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Oklahoma City Thunder: Roundtable discussion about Serge Ibaka

by Berry Tramel and Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: June 19, 2014

Tramel: Defensive Player of the Year. I think he’s got an excellent chance to win it. His value was revealed in the Spurs series, when he missed the first two games Lots of people recognized the void. As for the All-Star Game, just too many good players in the West to be optimistic that Ibaka will be included.

What one thing would you like to see Ibaka do more or better next season?

Mayberry: A back-to-the-basket game still seems like it’s asking too much. And that might never be Ibaka’s game. So I’ll say do more off the dribble. We’ve seen flashes of a show-and-go move from Ibaka. But outside of a two-dribble drive while cupping the basketball, Ibaka has yet to prove he can consistently generate his own scoring opportunities. It’s not the worst thing given the other weapons on this team. But it would only benefit Ibaka and the Thunder, especially in halfcourt sets, for him to have a go-to move and perhaps a counter to that.

Slater: Any semblance of a post game would be nice. The past couple seasons, there were a few times when opposing teams were able to downsize and throw a much smaller guy on Ibaka. James Harden guarded him for brief stretches. Paul Pierce guarded him for most of a game. He’ll never be a ‘dump it down on the block 10 times a game’ guy. And the Thunder don’t need him to be. But Ibaka’s gotta be able to take more advantage of those mismatches just to dissuade teams from using them.

Tramel: Well, his back-to-the-basket moves have been an eternal concern, so who knows if that eve will develop. But I love Ibaka’s new-found drives. Putting the ball on the floor and going to the basket really made Ibaka a more potent offensive weapon, so I’d love to see more of that.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as'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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