Serge, when you’re down 2-1 in the NBA finals, you may not want to rattle the cage of the opponent’s best player.
But Ibaka did that and sounded like he is watching a different game than the rest of us in a quote via Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.
“LeBron is not a good defender. He can play defense for 2-3 minutes but not 48 minutes. LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one.”
Um, who can play Durant one-on-one? LeBron can’t. Ibaka can’t. Nobody on this planet can, you’re going to have to go Space Jam to find someone who stands a chance.
Thing is, LeBron is a really good defender. He’s been better than Ibaka this series. Serge is maybe the best shot blocker in the game but in Games 1 and 2 of this series he was stuck on Shane Battier and kept leaving him alone at the arc to run back and protect the paint, only to watch his man Battier drop 17 both games.
Does LeBron pick some spots to conserve energy on defense? Yes. Because he’s also the focal point at the other end of the floor. He has huge responsibilities at both ends, and he’s going to catch a few minutes of rest in there. But he can defend man-to-man, is a great shot blocker himself, can rebound and will create turnovers. He’s a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team first team selection.
But sure Ibaka, see if you can give him a little extra motivation for Game 4.