Everyone has been talking about how because of the loss of James Harden, Kevin Martin has to step up in the playoffs. James Harden was an amazing player during the first 3 rounds of the playoffs last year, and Kevin Martin has rarely been in the playoffs in his career (I may be wrong, but I think he only went to the playoffs once...). I'm wondering instead of putting all of this pressure on Kevin Martin, they should put some more pressure on their real 3rd option: Serge Ibaka. He is scoring very efficiently, and has upped his ppg by almost 4 ppg this season. If he had more touches, he might be able to average around 16 a game in the playoffs, which would be around what James Harden did, I believe. Also, he needs to be a little bit better of a rebounder with his athleticism and length, he should be getting around 9 a game imo. Do you guys think that this is more logical than putting all of this pressure on inexperienced Martin, since Serge was in the Finals last year just like the majority of the Thunder crew...?
Also, why is Serge not getting any love for Defensive Player of the Year? He is the Defensive Anchor for that Thunder team, who is 1st in the West, and is leading the league in blocked shots and bpg (3.05). Granted, he isn't blocking at the amazing rate he did last year (3.7 bpg in 66 games), but I feel that the runner-up last year should have some recognition for this award
I like Serge, I think he brings a lot to the table for OKC, but imo he is a bit overrated as a defender. He's a great shot blocker, but struggles in man to man post defense. Also, the guy barely averages 8 rebounds per game. A guy with his talent level should easily be getting 10rpg. I think because he takes so many chances defensively he is sometimes out of position to get a rebound. He will no doubt continue to get better I believe, but as of right now he should not win defensive player of the year over guys like Joakim, Duncan, Gasol, or even LeBron
Hit the nail on the head.
He's a very talented weakside defender but struggles when getting posted-up and also struggles when guys like Nowtzki, Gasol, Bosh, and Randolph take him out to the perimeter or mid-range. He's not a good on-ball defender and is a terrible rebounder for someone with his skills.
7.8 RPG for a guy that plays 31 minutes and is supposed to be a defensive/rebounding juggernaut is ridiculously low. He has the potential to average 10-12 rebounds a game.
He's a good player, don't get me wrong but his defensive prowess is overrated.
I think Ibaka's rebounding may suffer from his constant effort as a shot blocker and the solid team rebounding of the Thunder. The Thunder are an excellent rebounding team, so I would hesitate to blame Ibaka too much for inadequate rebounding. That said, I do believe he isn't the overall defender some other guys around the league are.
Edit: I see that Benchwarmer basically made the same point I was making, so this post was a little redundant, but still I don't think Ibaka is necessarily as mediocre a rebounder as his numbers make him seem.
We just have to see the stats a see that other guys are rebounding more, and then look at the game and we will see that most of the times, Ibaka blocks out for Durant's defensive rebounds.
He is almost a better offensive rebounder than defensive, and the reason is the one I gave you (I think), when it comes to offense, he just have to do his thing.
i always wish serge to be the next Karl Malone, He has the speed and the strength and a little mid range,
do you think if he is the Main man in a team he would average at least 20+pts a game?
Yeh he could but if a team has Serge Ibaka as their number one option they would be in some serious serious trouble
Couple of side notes:
hes shooting 57% from the floor and has been reliable spacing the floor. 35% from three with 20 made 3's.
Thunder are 6th in the league in rebounds. They don't have extraordinary rebounders but have very good rebounders at most positions. So adding onto what asap said he does get out of rebounding postion but this results in altered shots causing misses which the thunder then get. But he should be getting more boards regardless, hes athletic, aggressive and has good timing.
Love his progression. Pretty unique player.
I know I'll be in the minority here, but I actulally don't like how Ibaka's offensive game is progressing at all.
Instead of developing any post moves or face-up moves he's simply increasing his range.
I don't want my big man to shoot threes, I think it just takes him away from the paint limiting his chance of getting offensive rebounds.
And what OKC needs is an inside scorer, not a shooter.
Thank anyone for bringing this topic up. I always think basically the same way as you guys but I really feel this team as to make adjustments to maximise the way Ibaka can fill needs for them. To be honest I was really upset when they offered Ibaka the contract he received cause it was instant problems for the Thunder and Harden needed to be moved which broke my heart.
But Ibaka came a very long way up to where he is now. An underrated shooter, a fantastic help defender and a very good teammate. But I have to say I really tend to call him out of position on defense cause he should be what Dwight was for the Magic. Teams try to pull him out to the perimeter and this is the reason why his rebound rates are so shocking low and I really don't like him how he defends opponents facing the basket. Dirk tought Ibaka a lesson a few years back and Nick Collison did way better against him.
The problem with Serge is, that he is basically a black hole on offense and doesn't contribute assists at all which is a major weakness to me. It doesn't help that Brooks isn't running any plays at all in the post but end the end Ibaka is a very poor ball handler and has very low passing skills.
Imagine that Faried was picked up two spots before the Thunder picked up Jackson! This could have meant switching Ibaka to the 5 and having a derwish like Kenneth attacking the boards and running the pick and rolls. Bring in Perk if the matchup is better and having Ibaka as a stretch 4 on offense (shooting .351 from 3 this year which is a fantastic progress).
The Thunder really need a solution at the center spot next year or another PF to adress a better use of Serge imo.
Even if I think Ibake has prototypical size and lenghth for a PF with Perk on the team he is still not used very well. At times last year he was complaining on offense because he no touches when the KD, Russ and Harden were jacking up shots. I'm glad now they kept him for very good money and he has his shots on offense.
Finally he needs to get a way better Ball handler, 2 postmoves and really really needs to throw at least 1 or 2 assists out of the post (averaging 0.5 assists per game) which is unacceptable to me.
If he doesn't learn this the Thunder need another athletic center and I still hoping the Thunder go after Len or even better Adams. I'm still very high on Adams even if it's pretty clear that he is coming out to early. He will turn some heads in the combine and workouts and I personally believe a traditional center like him could be a way better fit than Perk at this stage in his career.
Still happy to see Serge beeing the player he is right now and there aren't many players I would rather have on the team and he is getting better quickly having a ton of upside left.
3rd to me in dpoy after Duncan and Noah to me (sorry Marc Gasol)
Kevin Martin is the #3 option, and will stay as such because he's miles ahead of Ibaka offensively. He's averaged in the mid twenties 3 times in his career. Yes, they weren't on the best teams, but he was doing it remarkably efficiently. This guy can flat out score.
And I see the point that Ibaka needs to have his role expanded for the future, but OKC is trying to win now and 10 shots a game for him is what he can handle. He doesn't have good handles, he can't really pass out of double teams and he can't really create for himself in the post. He's a great spot up shooter, but that's only going to give him so many points.
Also, am I the only one that's hoping for OKC to take Olynik? He can shoot to open the floor for KD and WB, but score down low as good as any guy coming out of college in years. He's not a great rebounder, but isn't any worse the Perkins, and will have problems guarding athletes, they can lean on Ibaka for that. And he be ready to contribute from day 1, unlike a guy like Adams who could take years.
I still think that Mitch McGary would be the perfect fit for OKC
A realistic comparison for McGary imo is Nick Collison, who the thunder already have, Mitch could learn well from him, and become a reliable high bb iq/hustle bench big man... but with Collison contracted for another 2 years, I'm not sure OKC are looking at filling that need in this years draft.