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Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka injury leaves a gap

The Thunder enters a brave new world Monday night against the Spurs. No Serge Ibaka
by Berry Tramel Published: May 19, 2014

Green was referring to Ibaka’s memorable 11-for-11 Game 3 in the 2012 West finals. Ibaka’s offense against San Antonio was not always at such levels. In fact, take that solitary game away, and Ibaka is shooting just 48.4 percent against the Spurs the last three years.

His offense will be missed. But that defense is irreplaceable.

“Everything at the rim for us isn't available that it usually is because of his presence,” said Spurs backup point guard Patty Mills. “Getting in the paint and finding shooters is going to be another key.”

Mills continued to talk about Ibaka, saying the problems Ibaka caused were “his length and ability to block shots and get rebounds. On the offensive end, he could step out and knock down the jumper as well, which really caused some problems.”

Mills said the Thunder isn’t destitute. “There's guys that can step up,” Mills said. “Collison hit a big three the other night, and he can definitely fill in that role and be the aggressor. He can knock bodies around and grab rebounds and knock down that jumper as well. I don't think there's going to be a big gap missing.”

Sorry, the testimony is in. There is a big gap missing. And it’s when the Spurs go to the rim.

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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