“It’s going to be a great experience and great challenge for me being able to play against him,” Mahinmi said.
It will also be a new experience for Mahinmi, who has emerged as a solid backup big man this season, averaging 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. Mahinmi has practiced against Duncan plenty of times, but he’s played precious few minutes that mattered against the Spurs legend.
According to NBA.com’s advanced stats, Mahinmi and Duncan have been on the floor at the same time for only 12 minutes in Mavs-Spurs meetings the last season and a half.
Mahinmi has fond memories of his time as Duncan’s teammate, describing Duncan as a star who found time to “take care” of the young players. Duncan never asked for too much in return.
“But he does like a certain type of doughnuts,” Mahinmi said, “so on every game day, I had to go and get it.”
Don’t expect Mahinmi to bring any doughnuts to the American Airlines Center on Saturday night.
“Oh, hell no,” Mahinmi said, laughing. He has something else planned for Duncan. “I’ll bring a lot of energy, so be ready for that.”