move on and link it up!

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

While the Pistons had quite an off night in many ways, the Chicago Bulls didn't do much right against the Charlotte Hornets either, getting blown out thoroughly by 25.  Nearly every Hornet saw their field goal percentage improve, especially Jeremy Lamb with a 9-of-10 showing.

In good news for the Bulls, at least Doug McDermott continued his solid shooting this season (via

The Bulls were led by Jimmy Butler with 26 points with four of six three pointers. Doug McDermott had 17 points and 5-of-8 threes. Derrick Rose had four points in 24 minutes for his first ever three consecutive games failing to score in double digits. The Hornets had seven players in double figures led by Jeremy Lamb off the bench with 20. The Hornets were 14 of 23 on threes and outrebounded the Bulls 52-33.

Nikola Mirotic Continues To Impress --

In more good news for the Bulls, Mr. Mirotic (before the Hornet game) was lighting it up and doing lots of things to help his team.  Bold emphasis mine.

It was the big personnel move for Hoiberg to go to Mirotic, and so far it's worked well with Mirotic becoming the first Bulls player ever to make at least three three-point field goals in each of his first four games. Mirotic also has proven a good pressure free throw shooter, earning time on the floor down the stretch of games as he's shooting 90 percent on free throws while averaging five free throw attempts. He and Butler are the only Bulls averaging more than three free throw attempts per game.

Mirotic and Butler have been the most consistent and productive players for the Bulls in the early going. Butler was the NBA's Most Improved Player last season, and Mirotic could follow with his play.

Among NBA players who have made an early impression, the 6-10 Mirotic is in the top 30 scorers along with Beal. C.J. McCollum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Marcus Morris. Last season, Mirotic averaged 10.2 points in about 20 minutes per game.

Johnny O'Bryant is Not the Problem -- Behind the Buck Pass

Keep tabs on Johnny, people.  He is playing good ball, and doing it while way, way under the radar.

Besides Giannis Antetokounmpo ascending into Destroyer of Worlds mode and Greg Monroe being the dependable double-double machine we all hoped for, it's not a stretch to say Johnny O'Bryant has been the best member of the Milwaukee Bucks through four games.

With Bucks' future bright, Jason Kidd's move looks even better -- ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 20-year-old face of the franchise with the freakish wingspan, had 21 points and eight rebounds, while Greg Monroe, the 25-year-old marquee free-agent acquisition who was never supposed to end up in a small market such as Milwaukee, added 23 points and 13 rebounds of his own.

Oh, and Jabari Parker, the 20-year-old No. 2 overall pick from 2014 who essentially missed all of last season with a torn ACL in his left knee, is set to make his long-awaited return Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Orlando Magic: Not Extending Evan Fournier the Right Call -- Hoops Habit

In the Magic's first win just last night, Fournier poured in 30 and played the most minutes of any Magic player. Hours prior to the game, it was reported that he will not be given a contract extension.

From new head coach Scott Skiles to Nikola Vucevic's defense to Victor Oladipo's star potential to Elfrid Payton's shooting, "patience" is the buzz word in Orlando. It's no surprise, then, that the Magic decided not to give shooting guard Evan Fournier a contract extension before Monday night's deadline.

Whenever the Orlando Magic's ultra-young core comes up, Evan Fournier is usually an afterthought. On a team whose future revolves around double-double machine Nikola Vucevic (25), two-way stud Victor Oladipo (23), facilitator Elfrid Payton (21), scoring machine Tobias Harris (23), uber-athlete Aaron Gordon (20) and promising rookie Mario Hezonja (20), the 23-year-old Fournier is often only mentioned as a common courtesy — if he's even mentioned at all.

Five observations from the Hawks' 98-92 win over Heat -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta has been rolling along ever since the opening night loss to Detroit.

Go big

The Hawks' big lineup - with Millsap at small forward, Horford at power forward and Tiago Splitter - has become a regular part of the rotation. Splitter was again the first substitute (for Kent Bazemore) against the Heat to set the lineup. The three played together for just 2:32 until the next timeout when coach Mike Budenholzer rested Horford. In that span they helped turn a 13-12 deficit into an 18-13 lead. The same substitution was used in the third quarter.

This six game West Coast trip should tell us a lot about Detroit. Phoenix Suns are next on Friday. On to your thoughts below.

(BTW, Shout out to fan Kevin McGuinness. He commented for the first time and said hello.  Come on Kevin, get in there again!)