Latest News / May 17, 2014 / 2:01 pm

Report: Serge Ibaka To Miss Rest Of The Playoffs With Calf Injury

Serge Ibaka, J.J. Redick

Serge Ibaka, J.J. Redick (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

In Game 6, Oklahoma City’s 6-10 power forward and rim protector Serge Ibaka injured his calf muscle in the third period. He did not return, and the team announced on Friday he would miss the rest of the postseason, putting the Thunder’s playoff fortunes in doubt.

After an MRI on Friday following OKC’s elimination of the Clippers to advance to the Western Conference Finals, it was revealed Ibaka had a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris, which can take a while to heal because it’s likely to be re-injured if pushed further.

“I just want to express our disappointment for Serge, who, as we all know, is an elite competitor and someone that has proven to be a tremendous teammate,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement. “He was playing great basketball throughout the season. He’s had a huge impact on our season to date.”

This marks the second consecutive postseason where one of the Thunder’s primary starters was knocked out of the playoffs. Point guard Russell Westbrook was lost in the first round against Houston last year after a knee-on-knee collision with Pat Beverley tore his MCL. The Thunder will soldier on, even if most prognosticators don’t give them much of a chance against the Spurs starting Monday.

“We have had this group together for a while, and they’ve been through some ups and downs, and this is just another one that hopefully is only going to make us better,” Presti said.

“For us, we as an organization have been in some situations in the past, and how we respond to those has always been the measure of the teams that we’ve had in Oklahoma City,” Presti said. “Our expectation going forward is that we’ll respond admirably.”

Through the second round, the Serge Protector was averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 33.9 minutes per game. Ibaka shot 61.6 percent from the field in 13 postseason games this year (69-of-112). When the Thunder tip off without Ibaka in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday, it will be only the second time all season they’ve played without him manning the middle.

The Thunder must press on with more playing time for rookie Steven Adams and veteran Nick Collison taking most of the minutes left from Ibaka’s absence.

Can the Thunder defeat San Antonio without Ibaka?

Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • 2cents

    Am really feeling for OKC right now. Not saying they cannot beat the Spurs, but if they were to then go up against the Heat in the Finals, I really don’t think they will have enough weapons to defeat them. I have feeling the Spurs will win in 5.