Over the last two years Ibaka was bashed a little bit to much for me for all what he is not or was not. Of course his rebounding was a little but disappointing for a strong guy like him working under the rim, his ballhandling is weak, his passing game non existent and his back to the basket game solid at best. Despite his stellar blocking numbers, it was always said that he isn't a really good one on one defender.
Last year he became a bigger part on the offensive end and showed that he is one of the best pick and pop big men in the game but somehow I still felt he was like not really part of the offensive rotation and only got buckets when everything else didn't work out offensively.
This year he averages more than 10 rpg and with Perk even decreasing offensively I think you have to take a look from a different angle. He finally has earned his spot as a cornerstone of this team and he even got the last shot against the Warriors (which he missed).
Westbrooks return for sure was the ignition for the Thunder and they are playing very well right now. People seem to forget how far Ibaka has come till today imo. He is extremely efficient shooting the ball from midrange even out to the three point line, his rebounding has increased this year and alongside two of the most ball dominant players in the game today, he still averages a strong double double along with very efficient shooting, very good free throw percentages and while beeing the defensive anchor of one of the leagues best teams.
Before the season started there were a couple of threads asking who is the most overrated player and if I'm not mistaken, Ibaka was named most overrated by most of the posters here. To some degree I felt he was overrated but this year I think he really deserves some credit for his performance so far.
I was thinking about this the other day too, he's polarizing because people want him to be one of the top power forwards in the game since the Thunder picked him over Harden. But really there's Love, Davis, Aldridge, Griffin and then Ibaka at the top of the second tier (or third tier).
Zach Randolph is better than him. David West is better than him. Dirk is waaaay better than him. Depending on if you consider them PF's, Bosh and Horford are better than him. Let's just be real here. I loved Serge coming into that draft. Thought he had Hakeem potential but he doesn't he has seemingly reached his ceiling and the Thunder made a monumental mistake is signing him over James. I'm sure the package they could have gotten for Serge would have been very respectable and their insistance on keeping Kendrick has hamstrung that franchise.
After Harden was traded, they needed Serge to step up as a third scoring option and he just does not have the capability. Yes he is a nice defensive piece, no doubt about it but he is a top 7-10 PF and while that's great for the amount of money he makes, it is not good enough considering the trade off from a rather having a top 3 SG.
David West never gets any love.. the guy is one of the strongest most consistent threats from the post (regardless of defender) out there.. I'm not saying he's better than Love or Aldridge but he deserves more respect, especially after his performance in the playoffs last year..
David West is DEFINITELY underrated.
He's destroying Blake Griffin right now.
I'm not a huge fan of his game. Kd might have had a bad influence on his game. He has has no post game to speak off.On the offensive end he positions himself like Sf, and has become a stretch 4 that only takes mid to long range jump shots. The guy has good size, length and strength, but still gets dominated by the good and elite pf's in the game.
I feel like he is playing well so far this year... he is rebounding better, shows improved one on one defense, and has consistently made huge defensive plays. I would really like for the Thunder to give him more touches in the post... his overall offensive game has been hindered by Durant and Westbrook. I think he still has room to grow and should continue to improve on the offensive end.
The Thunder don't need Ibaka to be a post threat. Durant and Westbrook are both better post threats than Ibaka likely will ever be and the Thunder don't lack for shot creation, with Westbrook, Durant, and, to a lesser extent, Reggie Jackson all starring as individual scorers. Ibaka's offensive game is very efficient and complements his teammates well. He could become better at attacking the rim, given his elite athleticism, but I think at this stage in his career we aren't going to see any dramatic changes in how the Thunder use him offensively.
Yeah, that says a lot whven the power forward of the team post game is and will never be good as the pg and sf of the team. Ibaka game is perfect for a mostly prematier oriented jump shooting team.