The Thunder initially ruled out Serge Ibaka approximately 4-6 weeks with his knee injury.
The low end of that projection would put Ibaka back in the lineup Wednesday against the Timberwolves for the season finale. (Oklahoma City hosts the Trail Blazers tonight in its penultimate game.)
Royce Young of ESPN:
Announcement: Play one-day fantasy basketball tonight! ProBasketballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $125,000 league for Monday’s NBA games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Starts tonight at 7:00pm ET. Enter now!
This wouldn’t be the first time Ibaka beats the Thunder’s public timeline for his return from injury, but if we take Brooks at face value, that’s one more reason for pessimism about Oklahoma City making the playoffs.
The Thunder are 43-37, tied with the Pelicans for the eighth in the Western Conference, but New Orleans holds the tiebreaker. The Pelicans finish with the Timberwolves and Spurs.
So, in order to make the playoffs Oklahoma City must win one more game than New Orleans – and do it without Kevin Durant, with only game of Russell Westbrook and without Ibaka. It’s certainly possible, but the Thunder’s defense has fallen apart without Ibaka, and good luck scoring in the game Westbrook misses (unless his 16th technical foul is rescinded).