Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka hasn’t been very impressed with LeBron James in the NBA Finals.
The runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year this season doesn’t think LeBron can guard Kevin Durant.
“LeBron is not a good defender,” Ibaka said Monday. “He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes. LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one.”
No player in the NBA received more All-Defensive First Team votes than LeBron James. He has really come a long way as a defender committing on that side of the ball.
Durant is the best offensive player in the world though and Ibaka is kind of right about LeBron not being able to guard him.
Durant is averaging 31.0 points per game and shooting .574 percent from the field in the NBA Finals. Durant is shooting 58 percent when Shane Battier is guarding him and only 43 percent when LeBron is.
But in one-on-one situations, Durant has proved the ability to score on LeBron, sometime with what looks like very little effort at all.
While LeBron may not be able to completely shut down Durant, he is a “good” defender.
Reading Ibaka say something like this sounds worse than hearing him actually say it. If you are familiar with how he talks you can imagine him saying this in a harmless way, not in a “calling out” sort of way.
Ibaka and LeBron are two of the best athletes in the game today and gave us this amazing moment in Game 2 of the Finals.
Here’s to hoping for more of that in this series.