Strong-willed Ibaka lifts OKC and just might have transformed a series

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: Serge Ibaka does it all in Thunder’s Game 3 win

OKLAHOMA CITY – On the morning of his remarkable return to the Oklahoma City Thunder lineup, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound warrior admitted, through deep, dark brown eyes, that he had cried.

Doctors had told Serge Ibaka that his left calf was so badly damaged that he would not be able to play anymore. As the Thunder moved on to the Western Conference Finals, Ibaka sat alone, contemplating what all the hard work had been for, as tears streamed down his cheeks.

It was then that Ibaka determined that what the doctors say does not have to be. He decided the physical pain could be dulled by ice bags, by gnashing molars, by his strong faith and stronger will. The mental anguish of sitting it out would leave a much longer-lasting scar than any injury could.

“Pain is pain,” Ibaka said after the Thunder’s 106-97 Game 3 victory sliced the San Antonio Spurs’ series lead to 2-1. “I don’t want to be here talking about the pain.” 

And so Ibaka, 10 days after sustaining a Grade 2 strain of his left calf, nine days after being ruled out for the entire postseason and five days after not even being able to walk on his own, barreled through the Spurs and in 29 minutes, 36 seconds of action transformed a series.

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook fed Ibaka on the team’s opening possession. He rose from 19 feet and swished it. Then again from 20 feet. And again from 18. And then he put it on the floor, drove and dropped in a feathery floater. The crowd roared with raucous approval as Ibaka exited at the seven-minute mark with eight points, three rebounds and two blocks.

“Oh, man, I was so nervous, but you can’t really tell because I was on the court,” Ibaka, his voice full of emotion, told a throng of reporters after receiving 45 minutes of treatment. “I just want to thank my teammates. Thank Russ, he got me going early in the game, Kevin [Durant], Perk [Kendrick Perkins], Reggie [Jackson], and I will never stop thanking them for tonight. I will never forget it. It was very special tonight.”

Just like that, an Oklahoma City team adrift found its bearings and was humming again. Ibaka would finish with 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, seven rebounds, four blocked shots, many more altered, and even a steal.z

With 3:17 showing on the clock and the Thunder up by 18, Ibaka would leave the court pointing his right index finger high toward the sky all the way to the bench, absorbing deafening adulation from a crowd that greeted and left him with a standing ovation, and then finally walking into the open arms of awed teammates.

“When you talk about a teammate, that’s everything you want your teammate to embody … a guy who gives himself up for the team, gives his body up for the team,” said Durant, who had 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting and 10 rebounds. “No matter how this game would have went tonight, I gained so much more respect for Serge for laying it all on the line for us, putting his body out there and sacrificing his health for the betterment of the team.”

Ibaka worked out on the practice floor with teammates Sunday morning for the first time since suffering the injury on May 15. He warmed up during pregame, testing the calf, but said he wasn’t sure he’d make it in the game until he started running and feeling it out.

When he subbed out, he kept the muscle warm by riding a stationary bike and on occasion retreated to the locker room with medical staff for additional work to avoid stiffness.

“When I started running, I started feeling, getting a lot better,” Ibaka said. “I started moving a little bit better early in the game so I told coach, ‘Yeah, I can keep going.'”

Another alteration to the starting lineup paid dividends as well. Jackson, the backup point guard, replaced slumping shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup, giving OKC another quick attacker. He posted 15 points, five assists and four rebounds in a team-high 36:56. Little-used Jeremy Lamb contributed 15 solid minutes, providing OKC yet another long, athletic body to throw at San Antonio.

But this night was all about Ibaka and his value to his team against this particular opponent.

The oldest adage in the NBA says the playoffs are all about matchups, and suddenly with their defensive anchor again patrolling the paint, it was as if a totally different series had broken out. Tim Duncan, no longer free for walk-up layups, was 7-for-17. Tony Parker, who finally found resistance awaiting him in the lane, was 4-for-13 for nine points, four assists and four turnovers.

Ibaka’s presence fueled his entire team. They were active defensively, aggressive offensively, shooting 22 free throws in the third quarter alone. The Spurs, who had run a layup line in the first two games for 120 points in the paint, got 40. They shot 39.6 percent from the floor after shooting near 54 percent in Games 1 and 2. They had 16 turnovers after averaging just 11.

