As we have seen over the past few days, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was working out with San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan. What a lot didn’t know is that Hibbert brought Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi along.
To some, it may not seem like a big deal. To me, however, it is a huge deal for the Pacers’ frontcourt this upcoming season.
This was Hibbert’s second season working out with the legendary F/C, and it noticeably improved his footwork so much that he apparently wanted to soak up some more of Duncan’s knowledge and wisdom. Luckily for the Pacers, he thought it would be beneficial to bring Mahinmi along.
I think this is huge for Mahinmi because he has a lot of raw talent and with some knowledge and mentoring, he could really become a solid backup center for Indiana. This experience also shows what the duo can work on together back in Indiana.
Mahinmi is a much different player than Hibbert. Hibbert is more of a back-to-the-basket type of player, and Mahinmi is more of an athletic center who gets his points by driving to the basket and popping his sweet jump shot. If Mahinmi can improve from what he was last year and have more consistent games, it will really be tough to stop this Pacers team because they have two good centers which have two totally different styles.
Last season, people tried to find a way to shutdown Hibbert. Now, if Hibbert is to be shutdown by the other team, they can put Mahinmi in, who can completely tear apart the defense plan they had against Hibbert.
If Mahinmi can noticeably step up his game this season, the Pacers will just become that much better of a team than what we already thought they were.