Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi has been average at best at a backup since arriving in Indiana a couple of summers ago, but he has really stepped up for the Pacers in the past three games.
In games against the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics, Mahinmi is averaging 6.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in about 22 minutes per contest. Those aren’t spectacular numbers, but are substantially better than what he has done before this three-game stretch. Indiana would sure love to see their backup big perform like this on a nightly basis.
Mahinmi has also been pretty solid on the defensive end. When Roy Hibbert is in foul trouble, Frank Vogel substitutes Mahinmi in and he usually does a pretty good job defensively. His one downside on the defensive end, however, is his fouling. Even in his good stretch of games, he is averaging four fouls a game, and that’s only in a little over 20 minutes.
He does alter and block a fair number of shots though, and grabs a steal or two every so often as well. If he can control his body when contesting shots like Hibbert does, Indiana’s group of big men can dominate opponents even more than they already have.
Indiana travels to New York to play the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, and another solid performance from Mahinmi in their last game before a little Christmas break would be a nice gift for his teammates. Lance Stephenson would appreciate it most as he will be making his homecoming in Brooklyn.