“Serge is always great in the paint,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He blocks shots. He changes shots. He did a fine job.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was asked if one player can really make such a profound difference, turning two losses by a combined 52 points into a blowout the other way.

“You didn’t watch the last three minutes of the game?” Brooks deadpanned, referring to an 11-2 finish by the Spurs’ bench players after Ibaka finally subbed out. At the morning shootaround, Westbrook laughed at a question asking if Ibaka could help if he played, and he shot back: “What was our record when we play with him?”

When Ibaka plays against the Spurs, the Thunder have now won six in a row and 11 of the last 13 games going back to the 2012 West finals when Oklahoma City won four straight after falling into an 0-2 hole in San Antonio.

Ibaka was asked if he believed he lifted his team.

“You tell me,” he said. “I was just trying to do my job, stay focused and do the best I can do to help my team. So you tell me.”


VIDEO: GameTime’s crew discusses Serge Ibaka’s impact on Game 3

88 Comments

  1. dylan19 says:

    Ibaka is a warrior…but I hope Spurs win the series :-)
    If Spurs lost game 4, Pop might bring Manu to starting line up to match Jackson.
    Green is just a shooter, Manu can do more than a shooter did.
    But we need Parker to wake up and act as a leader in the offence side for Spurs
    Go go Spurs…

  2. spursfan says:

    the real okc fans only show up when their team wins.
    gone with the wind when their team loses.

    • okckd35 says:

      Riiiight. More like OKC fans dont even acknowledge spurs fans when they are in here calling sweep after game 1 just like 2012. Its truly annoying.

    • okckd35 says:

      We aremt in here crying about the refs either. Spurs win fans scream sweep. Spurs losr fans cry refs. Its old. For one of the least penalized teams u all sure complain. Game 2 the spurs were +13 in ft attempts. No thunder fans were in here crying about it. Game 3 okc had a +15 (1 foul difference than game 2) and all of a sudden spurs fans are crying. All 3 games were lost by poor defense not refs.

  3. Irene Adler says:

    This Thunder team has gone so many challenges, so many emotional moments from regular season, 1st round and 2nd round of the playoffs and in WCF, but they stuck together and fought for what they believe in. When i first heard about Ibaka’s injury, the first thing I’ve done is pray. And Every fan is praying because we believe in miracle and it is happening to us right now. I leave everything to God’s hand now what will happen to this series. I will be happy with the results. God knows what is the best.

  4. ion57 says:

    Ibaka transformed the series ? – That’s pretty rude I’d say. I would look at the Scott Brooks lineup changes, to Spurs having a bad performance on both ends of the court, to the other 4 contributors of OKC to make it happen. I would say the officiating transformed the series. With plenty of missed calls. From OKC player jumping on the back of Duncan and riding him like a horse. To a dismissed 3 point shot by mills. Changing momentum in favor to the home team. I will admit the spurs played like junk – parker was not himself. But the FT% ratio was deplorable and hard to stomach.

    • RP says:

      Thunder was called for more fouls than the Spurs…and immediately after the “horse riding” incident there were two missed fouls committed on Durant (possibly making up for it). But I agree there were missed calls on both teams and other reasons for the better Thunder play.

    • okckd35 says:

      Exactly my point (refs transformed series) keep crying about the refs. The thunder were actually called for more fouls than the spurs. Why werent u in here crying about all the calls the spurs got in game 2? Short term memory right. When healthy OKC is better than the spurs. Even with ibaka out OKC has still won 11 of the last 15 matchups

  5. Mila T. Daniel says:

    I believe all things are possible to those who have faith and believe in a LIVING SAVIOR GOD JESUS CHRIST. Ibaka is a man of faith! OKC leader KD is, too! God answers prayer. Man says is impossible but God says is POSSIBLE! Sometimes we see in our own eyes that this is the end but GOd has His own ways of turning circumstance for people to know that that there is God. Doctor declares but God is a miracle working GOD!

    Praise the LORD, He answers prayer of OKC team. Glory to God!

