For most of the week you would have thought the Oklahoma City Thunder were playing the rest of the playoffs without Wilt Chamberlin.
Following game one forward Serge Ibaka was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with a calf injury.
“He’s not coming back,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said repeatedly after game one.
Oklahoma City allowed 66 points in the paint in game one and 54 in game two looking lethargic on defense especially near the rim.
Tonight Ibaka was able to return scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds, but more importantly blocked four shots and helped his team look comfortable on both ends of the floor, securing the 106-97 win for his squad.
In the last four postseasons, the Thunder have won three times when trailing 2-1 in a series. The rest of the NBA has won six out of 51 chances.
The Spurs don’t have to be reminded that the last time they were up 2-0 on Oklahoma City they ended up losing the series.
San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich will have a couple days to make adjustments now Ibaka is back on the floor for the Thunder.
I’m not sure that Oklahoma City will win the series, but the return of Ibaka will make it much more enjoyable to watch.