Serge “Ibaka Gaijin” Ibaka this game: 27 points, 13-of-14 from the field, 2 blocks, 20 minutes of on-court action, 28 minutes of lounging around on the bench thinking about who he’ll have guest on his next YouTube video.
Ibaka is a matchup problem even against teams with depth. Against a team like the Nets, who don’t have any depth (they just have a roster that goes fourteen deep with G-Leaguers), he’s even more of a matchup problem. His rare combination of athleticism, bulk, and shooting touch does not bode well at all for the likes of Garrett Temple and Rodions Kurucs. If you took video of me (5’9″, skinny, not very springy) trying to rebound against guys four inches taller than me who also have functioning muscles in their legs, it would look a lot like this video. If this analogy isn’t making sense to you, just remember, DTB = Kurucs and Big Guy With Muscles = Ibaka.
It turns out that the Raptors, as a whole, were a matchup problem for the Nets as they effortlessly bulldozed their way through this series. In this game they scored 150, 100 of those provided from the bench. Ibaka wasn’t the only one feasting today. He was just the one who feasted the most in the shortest period of time. Boston will give him a tougher time of it for sure, but Daniel Theis is probably quaking in his boots right now. And if Jason Tatum has to guard Ibaka…well, Tatum’s gonna wish that Ibaka had retired to focus on YouTube full-time.