“Ibaka is the heart and soul of OKC’s interior defense, and his recent injury has emphasized Serge’s value to the team,” Mustaf wrote on SportsBlogs.
“Not only does his almost three blocks per game and mobility slow down Tim Duncan, but he negates the penetration from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli who seem to attack the basket like bees on honey,” Mustaf said, referring to the OKC-San Antonio playoff series.
Mustaf also notes that when General Manager Sam Presti made the tough decision two years ago to resign Ibaka over a long-term deal for Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden, people went ballistic thinking that Harden was more instrumental to the team.
“Yet, as great as Harden is offensively, his impact on the game is negligible with Durant and Westbrook since there is only one basketball to share,” he said.
“Serge’s presence on the court allows Durant and Westbrook to gamble on defense knowing that Ibaka is there to clean up their mistakes, and he keeps the potential double-team honest by being a reliable spot up shooter who can also catch and finish with authority near the paint,” Mustaf said.
Mustaf also said that MVP Kevin Durant is unable to guard Tim Duncan, thus Serge Ibaka is the guy whom OKC Thunder needs more than anything in the series against San Antonio.
Mustaf himself played four seasons in the NBA, one for NY Knicks, and three for Phoenix Suns. Mustaf played a total of 179 NBA games (starting in 19), averaging 4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg in 10.6 mpg.Follow @exnbadotcom
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