The first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs was one of the most exciting and unpredictable in playoff history. Since then, minus a few moments by the Washington Wizards and a pretty compelling series between the Clippers and Thunder, the playoffs suddenly have become dull and very predictable. Not good for fans of the game, and certainly not good for TV ratings.
Then, comes Serge Ibaka to the rescue.
After going down in Game 6 of the aforementioned series against the Clippers to a calf injury, the prognosis was that Ibaka would miss the rest of the playoffs. Thankfully, whether Scott Brooks and the Thunder were trying to fool the Spurs, or if they’re team doctors came up with some miracle remedy, Ibaka was back after missing only two games.
Ibaka’s presence cannot be underestimated. The Thunder in Games 1 and 2 looked like someone that forgot how to drive, because they hadn’t driven in years. In Game 3, everything seemed to click.
Of course, there was a sense of desperation, seeing that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series in NBA history. That had to play a factor and you know the Spurs will be ready for Game 4.
With the Pacers vs Heat series virtually over, its even more important for the Thunder to at least win another game or two.
The Thunder still have to win Game 4, tonight to really make it a series, but at least Ibaka’s impression of the Knicks Willis Reed in the 1970 NBA Finals will make casual fans tune in again tonight. Hardcore fans like me will tune in anyway, because we love the sport like that, but for casual NBA fans, the NBA owes debt of gratitude to Serge Ibaka for keeping them interested at least one more night…