Sunday, June 3, 2012

NBA Bro of the Day: Serge Ibaka

By Adam Maher

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The adjective "perfect" doesn't usually carry too much meaning in the NBA. No, that word is most commonly reserved in sports for baseball history's 21 perfect games, a Patrick Roy shutout in the NHL Playoffs, or the infamous almost perfect Patriots campaign during the 2008 NFL season. But last night, for 22-year-old power forward Serge Ibaka, the word perfect meant one thing: NBA Bro of the Day.

To go along with his less-than-average defensive performance (3 blocks, 5 rebounds), with the season statistically on the line, Serge went 11-11 from the field and 4-4 from the charity stripe last night at the Chesapeake, serving for the first time this playoffs as Kev Durant's right-hand-man on the offensive side of the rock, in place of the non-descript performances from Russell Westbrook and James Harden as the Thunder tied up the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece.

All season we've been waiting for Serge to match his blocking power on the offensive side of the court - and perhaps he didn't have the surface area to work with until last night's falling off of Harden and Westbrook (who combined to go 6-23) - and last night Ibaka delivered.


A true bro steps up when his teammates need him the most, when they least expect him to.

Obviously, Kevin Durant was astonishing last night and probably deserves game MVP. Anyone who saw his 36 points, 18 of which came in the 4th quarter, should count their blessings and add one more. But it was Ibaka's performance that kept the OKC season alive. And for that, a B of the D is the least we can afford his efforts.

Sidenote: Do you think the offensive production of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden during the regular season could have taken votes away from Serge Ibaka's Defensive Player of the Year campaign? After all, he did finish with over 100 more blocks than the guy in second place...

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