  6. mike1171171177717 says:

    My feeling on this is that OKC pulled a fast one. Misdiagnose a guy with a more serious injury and declare him “definitely out”, suspecting all along that he is coming back. It’s an effective mind game, and it definitely puts an extra wrinkle in the opponents’ game plan/preparation. S Ibaka probably never had a grade-2 sprain to begin with. There’s no rule against what OKC did, but I feel there ought to be. A coach reserves the right to jiggle its rotations and lineups but you just can’t go taking people off the roster and then putting them back on.

    If I were Adam Silver, I would make the following rule for 2015: Once a team declares a guy “out for the season”, he is out for the season. Even if G_d were to heal the guy miraculously, he is still done for the season as his team declared.

    • RP says:

      That’s crazy talk. They didn’t know and I’m sure they would have put him back in after the first loss, if what you say is true. They want to win too much and they had no reason to expect to have such a difficult time that they would resort to manipulation (had already beat them 4 times this season.) I think it is what they said. Once the swelling went down they knew more about his injury. NBA doesn’t need more rules.

    • okckd35 says:

      Thats why the spurs lost? Because ibaka came back and the spurs didnt expect it? Even thoug h before the series started the spurs expected him to play? Why would they fake an injury and pull theor best defender in the WCF. U just sound dumb.

    • kd's abeast says:

      And I remember a bunch of spurs fan in here saying it dont matter spurs are winning this game with or without ibaka because we are a well oiled machine etc. But ibaka proved yall wrong and u guys just can’t man up to it.

  7. mike1171171177717 says:

    My feeling on this is that OKC pulled a fast one. Misdiagnose a guy with a more serious injury and declare him “definitely out”, suspecting all along that he is coming back. It’s an effective mind game, and it definitely puts an extra wrinkle in the opponents’ game plan/preparation. S Ibaka probably never had a grade-2 sprain to begin with. There’s no rule against what OKC did, but I feel there ought to be. A coach reserves the right to jiggle its rotations and lineups but you just can’t go taking people off the roster and then putting them back on.

    If I were Adam Silver, I would make the following rule for 2015: Once a team declares a guy “out for the season”, he is out for the season. Even if G_d were to heal the guy miraculously, he is still done for the season as his team declared.

  8. okcDoke2014 says:

    OKC is not able to win at home in playoffs consistently and Spurs do exactly opposite which is why they will win in 5, maybe 6 games

  9. tony says:

    KD and RW didn’t even get hot and OKC still defeat San Antonio. So much for 4-0 wipe out!!!!!! San Antonio has not win in OKC for a reason. Just one game and history will repeat. Another game and Spur fan will run out of excuses., fake injury, official, foul calls…ect.

  10. Miami Heat Fan says:

    Great W by OKC but Game 4 is for SPURS. I think this will not last until 7 games.

  11. Caldron Pool says:

    OKC fans are talkin’ junk about the Spurs never winning in OKC. Big deal, they don’t have to win in OKC, OKC has to win in SA.

    Also . . . it was one game. Get over it. Ibaka hobbled by the end of it, and if he’s in such good shape why were they scared to let him play it out?

    There were several ref blunders, like the offensive foul on a Mills 3 . . . which wound up going the other way for a OKC 3. That was a 6 point turn around in a crucial part of the game . . . and it wasn’t a foul.

    We all know the NBA wasn’t going to not squeeze as many games (and therefore as much money) as possible out of this series. Game 7s = money in the bank for the NBA. The NBA is a business, and like any business they only care about making as much money as possible. You can’t trust them to run things legitimately.

    • kd's abeast says:

      Umm this is so funny because when okc fand said the only reasom y spurs won was bcuz serge is out, spurs fan said we wud win with or without ibaka because spurs is on a mission and serge just proved all of you doubters wrong last game and he will again. Nd the difference caldron is we have won in SA b4 but they hsve never won in our house so the spurs have more things not going for them.

    • RP says:

      There were several bad calls for both sides….and the shooter kicking out his leg is a foul.

  12. CMA says:

    If you want to know why Ibaka play like he did all you have to do is test his urine… after 10 days of inactivity. Unfortunately he will pay dearly, it is a shame that this still happens

  13. OKC says:

    Lol and people said we should have traded him and kept Harden while going over the salary cap.

