Welcome to the Weekly NBA Fix for Sunday, Aug. 31, a day when Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird may be rethinking his commitment to international competition.
After losing All-Star Paul George for the entire 2014-15 to a gruesome leg injury during a Team USA scrimmage last month, the Pacers will be without backup center Ian Mahinmi for most of training camp and, likely, the start of the regular season.
Mahinmi hurt his shoulder while preparing to play for France in the FIBA World Cup, which begins Saturday in Spain.
Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports verified the report on Mahinmi.
“Yes, [the news is true],” Mahinmi wrote in an email to Agness. “I will be back in Indy sometime this week for (further) exam on my shoulder.”
Mahinmi was injured during a practice for Team France on Thursday while the team was in Brazil. He felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder. An MRI revealed a dislocated shoulder.
Mahinmi injured the shoulder in April in the Pacers’ next-to-last regular season game and wore a support throughout the playoffs.
Mahinmi averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game for Indiana last season, shooting .481/0-for-1/.621.
In the playoffs, he averaged 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 12.7 minutes over 19 games for the Pacers, who lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season. He shot .481/—/.611 in the postseason.
Mahinmi was a first-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and signed with the Spurs for the 2007-08 season. He later played two seasons for the Dallas Mavericks before he was traded to the Pacers in July 2012 for guard Darren Collison and swingman Dahntay Jones.
He is under contract with the Pacers through the 2015-16 season.
Here’s a division-by-division look at what’s making news around the association: