Thunder Insider: Pros, cons of starting Serge Ibaka

Thunder Insider: The pros and cons of starting Serge Ibaka over Nenad Krstic.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 31, 2010
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though Krstic is the superior position and team defender, Ibaka is better at providing weak side help and resistance at the rim. Ibaka's length and athleticism could change the face of games, much like when his inspired play at times staggered the Lakers.

Moving Krstic to the bench might also boost a second unit that sometimes struggled for scoring sources.

On the other hand, Brooks must be ready to risk altering the team chemistry that made the Thunder click so well.

Much of the team's success this season can be attributed to continuity that was missing a year ago. Oklahoma City played just 17 games with its staring unit of Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Krstic in 2008-09. This season, that number ballooned to 76. And, largely because of that, it's not a given that Krstic will have the same value as a reserve that he's had in the first unit. It's far from guaranteed that Krstic and Eric Maynor will mesh as much as Krstic and Westbrook on high pick-and-pop and side pick-and-roll plays. Would Krstic be able to get the same quality shots with the second unit?

Starting Ibaka also eliminates one of the Thunder's two main sources of energy off the bench, veteran Nick Collison being the other supplier.

What will Brooks do?

The suspense remains — even after Krstic politely removed the stickiness from the situation.


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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