  14. okcDoke2014 says:

    Unfortunately, Spurs will make adjustments and win game 4 and 5

  15. okctofinals says:

    I cried too. It was such a beautiful, touching display of offense fueled by defense. *sniff*

  16. prahumac says:

    i think the spurs are gonna take this series any way by 4-1 here go spurs go!!!!!!

  17. Calpin says:

    Better yet. Maybe they should report that Kevin Durant suffered an injury in training and he will be out for the playoffs. And only play him when they are down 3 to 1. That would be a great strategy by Scott Brooks to win the series. COOL.

    • okckd35 says:

      U really think OKC would benefit sitting Ibaka for 2 games? Yea thats strategy. The pronounced him out due to being a grade 2 strain which normally takes 4-6 weeks. Ibaka is playing through the pain.

  18. okc2014 says:

    Serge Ibaka did not fake the injury!!!! A win is a win is a win. Spurs lost because OKC Thunder won. I love how Scotty Brooks held back on Sefelosha. I kinda missed Collins. LOVED that he started Reggie Jackson, LOVED that he gave Stevens more
    minutes than Perkins. All these changes and quick player rotations throughout the game played off. And Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were still awesome, without having to shoulder the whole game. OKC2014.

  19. cp10 says:

    Serge your knee or some other ligament or tendon is in danger if you don’t get enough rest. Think about this Serge!!

  20. HEATFAN54562 says:

    Wow Serge, you really had high determination to get on the court and play ball and apparantly your wish was granted, congrats on the win, win the next three games for the fans.

  21. Salsa lover says:

    I don’t want to hear about refs winning or losing games. Thunder were more aggressive all night. What I could not believe is that KD had to tell coach Brooks to pull Ibaka with the Thunder up by 20. Why? Why was KD even on the bench and the player with injury still on the court? Because Brooks knows who his true MVP is. In the playoffs, defence and rebounding win championships. Despite KDs ability to score, he’s a liability on defence. I know a lot of folks HATE Lebron, but Spoelstra almost always puts Lebron on the opposing team’s best scorer. In their current series with the Pacers, Lance Stephenson has been the Pacer’s best player–not Paul George–so who guards Lance for most of game 3? Lebron. Who guarded the Net’s best scorer Joe Johnson on critical possessions? Lebron. I think KD deserved the regular season MVP, but there is no way he’s the MVP in the playoffs. He’s not even the MVP on his own team. Serge is IMO.

    • RP says:

      No way. If Ibaka was more consistent on offense, maybe. He is definitely the MVP of defense though. And I think he stayed in when KD sat down because he told Brooks he wanted to. He hadn’t been out there long that time.

  22. Shah2424 says:

    Why you Spurs fans keep saying they played poorly? didn’t OKC played poorly when the Spurs won? Ibaka Just makes the team better and more confident, thats all people! The series will surely be a good one now if OKC can keep it up.

    • Jorge says:

      People say the Spurs played poorly because they did. Yes, the OKC played poorly when the Spurs won. There is no fan blindness or any other similar trait hidden in those statements, these are just facts. OKC played poorly the first two games because they really do not know how to play without Ibaka, Ibaka centers that team by allowing players to defend the perimeter while he single handed takes care of the paint. Without Ibaka there, Tony Parker had freedom to drive and dish, with Ibaka there he has to actually float it on top of someone whose athleticism is unique in this league. Without Ibaka, more help in the paint was needed, which meant that Ginobilli and the rest had many more open looks when their defenders helped. Now the defenders can afford staying put with their man and so can challenge most shots. Without Ibaka occupying space in the paint, the Spurs had a rebounding advantage, with Ibaka many of those 50/50 balls end up in OKC hands.

      So, yes, OKC played poorly when they lost because they are a much worse team without Ibaka, the Spurs played poorly, compared to the other two games, because they did not know how to adjust for Ibaka’s presence in the paint. I am sure both coaches will adjust and that next game will be different, this does not mean the Spurs will win nor that OKC will. It just means that we will see adjustments from both sides and next win will likely be a coach win.

