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Old 07-20-09, 09:06 AM
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Spurs' Mahinmi gets the best of Thabeet in summer league finale

Web Posted: 07/20/2009 12:00 CDT
Spurs' Mahinmi gets the best of Thabeet in summer league finale

Ian Mahinmi had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks against Memphis on Sunday.
By Jeff McDonald - Express-News

LAS VEGAS — Midway through the third quarter of the Spurs' summer league finale Sunday night, Ian Mahinmi found himself posting up Hasheem Thabeet, the Memphis Grizzlies' 7-foot-3 human flyswatter from Connecticut.

Out on the perimeter, one of Mahinmi's teammates chimed in with some helpful advice.

“Bust him!” he hollered. “Bust him!”

Promptly, Mahinmi did, corkscrewing around Thabeet to finish a layup over his opponent's long, flailing limbs.

It wasn't the first time Mahinmi had taken the draft's No. 2 overall pick to school during the Spurs' 76-75 loss to Memphis at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. In one of his best all-around games of the summer, Mahinmi finished with 15 points, much of them coming on aggressive drives at Thabeet, and grabbed nine rebounds.

“I like to compete,” Mahinmi said. “When I play against someone like that, I like to go at him and see if he can guard me.”

Thabeet couldn't. At least not consistently and at least not without fouling eight times.

The former UConn All-American created more questions than answers for the Grizzlies with his uneven summer league play.

Thabeet finished with nine points and grabbed five rebounds, numbers that were actually better than his averages coming in. He is a project, which is not something a team wants to hear about a high lottery pick.

But Sunday's game also said something about Mahinmi. In the past, the knock on Mahinmi has been an aversion to contact.

There was no such knock Sunday. Mahinmi charged Thabeet almost from the jump.

“He was certainly aggressive,” said Spurs assistant Don Newman, who coached the summer league team. “Here's this guy perceived as one of the top guys to come out, and Ian was up to the challenge. That's what you want to see.”

Mahinmi went at Thabeet and drew back-to-back fouls on the Spurs' first two possessions. Moments after that, he spun past Thabeet for a driving hook shot.

Using his explosive first step, Mahinmi went to the line eight times, making seven foul shots. His activity wasn't limited to offense, either, as Mahinmi also logged four blocked shots.

“He's pretty big, and he's got long arms,” Mahinmi said of Thabeet. “It was hard to get my shot way up there. It's good to play against those kinds of players.”

Sunday's game was supposed to feature the much-anticipated rematch between Thabeet and Spurs rookie DeJuan Blair. As an All-American at Pittsburgh last season, Blair made his name busting Thabeet.

Instead, Blair sat out the second night of a back-to-back. He left Thabeet-busting duties to Mahinmi.

Blair did give Mahinmi some advice.

“He told me to go at him and get into his chest,” Mahinmi said. “He likes to jump, so pump-fake and all that. It was good advice.”

Asked afterward how well his new Thabeet-busting protégé had taken his advice, Blair grinned like a proud papa.

“Look at the numbers,” Blair said. “Just look at the numbers.”

It was a significant achievement for Mahinmi, who had hoped to use the summer to show the Spurs he can be a useful big man in a rotation that also will include Tim Duncan, Blair, Antonio McDyess and Matt Bonner. Mahinmi missed all but one game last season dealing with a nagging ankle problem.

Mahinmi is already under contract for the upcoming season, but the Spurs must decide by Oct. 31 whether to pick up his option for another season.

He is only 22, same as Thabeet. And he appears to be more ready for prime time than Thabeet.

“We wanted him to come out this week and show us what he could do,” Newman said. “I certainly think he helped himself.”

That's all Mahinmi wanted out of nine days in Las Vegas. Closing it with a Thabeet-busting was only icing on the cake.

“I like to compete against the best, and he's one of the upcoming best,” Mahinmi said. “I told myself to be aggressive from the start, and we'll see what happens.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/s...ue_finale.html
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Old 07-20-09, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackWhore View Post
He is only 22, same as Thabeet. And he appears to be more ready for prime time than Thabeet.
All you Mahinmi haters need to wake up! The dude is only 22, and he is ready to bang!

This guy could be our starting C by the end of the year. If he is, he might be the Big guy we need to support Tony Parker when TD retires.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:01 AM
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It was nice to hear he finally had a big game.

But...if you will remember...Rasho used to have big games as well followed by several disappointing games.

Playing consistently decent in every game will be the key. If he were a starter, I wouldn't care about a 16 & 10 night against lesser teams every 4 to 5 games if he couldn't provide more than 8 & 6 consistently against better opponents because in the end... come playoffs...all you play are the better opponents.

