When Roy Hibbert picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and he picked up his fifth less than three minutes later and headed to the bench for the rest of the night, it was time to use the bench. Ian Mahinmi came off the bench to provide 10 points and five rebounds, making up for the impact of Hibbert’s absence.
Mahinmi may be called upon by the Pacers in future dates to help out in a pinch. He showed the Pacers what he can do. He’s averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds a game and should probably be playing more.
Against the Bobcats, Mahinmi had 26 strong minutes with 5-of-10 shooting for 10 points. He also had five rebounds, three steals and two shot blocks in a strong overall performance.
The defense Mahinmi and other Pacers played was also outstanding, considering the Bobcats were 26-of-82 from the floor for 31.7 percent with 16 turnovers. Teams aren’t going to win with those type of stats.
The more minutes Mahinmi gets the better he performs, which is why he might see more playing time after the All-Star break. The 26 minutes he saw against Charlotte were among the most blocks of time in a game he’s seen all year. But he has shown he can play well in fewer minutes. He scored 12 points in 16 minutes of action against the Atlanta Hawks, and shot four of four from the floor.