Most players need the NBA All-Star break to rest after grinding through four-plus months of the regular season. For Ian Mahinmi, the time off isn't exactly necessary. He's missed 50 of the Wizards' 54 games thus far this season due to injury and could use the reps.
"I think I had enough rest in the first part of the season," Mahinmi joked after practice on Wednesday.
The Wizards have one more game before the All-Star break, on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers. That offers Mahinmi just one more chance to play with his teammates as he continues to search for rhythm and chemistry, before taking another week off.
Because of that, Mahinmi does not plan to take much time off during the break like his teammates. He will instead work out at the Verizon Center with assistant coaches and trainers.
In the final game before the All-Star break, Mahinmi expects to still play around 12-16 minutes. He has logged 12, 13 and 15 minutes, respectively, in his three games back since undergoing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment on both knees in December.
"The minutes restriction is a little tough as far as for me finding the rhythm, but it's been very good. My body is responding very well to the first few games. We're building on it," he said.
Mahinmi, 30, joined the Wizards in free agency with a four-year, $64 million deal last July. But his tenure has so far been hampered significantly by injuries, beginning with a torn left meniscus that required surgery on Oct. 15. Mahinmi returned for one game against the San Antonio Spurs, on Nov. 26 before going back down with right knee tendinitis. He was then prescribed the PRP treatment by Dr. James Andrews.
It has been a rocky start to Mahinmi's Wizards career and he still has a lot of catching up to do. It's one thing to study head coach Scott Brooks' system, it's another to actually play within it on the court.
"At this point it's kind of tough because guys get into a rhythm. Guys are used to playing with each other. For me, at this point it's really trying to fit in without changing much of what the guys are doing. We've been playing well," he said.
Mahinmi hopes to increase his minutes soon after the All-Star break, so he can get up to speed quickly.
"I want to just be one of those glue guys, come in and let the time take care of business for me. We will get to know each other on the court and we will eventually get very familiar with one another," Mahinmi said.
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