May 13, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forwardBlake Griffin
(32) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forwardSerge Ibaka
(9) during the first quarter in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Sorry Oklahoma City Thunder fans, these last two playoff runs have not been your luckiest.
Forward Serge Ibaka will miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason with a Grade 2 sprain in his left calf.
Upon news of the ibaka injury i’m just here like…. pic.twitter.com/RrAxJkkoB3
— #SpursGang (0-0) (@jon123spurs) May 16, 2014
According to CBSSports.com, Thunder GM Sam Presti elaborated on Ibaka’s injury:
The recovery process is lengthy because the re-injury risk is exceptionally high. It will be unlikely that he would return if we were fortunate to make it past this next series. … At this point it is important that our team directs its concentration and energy towards preparation and execution for our upcoming series. As with all teams, our group has confronted different challenges. It is our collective experience that we will call on to ensure that we play to our capabilities.
San Antonio Spurs fans can’t help but feel for Thunder fans, as we surely know what it feels like to deal with injuries this year. In fact, Tony Parker may be out for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Serge Ibaka is the third most important player on the Thunder, but most would argue that Parker is the No. 1 guy these days for San Antonio. The tables would certainly turn in Oklahoma City’s favor if Parker’s injury becomes more serious.
Ibaka was averaging over 12 points and seven rebounds per game through these 2014 NBA playoffs; The Thunder was outscoring their opponents by more than 6 points per game with him on the court. When he is included in the Thunder offense, he is a major force, and his jumper has to be respected.
The Thunder have back ups on the frontline, but nobody is near as athletic as Serge Ibaka, and it will certainly be easy to notice his absence on the court for OKC.
How Does The Ibaka Injury Affect This Series?