Has Serge “Ibaka Gaijin” Ibaka low-key been one of the best players on the Raptors during their in-progress playoff run? I’m looking at the stats, and I’m looking at the eye-test (a process which involves me searching my cranial archives for plays I remember Ibaka making in these games), and the only conclusion I can reach is that, yes, Ibaka has been one of the best players on the Raptors both in the first round and now in the second round as well.
Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Kawhi Leonard, they’ve all been disappointing in one way or another. Some of them have been more disappointing than others. Ibaka, on the other hand, has put up huge numbers (well, huge relatively to his low minutes), and has really only had one absolute dud game (game three of this series where he scored just two points). And he’s doing it on like 60% shooting from the field. In the playoffs he has somehow become a way deadlier, and way more consistent three-point specialist than Matt Thomas ever was.
Another rhetorical question for you: has Serge “Ibaka Gaijin” Ibaka turned himself into the ideal jumpshooting bigman for today’s NBA? He’s got that sweet shot but hasn’t lost sight of crashing the boards, getting buckets inside with his athleticism, and occasionally swatting a shot back through time to bop a dinosaur on the head.
Imagine if you transplanted Ibaka’s jumpshot onto Giannis’ everything else. It’s making my head spin thinking about how dominant such a player would be. And now my face is doing that thing where drops of water fall out of my eyeballs.