OKC Thunder: Is Serge Ibaka's best enough to earn All-Star honors?

Despite power forward's obvious improvements, he still might be on the outside looking in
by Anthony Slater Published: January 19, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends againsts Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins (15) during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Sacramento Kings at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.  Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends againsts Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins (15) during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Sacramento Kings at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

By almost every metric, Serge Ibaka is having his best season as a pro.

Already well-known as the defensive anchor for one of the league's best teams, Ibaka has upped his averages to a career-high 14.9 points and 9.1 rebounds, becoming an increasingly more productive offensive force.

He has the look of an All-Star, with the numbers to back it up. But will the 24-year-old finally receive his first bid to the league's showcase game?

“He's certainly in the discussion,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

Problem is, it's a convoluted conversation. And despite his clear development, Ibaka likely remains on the outside looking in.

Considering all the point guard injuries this season, the power forward might be the NBA's most stacked position. And that's particularly true in the Western Conference.

With the league now grouping all frontcourt players together on the ballot, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin currently hold the three starting spots.

Then, beyond that, there are likely only two to four more reserve slots left for power forwards.

Kevin Love (averaging 25.1 points, 13.0 rebounds) and LaMarcus Aldridge (averaging 24.1 points, 11.3 rebounds) are locks. And both Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki, who are having solid seasons, will garner some legacy votes.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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