On Sunday afternoon, the Spurs’ Tony Parker told San Antonio reporters that he couldn’t believe Serge Ibaka was out. Wouldn’t believe it.
“I’ll believe it when I see tomorrow he is not on the court,” Parker said.
But despite the paranoia, the Spurs have nothing to worry about. Ibaka didn’t even travel to San Antonio with the Thunder. Still getting around on a medical scooter, Ibaka remained in Oklahoma City for treatment.
But according to teammate Reggie Jackson, he remains in high spirits.
“Serge is Serge,” Jackson said. “Saying ‘Hi’ to everybody, going to work. Still looking buff, still lifting. He knows he’s part of the team. Very valuable for us, on the court and off. I’m sure he’ll be sending out texts, telling us what he sees.”
LEONARD GETS ANOTHER CRACK AT KD
The last time Kawhi Leonard saw Kevin Durant in a playoff series, the Spurs’ emerging forward was only a rookie.
He had a couple nice performances — including a 17-point, 10-rebound Game 2 — but overall, Durant easily got the better of him.
"It is what it is. It's experience,” Tim Duncan said of Leonard. “You have to go through it to get better, and he's been through it. He's seen these guys. He's been in situations.”
And now, the Spurs hope, he’s ready for another crack at Durant.
Following his strong performance in the NBA Finals last season, playing LeBron James to a near standstill, Leonard had a strong regular season and an even more impactful start to this playoff run.
Against the Blazers last round, Leonard averaged 17 points and nearly eight rebounds, shooting 56 percent overall and 53 percent from 3-point range. In the closeout game, he was the star, compiling 22 points, seven rebounds and five steals.