The Oklahoma City Thunder ruled out Serge Ibaka for the remainder of the postseason due to a calf injury. However, Serge Ibaka cannot acknowledge the fact that he will not be able to play for his team for the rest of the 2014 NBA playoffs, as he is thinking of starting some motionless shooting later this week.
According to Yahoo Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski:
‘’ Far from the beginnings of these Western Conference finals, far from these unfortified Oklahoma City Thunder, Serge Ibaka is defiant and determined for the world to witness his Willis Reed moment. Ibaka, so proud, so professional, is respectively raging against his injury diagnosis ‘’
‘’Ibaka is back in Oklahoma City for games 1 and 2 – ruled out of the playoffs with a lower leg injury – but his willingness to play with pain, his loyalty to the championship cause, has him thinking about starting some stationary shooting late this week, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Monday ‘’
Ibaka’s absence in game 1 versus the Spurs was conspicuous on the court. The Spurs scored 66 points in the paint, and Tim Duncan added 27 points, grabbing 7 rebounds in 29 minutes only.
Scott Brooks did not make any excuses justifying the causes of his team loss. He was asked several times about Serge Ibaka and whether if he might be available for the finals or lately in Western Conference finals. Brooks stated that he would not return in this postseason. Although, the team best rim protector thinks that he can make it to the NBA finals.
I doubt that the Thunder would make it to the finals without Ibaka. Playing without Ibaka is a huge task for the Thunder, and increases the amount of pressure on Durant and Westbrook. He is the third scoring option in the team, and probably the most significant defender on the team. The Thunder needs to discover solutions that will fix the respective issue. We watched how the Thunder struggled protecting the paint, and not even a single player had the ability to guard Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan. Scott Brooks tried most likely all the possible lineups that would make his team capable of winning and increase the stability of it. The Thunder made a comeback in the third quarter leading the Spurs by 4 points (31 points per 100 possessions). Then, the Spurs still came back to the game and won the game by 17 points. Nevertheless, if the Spurs manage to win game 2, then I doubt that the Thunder will be able to represent the West in the NBA finals.