Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
WASHINGTON, DC -  FEBRUARY 24: Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Washington Wizards smiles during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 24, 2020 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Mahinmi's top three performances of the season so far

After missing roughly the first month of the season, Ian Mahinmi returned from injury and bolstered an already-deep Wizards frontcourt with his size and strength. This season, Mahinmi’s greatest impact has come on the defensive end, highlighted by 13 games with multiple blocks, though he has put on some of his best all-around performances of his career. On the offensive end, his best games of the season have been defined by efficiency, including four games this season with a field goal percentage above 70.0% on seven-plus attempts. Below is a closer look at Mahinmi’s three best overall performances of the season.

3. January 12, 2020 vs. Utah

15 PTS / 6 REB / 7 AST / 5-7 (.714) FG

Playing against Rudy Gobert, one of the league’s most decorated defensive big men of this generation, Mahinmi tweaked his game and put on one of his most balanced performances of his career. He scored 15 points on 5-7 (.714) from the field, but his contributions spanned each column of the box score. He did most of his scoring in the first half, totaling nine of his 15 points, while his second half was highlighted by five of his career-high seven assists. In what was his only game this season with more than four dimes, Mahinmi also grabbed six rebounds and recorded a pair of blocks.

2. January 20, 2020 vs. Detroit

21 PTS / 7 REB / 2 STL / 3 BLK / 9-10 (.900) FG

In the Wizards’ mid-afternoon Martin Luther King Day win over the Pistons, Mahinmi tallied his second 20-point performance of his career and his second game of the season shooting at least 90.0% from the field. He is one of just four players this season with multiple games shooting at least 90.0% from the field on at least 10 attempts.

“Ian was all over the floor,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “I thought he played outstanding on both ends. Throughout the game, he gave us great defensive presence and awareness.”

Mahinmi was 5-6 (.833) from the field in the first half, but saved his best work for the decisive fourth quarter. He scored seven points on 3-3 (1.000) from the field to go along with five rebounds in the final frame, propelling the Wizards from a two-point deficit to a 10-point lead and an eventual win. In addition to his scoring output, Mahinmi’s showing against the Pistons was one of five this season with at least three blocks and one of two games this season with multiple blocks and steals.

“It’s a good feeling,” Mahinmi said postgame. “You know me, I’m not a really big stat guy. Honestly, I like to impact the game especially on the defensive end. When I have nights like that, when things are going well offensively, my teammates are looking for me, it’s a good feeling. I don’t pay too much attention to it, but I appreciate it. If you see the way I scored today, it’s really a credit to my teammates. They find me at the right the time, the right place to dunk the ball, to shoot a couple of threes. It’s a great feeling.”

1. December 30, 2019 vs. Miami

25 PTS / 5 REB / 2 STL / 2 BLK / 10-11 (.909) FG

In one of the Wizards’ most memorable games of the season, Mahinmi scored a career-high 25 points to help lead Washington to a win over Miami. Playing in just his 12th game of the season, Mahinmi had yet to score in double figures before his dominant performance against the Heat.

Mahinmi did most of his damage in the first half. He was 6-6 (1.000) from the field for 14 points in the first quarter and went into halftime with 19 points on 8-8 (1.000) from the field, leading the Wizards to an eight-point lead. He scored just six points in the second half, but helped Washington preserve its lead and hold on to the win. Despite Mahinmi’s career-best scoring output, Brooks said it was his performance on both ends of the court that stood out to him the most.

“I thought defensively he was really good,” Brooks said. “We put him in some tough matchups, he was on pointing and switches, he protected the rim, got back in transition, he made a three. He played a great game. The best game of his career, his career high. He played hard on both ends.”

“I thought I got into a good rhythm,” Mahinmi said. “I was aggressive at the rim; I got a few easy baskets and that got me going. I just wanted to be a little bit more aggressive. Obviously, we are missing a lot of key guys, so I kind of took it upon me to come out a little bit more aggressive.”

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