One of the biggest problems facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Memphis Grizzlies has been the lack of a Serge Ibaka presence.
Ibaka is averaging just 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 30.8 percent from the field.
We knew going into this series that Memphis was going to be a tough matchup for Ibaka since they have two of the best true big men in the NBA.
Ibaka has come out and said that he feels the shots he is getting may be too easy and that’s what has caused him to struggle so much.
“Most of the time when you’re open that’s when it’s tough to make shots because you try to get some different focus than normally when some guys try to contest your shots,” Ibaka said. “So that’s happened.”
I don’t know if Ibaka is getting too easy of shots. Without Russell Westbrook creating for him, his looks have definitely gone down and aren’t coming in the flow of the offense as much anymore.
Ibaka also said that he hasn’t lost any confidence in his game. It sounds mostly like he’s in his own head to an extent and just in a bit of a shooting slump on top of that.
All it will take is probably one game to get him out of it. It feels like that game will have to be Game 4 to help keep the Thunder alive in this series.
The good news is that Ibaka was able to take 17 shots in Game 3 and the Thunder will look to get him going again in Game 4. The Thunder have been in every game right down to the end in this series so if they can get a little more from Ibaka, it may push them over the edge to come back and win some games.