  23. Pay Attention says:

    @Stephen….
    Pay attention, or even, perhaps watch a game. The foul count was close to even. Just because a team has more or less fouls does not mean the refs favoured them – it means they fouled more. Seriously, don’t look to the refs for results. The Spurs outplayed the Thunder in games 1 and 2, and the Thunder outplayed the Spurs in game 3. Any person with a clue about sport and life in general does not blame anyone else but themselves for their results – win or lose. I guess those who lay blame are always going to prone to be on the losing end. Winners take responsibility and losers lay blame. Simple. I guarantee that Gregg Popovich or any of the Spurs are whining about the refs. They are winners, as are the Thunder and both teams are providing a great and very interesting series to watch. Tactics and talents. Don’t diminish either team’s wins by pointing to the refs. Stat monger, you are sir.

  24. SAS fan says:

    for me THUNDER won by ref decision..LETS PLAY CLEAN

    • kd's abeast says:

      OK so does that mean sas won game 2 by ref decision? because in the second half okc got 1 foul call in favor of them while sas had an uncountable amount. The announcers said it right sas fans are gonna try and blame the ref but the truth is thunder were more agressive therefore they got more calls to favor them.

    • okckd35 says:

      Here go the cry babies. No spurs fan was upset OKC only had 10ft in game 2. Now that they lost its blame the refs time. Its funny because okc got called for 1 more foul than the spurs. Spurs just kept foulijg when okc was in the bonus

    • martin says:

      Game 7 out Randolph…. in series vs clippers ask to doc rivers… and now the magic doctors … doping for ibaka

    • okckd35 says:

      Game 2 spurs had a +13 in FT attempts. Game 3 OKC had a +15. So u are crying over one foul call being unfair? Im sure u think the spurs +13 was fair right?

    • RP says:

      Thunder was called for more fouls. And even if they weren’t the refs are impartial. …they don’t belong to either team. Besides all that it looks to me like a Spurs-Miami game has been pre-determined by the media and NBA. They barely even give another match-up a second thought.

  25. Get Real says:

    They win one game by 9 points while the Spurs played awfully, shot less than 40% from the field, weren’t hitting their threes, Parker failed to score in double figures, the Thunder had 31 free-throws, and Ginobili, the only player on the Spurs who played very well, didn’t play in the 4th quarter and people think the Thunder have turned this series around? It’s 2-1 in favor of the Spurs and the Spurs won games 1 and 2 by a combined 52 points. All the Spurs need to do is grab next game on OKC’s home court (Spurs had the best away record in the NBA during the regular season btw) and they can finish this series on their own home court in 5. People need to calm down lol the Spurs are not losing this series because of one game in which the Thunder played well and the Spurs played poorly.

    • kd's abeast says:

      Actually thunder were leading by 20 when all the starters left, maybe you should watch the game it wasnt as close as you might think it was. This game was a blowout and the spurs only brought the lead down to 9 in garbage time with all their reserves. So dont talk about thunder only won by 9 of our starters had stayed in it would have been worst but they didnt see the need to.

    • kd's abeast says:

      And secondly spurs have never won a game on okc court in history so im about 95 percent sure they arent winning game 4 the series will be even by tuesday night. So I think u shuld check the facts before you say something. And the spurs didnt just play poorly okc defense has alot to do with it and so does ibaka, we have never lost a game against the spurs with all our starters healthy since 2012, the only 2 game the spurs won was when ibaka was hurt, so you might not think it’s a series changer, but if you look at how ibaka made them take jumpers u wud look deep and see that it is a change with ibaka on the floor.

    • okckd35 says:

      Okc was up by 20 when starters were pulled. Quit lying to yourself

      • kd's abeast says:

        I dont kno if u r being sarcastic but im not lying go to game hub and look at the play by plah in the fourth and u will c that 3:13 all okc starters came out nd kd came out 3 mins b4 that.

    • Blank says:

      It was the defense dude.

    • Exactly says:

      Exactly! Why is everyone comparing it to the 2012 series and making it seem like the Thunder have this series under control? They have only won ONE game. I don’t think anyone expected the Spurs to sweep the Thunder even without Ibaka. Yes, Ibaka did make a difference but Pop will correct that and the Spurs were missing shots outside the paint that they usually make. If you think this series is like the 2012 one, you are either a writer from the NBA who will undoubtly talk about it for the next two days to get attention, or an idiot ‘fan’ that doesn’t know anything about basketball.

