Washington Wizards big man Ian Mahinmi has made over 1,000 field goal during his 10-year career in the NBA. None were from three.
Mahinmi has played 546 games, but he’s attempted just eight three-pointers. But according to head coach Scott Brooks, the 31-year-old has done a great job during practice when shooting from long distance. Next season, expect him to be given the chance to connect from beyond the arc for the first time.
Even looking at his experience in Europe, there is no track record to show that the 6-foot-11 big man has much of a shooting stroke. Mahinmi played 122 games for the Ligue Nationale de Basket in France, but never had a three-point attempt.
He has played 11 games in Summer League as well as 42 preseason games and 46 games in the NBA G League, all with no long distance attempts either. The same goes for his postseason experience in the NBA and the development league.
The big man took six attempts from further than 14 feet from the basket last season, missing all of them. Since starting his NBA career, Mahinmi is 77-for-249 (30.9 percent) on all field goals from beyond 14 feet. That doesn’t exactly scream three-point shooter.
“Honestly, I’ve been practicing. I’ve been shooting threes. Why not work on that? …I’m looking at like, okay, if I’m in a situation in the game, put my mind into it and let it go like I do in practice, before practice, after practice and live with the result. It’s just like [adding] another weapon to your arsenal.”
It seems unlikely that he’ll make a significant leap and become a great three-point shooter, as Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins has done in recent years. However, if he does step back, all of his defenders should not expect the same Mahinmi they’ve seen in the past.