Wizards

Quick Links

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

usatsi_9951090.jpg
USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Ian Mahinmi's season...

Player: Ian Mahinmi

Position: Center

Age: 30

2016-17 stats: 31 G, 17.9 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 0.6 apg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.8 bpg, 58.6 FG%, 00.0 3P%, 57.3 FT%, 58.6 eFG%, 110 ORtg, 104 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Mahinmi's first season in Washington did not go as planned, as various leg injuries kept him out for most of the year. It started in preseason with a partially torn meniscus and carried into the playoffs with a calf strain. Earlier this summer he had a minor procedure on his left knee, as well.

Because Mahinmi only appeared in 31 games with the Wizards in his first season, health is the storyline for him as he enters the second year of his four-year, $64 million free agent contract. The first question is if he can stay healthy. Next, it's what type of impact will he make if given the opportunity to play for a full season. 

[RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING]

Mahinmi's impact was seen in glimpses in 2016-17. For instance, he had the best defensive rating of any Wizards player and that happens to be an area the team needs to improve. Mahinmi can add something the Wizards lacked last year, a rim protector who can set a tone particuarly for their second unit.

Mahinmi's presence relates directly to Marcin Gortat, of course. The more Mahinmi plays, it could mean a lighter load for Gortat, who would play 48 minutes every night if head coach Scott Brooks let him. It will be interesting to see if and how Brooks tries to use Mahinmi and Gortat. Will it depend on opponent matchups? Will they play together? Regardless, Mahinmi should help the Wizards improve defensively if he can stay on the court.

Potential to improve: Availability, free throw percentage, chemistry with second unit.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE WIZARDS STORIES

Quick Links

Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game's starters is now closed and though they have not fared well with fan ballots, the chances Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal are picked as reserves seem good.

The All-Star reserves are chosen by NBA head coaches and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks thinks the Wizards should have two representatives.

"They're definitely both having All-Star years," Brooks said. "I can't vote for either one, but they are definitely in my mind two of the best guards in the East."

Wall, 27, is averaging 19.9 points and leads the Eastern Conference with 9.3 assists per game. He also leads all NBA guards with 1.1 blocks per game.

Bradley Beal, 24, is seventh in the East with 23.7 points per game and third among Eastern Conference guards. He is averaging a career-high 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

The 25-19 Wizards are currently in the playoff picture, which should help their cause for two All-Stars. But there is a lot of competition at the guard position.

Beal has done plenty to make the case he should be a first-time All-Star. He leads the Wizards in points and has played in every one of their games.

What could hold Wall back is that his numbers are down from last season and the fact he missed 11 games due to injury.

Brooks, though, thinks he should be in there and that it shouldn't be all that close.

"I think John is the best point guard in the East," he said.

Wall is certainly up there among the best point guards in the conference. His competition would be guys like Kyrie Iriving, Kyle Lowry and maybe Ben Simmons. Wall is a more versatile player than Irving and has better numbers than Lowry or Simmons.

The All-Star starters are announced on Jan. 18 and the full rosters will be revealed on Jan. 23. We'll see if Wall and Beal make the cut.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

Quick Links

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday afternoon...

1. John Wall came out swinging in the first half with 22 points, 16 of them in the first quarter alone. 

This was one of his best plays. Wall split two defenders and then flipped it in off the glass:

Wall finished with 27 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

2. Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Wizards' bench with 19 points, five rebounds and a block. He missed on this play, but nearly dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo. That would have been something:

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

3. Oubre did get this one to go down. He popped a three at the buzzer to end the third quarter:

4. Wall had some nice passes including this alley-oop lob to Tomas Satoransky. Sato got way up there:

Satoransky also threw down this alley-oop pass earlier thrown by Bradley Beal:

5. This last play was by the Bucks and it was not something you see every day. Antetokounmpo fired an assist through his legs like a longsnapper:

The Wizards lost a close one. Now they head to Charlotte to begin a five-game road trip.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]