- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017

Washington coach Scott Brooks said that backup center Ian Mahinmi has been upgraded to a “game-time decision” tonight for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Wizards and Boston Celtics.

Brooks had said Wednesday that Mahinmi was “likely” out. After Mahinmi had a good workout Wednesday and another good one Thursday afternoon, Washington will see if he can take the next step pregame and get onto the court for the first time since April 10.

“Before I talked to the media [Wednesday], I didn’t hear about his workouts,” Brooks said. “The last for our five days, it’s been day-to-day decisions. When you have a calf injury, it is day-to-day. You just have to keep monitoring and keep giving a little bit of an increased workload. He’s been able to do that. Give him credit, he’s wanted to get out there the last couple of games, but we’ve had to be cautious on that.”

Mahinmi would be rusty, if he plays. This is yet another long layoff for the big man who appeared in just 31 games this season because of knee injuries. Mahinmi injured his left calf in the Wizards’ second-to-last game of the regular season, just when he had found a rhythm with the second unit, and, at times, the starters. If he plays, it won’t be a lot of minutes.

Washington is hoping for that change. Boston is making one.

The Celtics have re-inserted Gerald Green into the starting lineup. They tried Green in the first game, but fell behind 16-0. They tried Amir Johnson in the second game, and Washington scored 42 points in the first quarter. Johnson played just five minutes in Game 2 despite starting.

Green was inserted into the Celtics’ starting lineup in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls. He allows them to space the floor and scramble and recover on defense.

“In the last four games of the Chicago series, the way we started the games, with the exception of the game at home, was good,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “Obviously, we didn’t start either of the last two games well. But, probably the most important thing was as I looked at it, I wanted to keep our bench intact. We’ve been good all year with the Amir-Al [Horford] combination, but I think one of the things we do when we play our best is we spread people out and be able to play with space and shooting.”

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