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.