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
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.
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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.
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