2014 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals All-Stars

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Power Forward

Jun 6, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second half in game six of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This is where it gets trickier. Do we want all around fundamentals (Tim Duncan), or someone who can block shots, stretch the floor and dunk the hell out of the ball (Serge Ibaka)? Again the Spurs player and Thunder player challenge each other for a position, and again they couldn’t be more different.

Ibaka has developed into a great shooter from the midrange, and even the long range (38 percent from deep, albeit on less than 1 shot per game). Even though he is out of the rest of the playoffs, much to the delight of Spurs fans, in our hypothetical team he is healthy and thriving. His spacing ability would fit the team well, and he would be a great defensive and shot-altering force incase someone got past the perimeter players (well in case someone got past Tony Parker… If LeBron and Durant are locked in, no one is getting past them).

Duncan would provide more leadership (probably not needed on this team), an offensive weapon in his post game and more great passing from the big man position… and thats before we talk about his defensive impact. Duncan has made 14 All-Defense teams in his NBA career, including eight First-Team appearances. Incredibly he has never won a Defensive Player of the Year award, despite clearly being the anchor for one of the best defensive teams in the NBA over the last decade. Maybe because he lacks the explosive into-the-crowd blocks that Dwight Howard and Ibaka do on a nightly basis, but his blocks generally go to a teammate or himself allowing the Spurs to run a fast break.

Despite all of this, in today’s NBA game, Ibaka’s floor-spacing ability would be more effective on this All-Star team, as would his ability to run the floor and get out in transition (which is not longer a part of Old Man Duncan’s game).

Decision: Serge Ibaka

Note: I just don’t like Chris Bosh, so I’m not considering him.

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Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs 2014 Western Conference Finals LeBron James San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan Tony Parker

  • Vic2093

    I would swap Duncan out and put Paul George at the 2, KD@3= he’s not suited for the 2 and win struggle to defend 23rd regularly, LeBron @ 4, & Ibaka@ 5. He won’tcome up short as all of these players defend and they naturally spread the floor bbecause no 9th can leave their man.

    • http://TexasBSreport.blogspot.com Bill Simpson

      I agree, KD isn’t well suited for the 2 compared to when he’s playing the 3. Ibaka at 5 is interesting, gives an athletic, fast, front court and overall starting five, which is the growing trend in the NBA these days