Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Serge Ibaka in good spirits, but won't travel to San Antonio

Still getting around on a medical scooter, Serge Ibaka remained in Oklahoma City for treatment.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 18, 2014

“He’s growing month-by-month,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Actually, week-by-week … He takes pride in his defense. He rebounds. Offensively, he's taking pretty good shots, he's becoming more confident in making plays. Not worrying about the results, or what the consequence might be, just playing the game aggressively. He's been pretty special for us."

And the Thunder has taken notice. When asked what he liked about Leonard’s game, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks was extremely complimentary.

“It’s probably better to be put what I don’t like about his game,” Brooks said. “Nothing. He has an all-around game. He’s definitely an All-Star in the making, probably quickly. Does it all. A defender, playmaker, outside shooter, gets into the paint.”

“If I had to pick one thing I like about him most — just his demeanor,” Brooks continued. “He plays the game the way it should be played — hard. He’s not trying to show anybody up, just plays hard, a big play, that’s what he’s supposed to do mentality. I appreciate that from a distance.”

THABEET TIME?

In the absence of Ibaka, plenty of rotational options are available for Brooks.

And that includes sporadically used Hasheem Thabeet, although the likelihood remains low, unless foul trouble forces Brooks’ hand.

“He’s strictly a five man and we lost a four,” Brooks said. “But he has to be ready. Foul trouble. His minutes in Game 1 against Memphis, Perk and Steven got two quick fouls and he played a few minutes.”

QUOTABLE

Durant on the first two rounds: “We played two great ballclubs that were well-coached, both teams. We lost some sleep at night preparing for these guys. And it was an emotional rollercoaster sometimes. But that’s what the playoffs is about. Every series prepares you for the next one.”


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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