SH Blog: Ibaka shows why Thunder valued him at $48 million

In this past seasons NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, for whatever reason, there were times where Ibaka seemed hesitant to take open shots despite being the recipient of opportunities created within the flow of the offense.

But when Ibaka missed his first three outside jumpers last night, he did what quality shooters do: He kept shooting. Following his 0-3 start, Ibaka converted 4-of-7 outside opportunities, including a rare, contested 3-pointer from the right corner.

At the 9:12 mark in the 4th quarter (1:30 in the video above) Ibaka made an excellent read, which helps to illustrate how far he has come as a player since he arrived in the states in 2008. After receiving a pass from Eric Maynor and realizing that Taj Gibson was waiting to challenge his jump shot – as a result of knocking them down in the first half – Ibaka used a quick pump-fake to take Gibson off his feet, at which time Ibaka took a dribble towards the hoop and finished an uncontested dunk, as a result of Carlos Boozer being out of position.

Ibaka also did his usual dirty work around the rim on both ends; he finished with 4 offensive rebounds and 4 blocks. His defensive presence around the rim will never be questioned and as his positioning, awareness and communication skills catch up to his ability to swat shots, Ibaka’s defensive presence will only become more impressive.

It’s easy to fall in love with a player as talented and quirky as James Harden and his beard were; he embodied the Thunder tradition and what they were all about… But when you have a 23-year old Congolese native who speaks five (yes, five) languages, who has proven that he’s clearly a quick learner, who is still beginning to scratch the surface of his limitless potential as a forward in the NBA, it should help to ease the pain for Thunder management and fans, alike.

Some news and nuggets from around the league:

  • A few tweets regarding the somewhat high profile Lakers coaching situation:


Bottom line: Kupchak & ownership weren’t fully confident Brown would turn things around 3 months down the road. Made a decision now.
@LakersReporter
Mike Trudell


Lots of talk about Princeton Offense: it’s far too simple. They ran a lot of stuff, some Princeton sets. Overall game wasn’t good enough.
@LakersReporter
Mike Trudell


Lakers fired Paul Westhead after 11 games in 1981-82 … won title that season with Pat Riley as a rookie coach.
@RoyceWebb
Royce Webb, ESPN NBA


Brian Shaw , mike dantoni , mike Fratello or jerry Sloan should b considered as lakers coach. And of course the the great Phil jackson
@SHAQ
SHAQ

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Comments

  1. hans says

    I loved sam presti’s decision to take ibaka over harden. With ibaka the thunder has 6 players on court. Ibaka equals two players off and def players.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Jeremy Bauman of Sheridan Hoops on Serge Ibaka: “It’s easy to fall in love with a player as talented and quirky as James Harden and his beard were; he embodied the Thunder tradition and what they were all about… But when you have a 23-year old Congolese native who speaks five (yes, five) languages, who has proven that he’s clearly a quick learner, who is still beginning to scratch the surface of his limitless potential as a forward in the NBA, it should help to ease the pain for Thunder management and fans, alike.” [...]

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