The Indiana Pacers Are Ready to Meet With Their Old Friend, Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi will play against his former team, the Indiana Pacers, for the first time since signing a four-year deal with the Washington Wizards.
The Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards have met two times so far this season, but Mahinmi didn’t play in either of those games. In fact, he’s only appeared in two games for Washington this season. He has dealt with nagging issues with both of his knees.
Mahinmi played four very solid years with Indiana and had a bit of a breakout last season. In honor of his first game facing the blue and gold, let’s have a look back at his Pacers career.
In 2012, the Pacers traded Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Ian Mahinmi. Dallas signed-and-traded Ian with a four-year $16 million dollar deal. Mahinmi was coming off a career year with the Mavericks with 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Mahinmi was Roy Hibbert’s backup. He played in 80 games, averaging 5 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 0.8 blocks per game. He provided a lot of energy and was a unique backup center to Hibbert, who had a different (slower, methodical, but effective) play style.
Year two with the blue and gold was more of the same. Ian averaged 16.2 minutes per game as Roy’s backup. His numbers decreased, as he averaged only 3.5 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game.
His third year was struck with injuries, like most of the Pacers’ players during the 2014-2015 season. Most notably when he tore his plantar fascia in his foot. He played in 61 games, averaging 4.3 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Year four, the breakout year for the Frenchman.
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Mahinmi became Indiana’s starting center after Roy Hibbert got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. No one knew what to expect from Ian, but he looked like a starting center. He averaged career-highs all across the board — 9.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 25.6 minutes as the starter.
In the playoffs, he dealt with a back injury. Despite that, he had a solid first round. He had a huge Game 4 against the Toronto Raptors, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
It’s easy to say that Mahinmi exceeded expectations during his tenure with the Indiana Pacers. He’s an awesome guy and an awesome player, so it’s good to see him getting healthy for Washington. Once a Pacer, always a Pacer, Ian*.
*Editor’s note: This offer doesn’t extend to Evan Turner.