Oklahoma City Thunder: Silver lining in Serge Ibaka’s poor game
I don’t know if the Thunder is going to be able to stop the Spurs. Certainly doesn’t seem so if the last five quarters are any indication. San Antonio has scored 39, 28, 27, 37 and 28 points. The Spurs have made 59 of 98 shots, 60.2 percent, over those 60 minutes.
To win a game, much less the series, the Thunder is going to have to stay up with the Spurs. And that means you, Serge Ibaka. Don’t look now, but Ibaka played awful offensively in Game 2 Tuesday night. He was 3-of-11 from the field. Worse, he was weak with the ball. Serge got the ball under the basket several times and failed to get it through the hoop. He’d lose it going up or he’d bounce it off the rim or he’d fumble it into Spur hands.
I know the Spurs are tough. I know Tim Duncan is a Hall of Famer, and Tiago Splitter is a big ol’ Brazilian, and Boris Diaw is solid, and Stephen Jackson is a street fighter. But still. They’re not Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol. Ibaka is strong and can jump through the roof. Stick the ball in the hoop.
If you had never seen the Thunder play before Game 2, you’d come away thinking Ibaka was no more effective offensively than Kendrick Perkins, who we know is offensively-challenged. Perk was no better in the paint Tuesday night — 1-of-5 — but nobody pretends than Gran Torino should score.
It’s different for Ibaka. He should be helping out Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden in the scoring total. He should be good for eight, 10, 12 points on the six or seven shots he gets. Give Ibaka 11 shots, and he should be in the 15-16 points range. Instead, Ibaka scored six.
The good news, of course, is that the foolish franchises around the NBA, of which there are many, will look at this game and be hesitant to throw a huge contract at him. Ibaka becomes a restricted free agent in summer 2013 and an unrestricted free agent in summer 2014. The Thunder can sign him to a contract extension this summer and would like to. But the Thunder can’t pay Ibaka $15 million a year or something outrageous.
VIDEOS FROM NBA TV
Buy Tickets View all
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 21543Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10852Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8707Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8666Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8648Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7837Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7718Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 7246UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
- 6857Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 5852Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients