Ian Mahinmi steps up as Brendan Haywood recovers

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
3:33
PM CT
Ian Mahinmi repeated the same phrase over and over after the Mavs' win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night: It's all about trust.

The backup center is earning it while Brendan Haywood continues to see fewer minutes as he recovers from a knee injury.

"Between me, [Haywood], and Brandan Wright, we have that trust that if something happens to one of us, one of us is going to have their back," Mahinmi said. "We have a great relationship and that trust has been good to us."

After the Mavs were embarrassed on the glass in the 94-75 loss to the Clippers on Monday night, head coach Rick Carlisle called out his team for not attacking the boards.

Mahinmi answered the call. He was active all night, out-hustling Memphis' bigs to snatch up a season-high 10 rebounds -- including four on the offensive glass -- in 24 minutes.

"I just wanted to come out with a lot of energy," Mahinmi said. "I can be that type of guy that brings energy and helps my teammates feed off of that."

He also helped shut down Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The two combined to go 5-of-19 for just 14 points, and Dallas outscored Memphis 44-36 in the paint, something not a lot of teams have been able to do this season.

Mahinmi wasn't brilliant on the offensive side of the ball (2-of-5, four points), but the Mavs don't rely on Haywood for a lot of points either. If Mahinmi can stay active, expect Carlisle to put more trust in the young center to give Haywood quality time on the bench to rest those knees for a possible playoff run.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 2.7 0.9 32.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.8
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2