Chances for the Oklahoma City Thunder making their way through this series was pretty slim after they lost Serge Ibaka. He was the player that held both the offense and the defense together because his plays helped out both sections of the team. He used intimidation and his incredible jump to clear space for some superb players on the team like Durant and Westbrook to do their thing. This well oiled machine was thrown for a loop when Ibaka suffered a calf injury that was going to have him sitting out for the rest of the playoffs. Fortunately for the Thunder and their fans, Ibaka is back much earlier than they anticipated and thoughts and hopes of many successful playoff games are at the forefront of many Oklahoma minds.
Ibaka came back and immediately helped his team to a victory last Thursday. Then earlier this week he was 6-for-7 from the floor and scored 15 points. Even more importantly, he took back his place in the well-oiled machine and cleared the way for both Durant and Westbrook to get 51 points, combined on 38 total shots. It might be true that Oklahoma City is already too far behind or that Ibaka won’t be able to sustain this kind of performance because of his injury, but upsets have happened before and it makes perfect sense for Thunder fans to wish that they would happen again. It has happened to the Oklahoma City team before. Recall the Western Conference Finals in 2012 when the Thunder came out with four straight wins. If the Thunder pull out four wins again, in a row, during these playoff games, it will be remarkable. Even more than that, it will surely be due to Ibaka re-entering the game and helping them remember how to lean on each other and work as a team, even against the league’s harshest offenses.
from Douglas MacFaddin’s Sports Page http://ift.tt/1gEiiSY