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Ian Mahinmi to miss the beginning of playoffs with calf injury

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NBA: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards have avoided the injury bug for the majority of the season, except for Ian Mahinmi, who was sidelined for most of the first half of the regular season. Now it appears he’ll miss the beginning of the postseason as well.

The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner reported that Mahinmi will miss the start of the playoffs with a strained left calf and will be evaluated again in 7-10 days.

The postseason schedule hasn’t been released, however if Mahinmi does miss 7-10 days as expected, he’ll likely be out for the first three, and possibly four games of Washington’s first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.

Mahinmi suffered the injury on Monday night against the Pistons. He challenged a shot by Ish Smith and landed awkwardly on Smith’s foot.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Washington as they prepare to face Dwight Howard and the rest of Atlanta’s talented frontline in the playoffs. With Mahinmi’s injury, Marcin Gortat will be counted on even more to slow down Howard.

In addition to Gortat, Jason Smith will have to step up as he’ll likely slide over to the backup center position. This move could potentially benefit Washington as Smith can be used as more of a “stretch-5” to pull his defender away from the basket. However, it also means the Wizards will have to slide Bojan Bogdanovic to the four more often, and use Markieff Morris as a smallball center as well.