Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich’s reaction to Serge Ibaka potentially returning for Game 3: ‘Shocked. I’m so surprised.’


Serge Ibaka was initially ruled out for the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, after suffering a pretty unlucky calf injury in the Thunder’s series-clinching win over the Clippers.

San Antonio wasn’t necessarily buying the diagnosis at the time, and as it turned out, their skepticism was justified.

The Thunder upgraded Ibaka’s status to day-to-day on Friday, and it now seems likely that we’ll see him on the court for Sunday’s Game 3 in Oklahoma City with essentially the season on the line.

Gregg Popovich reacted to the news exactly as you might expect.

Ibaka rushing back ahead of schedule to try to be there for his teammates is understandable, but unless he’s very close to 100 percent, his presence won’t make that much of a difference.

The qualities that make Ibaka so important to what the Thunder do on both ends of the floor are his shot blocking in help situations, along with his consistent ability to knock down the mid-range jumper. Doing either of those with a lingering calf injury could prove to be too tall a task, but as Popovich sarcastically noted, the fact that Ibaka is likely to give it a shot doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.