      • kd's abeast says:

        U do realized that the thunder won with a hobbled ibaka and an inefficient kd and russ right. Kd and russ has yet to have a beast game in this series, so its not like okc was playing at their full potential either.

  26. Ric Luke Garcia says:

    it is clear that the 6 foot 10 inches forward serge ibaka is the heart and soul of the okc .. with him on the court the team morale and momentum rises ^-^ im a spur fan but this one series is a tough one but im sure coach POP has already think ahead of this stuff :D
    #Spurs2014champions

    • RP says:

      There were more reasons for the boost than Ibaka. Home court/crowd, losing 2 games badly, a lineup change and better shooting from the supporting cast to name a few.

  27. jake s. says:

    No more easy buckets. Expect Spurs to rain 3’s and Thunder to outlast the Spurs.

  28. Yusa says:

    Ibaka’s determination to win the series is high and the team was motivated to win the game and they won. However the Spurs aren’t the spurs team who compete a playoff game in Game 3. I don’t know what happened in the late quarters but it seems that the Spurs aren’t even bother winning the game, with decent amount of time in 4th and just trailing around 15 points, Pop pulled his men and let the game end.

    • kd's abeast says:

      It s the ibaka factor everytime they even thought about going to the paint they wud pull back they attempted less shot in the paint in game 3 than in 1 and 2. The fact is serge spreads the floor get rebounds and is a beast in the paint and if we keep up our defense I say okc in 6, because spurs have never beaten us with all our starters and histort so repeat itself. I dont see spurs winjing game 4 because their record in okc court is 0-8.

  29. Stephen says:

    The Thunder made history with the largest discrepancy in free throws in the entire history of the NBA in a quarter, 23-0. In fact until garbage time it was about 31-7. Congratulations to OKC and the refs for making NBA history.

    • Shawn says:

      Total Fouls Called:

      Thunder 24

      Spurs: 20

      Hmmm… hard to complain about officiating when the other team gets called for more fouls. Thunder were in attack mode all night long, and they earned those free throws. They only shot 8 FT in the other 3 quarters combined- not like they took 50 for the game. Total free throws taken were 31-16 in favor of the Thunder- the product of more energy and aggression. Give credit where credit is due. I’m not saying the Thunder are gonna storm back and take this series, but they outplayed the Spurs in Game 3, simple as that.

      • googergieger says:

        Attack mode? Majority of those free throws came from penalty situation and touch fouls. Which could have been called on both sides. The only time Spurs were getting make up calls to make the foul count look even and the free throw discrepancy not as ridiculous was when the game was well out of reach. No idea how the announcers and sheep can credit attack mode for the b.s. free throws OKC tends to always get. Touch fouls and penalty situation does not equal attack mode or attacking the paint. It simply means OKC can not win without the refs or those ridiculous free throws. Look at the games in the playoffs. When the refs let them play or call a consistent game OKC is completely and utterly useless.

      • Shawn says:

        haha “completely and utterly useless?” that’s fine, blame it on the refs if you want. Don’t blame the Spurs poor shooting, or the fact that The Spurs went from shooting 70% + in the paint to shooting about 40% in the paint once Serge Ibaka came back, or the fact that the Thunder swept the Spurs during the season (those were probably all on the refs as well), or the fact that we have the MVP on our team. As a fan of basketball, I don’t care who my team is, I recognize when I’ve been outplayed. But it’s cool, good luck to the Spurs the rest of the way. We spotted you a 2-0 lead without Ibaka. We’ll see if San Antonio can take advantage of that or not.

    • okckd35 says:

      Cry baby. U werent in here crying about the difference in game 2 with the ft

    • okckd35 says:

      Awwwww where did u get this fact about the biggest difference in nba history? Just curious. U must have been really upset to research this information. I bet u werent upset by game 2 where the spurs were +13 in ft (23-10)

    • RP says:

      Congratulations to the Spurs for fouling on more shots and for bunching them up in one quarter….even though the Thunder was actually called for more fouls.

  30. HEAT_FAN says:

    THE BLOCKA: SERGA IBAKA!!!

