Oklahoma City Thunder preview: Pondering Serge Ibaka's upside

SERGE IBAKA — He led the league in blocks at age 21. What will the Oklahoma City Thunder power forward do when he learns how to play defense?
By JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: December 18, 2011

Ibaka still leans heavily on French-speaking teammate Thabo Sefolosha to keep the learning process in motion.

"I talk to him about a lot of things, positioning on the floor, what his role is also," Sefolosha said. "Sometimes he wants to do too much. He's just a great player, a great asset to the team."

Ibaka admitted to being anxious when he became a full-time starter, but felt he calmed down soon after that.

"The first two or three games, I was nervous," Ibaka said in broken English. "Not that it's a bad thing, but just because I wanted to do everything well, you know. Then after two or three games, I was fine. Now I have my confidence."

No longer is Ibaka relying solely on instincts. "After playing in Europe, I feel like right now I'm studying the game," Ibaka said. "I've learned how to be patient."

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