The Wizards won’t have big man Ian Mahinmi for the start of their playoff run that begins this weekend vs. the Atlanta Hawks.
On Wednesday, team officials announced that Mahinmi will miss the regular-season finale with a strained left calf and is expected to be reevaluated in 7-10 days.
He immediately left the floor and didn’t return and went through tests to confirm the initial diagnosis of a calf strain.
Mahinmi was given crutches that night and hobbled around the locker room but eventually was able to put pressure on his left leg with the help of the athletic training staff.
His absence will mean more time for Jason Smith who has had spells of inactivity in Scott Brooks’ rotation because of Mahinmi’s emergence.
Against Atlanta, Mahinmi is key because of his ability to defend away from the rim against versatile centers as well as underneath vs. physical ones such Dwight Howard.
The Hawks’ second unit that uses Mike Muscala as the spread five shoots a lot of threes. Smith should be able to fill that void against him.
Brooks also could adjust his rotation and use Markieff Morris, who plays more as the spread five than Smith in small lineups, to counter it.
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