However...again...good for him he finally had a great game.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:02 AM
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Did Ian have double digit fouls again?
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Old 07-20-09, 10:14 AM
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hmmm...new to basketball as a teen, drafted at #28 after showing some raw talent in France, played in France for a couple of years and after developing some was brought to the D-league, earned all-star status in the d-league and first team all-league honors, was expected to be in the rotation last season except for his unfortunate ankle injury, and the Spurs still see big potential in the coming camp for him and he's still only 22 years of age.
I'll give it time before I judge whether he'll make the rotation or not.
Summer league play means nothing because of how the coaches approach the games, how the games are reffed and the different levels of talent.
We'll see what happens come November.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:14 AM
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Six fouls to Thabeet's eight says many things too, especially where he got the two quick ones on him. Might just be getting to where he needs to be. If he does have some of the tools to do this kind of damage consistently, he may even be able to compete with the Howards of the league--in time. Appears to have learned a lot watching this past year.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:23 AM
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happy to hear as much. he needs to step up this year. maybe he will be 'the savior' some anointed him when he came over.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by spurs fan removed View Post
happy to hear as much. he needs to step up this year. maybe he will be 'the savior' some anointed him when he came over.
Not sure who those that annointed him were because when he came over I fully expected him to be on the Austin Toros roster for 1-2 seasons at the time the Spurs signed him to a rookie deal and so did the Spurs FO.
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Old 07-20-09, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Spurnation View Post
It was nice to hear he finally had a big game.

But...if you will remember...Rasho used to have big games as well followed by several disappointing games.

Playing consistently decent in every game will be the key. If he were a starter, I wouldn't care about a 16 & 10 night against lesser teams every 4 to 5 games if he couldn't provide more than 8 & 6 consistently against better opponents because in the end... come playoffs...all you play are the better opponents.

However...again...good for him he finally had a great game.
Yeah, nice to hear to "finally" had a good game of 15pt, 9rb, 4bl, while shooting 4-9FG and 7-8FT

glad he's turned the corner from his bad games of:
13pt, 5rb, 2bl, while shooting 3-4fg and 7-8ft and
12pt, 16rb, 2bl, while shooting 4-9fg and 4-6ft

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Old 07-20-09, 01:02 PM
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I think part of the deal with Mahinmi is that we drafted him 4 years ago! It feels like we've been waiting forever.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by choppsboy View Post
All you Mahinmi haters need to wake up! The dude is only 22, and he is ready to bang!

This guy could be our starting C by the end of the year. If he is, he might be the Big guy we need to support Tony Parker when TD retires.
Let's slow down with Ian

he needs to just get in the rotation first...
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Old 07-20-09, 02:14 PM
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Thabeet hasn't been that good against anyone.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by StNick2261 View Post
Yeah, nice to hear to "finally" had a good game of 15pt, 9rb, 4bl, while shooting 4-9FG and 7-8FT

glad he's turned the corner from his bad games of:
13pt, 5rb, 2bl, while shooting 3-4fg and 7-8ft and
12pt, 16rb, 2bl, while shooting 4-9fg and 4-6ft

Your missing the point.

He's "suppose" to have those kind of games against lesser talent maybe even better. I never said he was horrible but do think he's not consistent.

I guess you would think that if he had a 5 and 5 game against higher caliber talent he would be doing "GREAT".



As I said before. Yeah...he had a great game this last game. I stick by that. Am I wrong in that assesment? It was good to see. I am not belating the man. In fact I hope all the best for him.

What's the problem?
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Old 07-20-09, 05:57 PM
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Busting out the rolling eyes, this could get ugly.....
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Old 07-20-09, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Spurnation View Post
Your missing the point.

He's "suppose" to have those kind of games against lesser talent maybe even better. I never said he was horrible but do think he's not consistent.

I guess you would think that if he had a 5 and 5 game against higher caliber talent he would be doing "GREAT".



As I said before. Yeah...he had a great game this last game. I stick by that. Am I wrong in that assesment? It was good to see. I am not belating the man. In fact I hope all the best for him.

What's the problem?
No real problem. I just feel like he has been pretty consistent. He hasn't reached his potential and the refs have been whistle happy (not just for him). Everybody is happy about the last game, but everyone forgets about his other good games. I don't care if it's summer league (don't forget, even the superstars now once went through summer league), he grabbed 16 rebounds in an earlier game. He averaged 2 blocks per game and would have have been higher if he had actual refs and not soccer moms calling the game. I'm not saying he's amazing or anything... but I do think he's played solid... and for more than just one game. He averaged 17ppg, 8.2rpg and almost 2 blocks per game when he last got real playing time in the dleague... and each of those stats went up in the playoffs to 18.3ppg, 10.8rpg and 3.5 blocks per game.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:34 PM
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I am glad he is doing well my only concerns is how will he do against Bynum,Nene,and Howard?