  31. Spurs says:

    Is there a fine for officially stating that a player is ruled out for the entire postseason and then OH WAIT PLOT TWIST he can play 30 minutes! Shame on the entire Thunder organization for pulling off such a poor stunt. I truly hope the Spurs destroy the Thunder, not only because they’re the better team, but because what OKC has done with the Ibaka injury is just a shame in the name of basketball.

    • kd's abeast says:

      Hes actually injured, and everyone can see that he was even limping on the court and kept moving around its a miracle that hes playing. Nd the fact is hes playing through alot of pain to give his team the boost they need. Thats y he got standing o because even though hes only a half player right now hes giving his all for his team. Nd if you were a real fan of the nba you wud want your team to play against a healthy one not a hobbled one because if by chance spurs win this series they will never get credit for it because of ibaka injury.

    • okckd35 says:

      Yea okc held ibaka out of 2 games as strategy. He had 10 days off and obviously was still limping around. What a great strategy to give the spurs 2 games.

    • RP says:

      Wow! Just wow…..

  32. Amazing performance from this team tonight. Steven Adams looked monstrous behind Ibaka and Reggie Jackson was a catalyst that the Spurs had no answer for. The big question is how will Ibaka’s calf respond to playing tonight. If he remains healthy this may be a team that is finally ready for it’s rematch against the Heat.

  33. okc2014 says:

    Very nice! Ibaka’s fake injury caught Spurs off guard. We can deceived anyone starting with Adams antics! Go OKC! OKC in 7!

    • REALLLLLLYYYY says:

      LOL I KNOW THIS WAS GONNA HAPPEN , IBAKA COMING BACK IS GREAT REALLY IS GREAT , WHY ?? COUSE NOW WENT SPURS WIN THIS ANYWAY THERE WILL BE NO EXCUSE , OKC PLAY A GREAT GAME BUTTT!! WHAT MAKE PEOPLE THINK THEY WILL WIN THIS SERIES LOL ? COUSE 1 WIN ?? SPURS DINT PLAY GOOD THIS GM THEY DINT HAVE A ANSWER FOR OKC TONIGHT BUT WHAT MAKE PEOPLE THINK THEY WONT MAKE ADJUMENT FOR GM 4 , THEY WILL AND THE ONLY THINK IBAKA CHANGE IS THE THIS SERIES WONT BE A SWEAP BUT IN THE END SPURS WILL ADVANCE

      • Hannah Smith says:

        Mad much? Lol

      • kd's abeast says:

        Umm sorry to tell u but if history means anything spurs aint winning game 4, they have never won one on okc court they have the longest going streak of losing on another team court

      • okckd35 says:

        The fact that with ibaka okc has won 11 of 13 against the spurs. They w9n all 4 games this year. Its really the spurs who got no answer for a healthy okc squad. Serge tore them up and he was still injured

      • RP says:

        Consider the Spurs lucky if they do win. If Ibaka hadn’t missed two games, the series might be completely different right now.

    • Another Heat Fan says:

      i dont think we can say fake injury they still went down 2 0 in first 2 games without him, that’s not a good tactic lol

    • mikmaks says:

      Fake injury? Are you really that stupid that OKC will throw away two games?

      • Calpin says:

        Yes hes absoutely stoopid to think that. How can someone benefit from lying about a starting player being injured and actually not playing him for two games? Is that sensible?

    • Marco29 says:

      Spurs were not taken off guard as they said since the beginning that they did not believe Ibaka would be out for the whole Series.He simply changes the game on both sides ans Spurs did not have solution against him. Also moving Jackson to the starting 5 was a good move by Brooks.
      Lets see how Pop responds for game 4. Spurs are looking to win 1 of 2 in OKC and can still do that

    • OKC says:

      it wasnt a fake injury ibaka played through the pain

      • A.J. says:

        If the NBA doesn’t drug test Ibaka right now, then what’s the point of even having a drug-testing policy.

      • RP says:

        A.J. ….maybe Tony Parker should be drug tested too, then, since he is playing with a hamstring injury.

      • okckd35 says:

        Hey at least we see a new reason for the spurs loss. Serge is doping. We all know steroids repair muscles instead of make.them bigger.

      • okckd35 says:

        The spurs would all be suspended. There are PED’s in the Centrim Silver half your roster has to tale every day to get their old people vitamins