Even though they could use his help, the Wizards don’t plan to rush Ian Mahinmi back on the court, writes Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. The 6’11” center is a month removed from surgery to repair a partially torn medial meniscus in his left knee. His recovery time was set at six weeks, and coach Scott Brooks said his return will depend on how the knee responds. Mahinmi was jumping and rebounding today without a brace at today’s practice. “Once you’re able to get on the practice court with the group, it’s going to take some time to gain condition,” Brooks said. “He’s still some time away. Like I said, I hate to put a timetable on it, but I know he’s going to do his job to get back as soon as he can, but we’re not going to push him. We want to make sure he’s fit to play for the remainder of the season.” Washington signed Mahinmi to a four-year $64MM deal over the offseason.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- If Brooks is as unhappy with the team’s 1-5 start as Bradley Beal suggested this weekend, it may result in opportunities for younger players, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Rookies Sheldon McClellan, Danuel House and Daniel Ochefu could see increased minutes if the team doesn’t improve soon.
- As Dwyane Wade prepares for his return to Miami on Thursday, he tells Nick Friedell of ESPN.com that he still pays attention to his former team. “I definitely watch when I get an opportunity to watch them play,” Wade said. “One, because it’s a lot of my young guys over there. I want to see them succeed. I want to see Tyler [Johnson] and Justise [Winslow] and all those guys take that next step. I want to see how Hassan [Whiteside] is going to respond to everyone saying this and that about him since he got paid. So I watch that as someone who knows them, then I watch the game as a fan and I watch it as a competitor. I watch it so many different ways.”
- Wade also likes the moves the Magic made over the offseason, writes John Denton of NBA.com. Orlando overhauled its roster by adding nine new players, including a trade for Serge Ibaka and the free agent signing of Bismack Biyombo. “I thought they did a great job in Orlando of putting together a competitive team,’’ Wade said. “They did it a little different – like a throwback – where they went and got two bigs. Most people are trying to get smaller, but they went and got two bigs and that’s a throwback. But their bigs spread the floor and shoot the jump shot.”