For me he will be a sucess if he can just come in and understand his rotations and stay within the flow of the game and implement our offense .picks.etc. If he can produce six pts and four rebounds a game I would be very happy. But the main thing is he has to stay HEALTHY!!!
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Old 07-20-09, 06:39 PM
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Oh.... and if Mahinmi got 5 and 5 against higher caliber talent... he'd be doing better than Marcin Gortat (who a lot of people wanted us to use the MLE on) who got 3.8ppg and 4.5rpg for the regular season and 3.3ppg and 3.2rpg against the "higher caliber talent" of the playoffs.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:43 PM
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i was hoping blair would flip thabeet over his back again
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Old 07-20-09, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by StNick2261 View Post
Oh.... and if Mahinmi got 5 and 5 against higher caliber talent... he'd be doing better than Marcin Gortat (who a lot of people wanted us to use the MLE on) who got 3.8ppg and 4.5rpg for the regular season and 3.3ppg and 3.2rpg against the "higher caliber talent" of the playoffs.
in 13 minutes thats good...
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Old 07-20-09, 07:57 PM
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It's great that he finally is playingand showing his talenst but I'll wait till November to see if he'll be what we thought he could be.
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Old 07-20-09, 08:03 PM
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Not sure who those that annointed him were because when he came over I fully expected him to be on the Austin Toros roster for 1-2 seasons at the time the Spurs signed him to a rookie deal and so did the Spurs FO.
I think he has him mixed up with Lord Scola.
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Old 07-20-09, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Big-POST-Bob View Post
i was hoping blair would flip thabeet over his back again
Maybe he was teaching Ian some of his technique? You notice, Blair's response after the game?

Blair did give Mahinmi some advice.

“He told me to go at him and get into his chest,” Mahinmi said. “He likes to jump, so pump-fake and all that. It was good advice.”

Asked afterward how well his new Thabeet-busting protégé had taken his advice, Blair grinned like a proud papa.

“Look at the numbers,” Blair said. “Just look at the numbers.”
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Old 07-20-09, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by StNick2261 View Post
Oh.... and if Mahinmi got 5 and 5 against higher caliber talent... he'd be doing better than Marcin Gortat (who a lot of people wanted us to use the MLE on) who got 3.8ppg and 4.5rpg for the regular season and 3.3ppg and 3.2rpg against the "higher caliber talent" of the playoffs.
Point taken. Good point at that. I appologize for the richB eyes...but I was just giving it back...

Anyway. I understand that he has been fairly consistent in the summer league. But I temper that according to the talent Mahinmi has been playing against. Same with Blair.

What I was eluding to was that Mahinmi had a great game against a so called first round pick in Thabeet. (Talent upgraded). If he can resume and consistently play like that against premier talent during the regular season that would be awesome. And I hope he will because other than Duncan...this team does not have a true big (6' 10" or above) that can create the kind of disruption and scoring prowness a person of that size can provide.

I would hate to see the team go into the season having to rely solely on undersized post players (no matter how good they may be) while Duncan is having to rest. That type of size IS important if the player of that size can compete consistently.

That's all.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:34 PM
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Let's look at what wikipedia says:

"Mahinmi was selected 28th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, which surprised many other teams and league officials because he wasn't among the 128 players listed in the league's draft guide. Mahinmi was considered a "project" that would be a couple of years from competing in the NBA. The Spurs' interest in Mahinmi relates to their need for an athletic big man since David Robinson retired. Playing for the Spurs' 2006 summer-league team at Rocky Mountain Revue, Mahinmi demonstrated his athleticism, but had difficulty maintaining rebounding or post position without fouling. After Mahinmi moved to Pau Orthez, which had a more developed strength and nutrition program than the one at Le Havre, the Spurs also began to send a strength coach to monitor his progress.
During the 2007 Summer League, Mahinmi tore his right pectoralis minor shortly after the start of play. Despite this setback, he was signed by the Spurs on August 23, 2007. Mahinmi played for the Austin Toros, the Spurs' affiliate in the NBA Development League, by November. Mahinmi averaged 17.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in the NBA Development League, leading the Austin Toros to the D-League Finals in which they lost. On October 30, 2007, Mahinmi made his NBA debut with the Spurs against the Portland Trail Blazers, playing only 74 seconds and registering no statistics."

I think he's still a project. He's still only 22. I dunno if he's learned how to stop fouling so much yet, since the refs have been pretty bad. He does appear to have gotten stronger, and once he believes in his ankle again I think he can help. As others have posted, if he gets us 5 pts and 5 rebs that'd be awesome!! We've had starting centers average less than that (Oberto), LoL!!!
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Old 07-21-09, 02:14 AM
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we'll probably see him 8-10 minutes a game this season with Dice and Bonner sharing the rest of the load
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Old 07-21-09, 03:11 AM
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“I like to compete against the best, and he's one of the upcoming best,” Mahinmi said. “I told myself to be aggressive from the start, and we'll see what happens."

i like how Ian is thinking, but Thabeet is nowhere near one of the upcoming best - dude looks like a major bust waiting to happen! i do hope Ian gets the chance to actually play against the best bigs in the NBA (or i guess the 2nd units of big men), and get minutes over Bonner.
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