When a Spurs player drives the paint in the upcoming Western Conference finals against Oklahoma City, he will have 274 reasons to beware.
That's the number of blocked shots Thunder forward Serge Ibaka has registered this season, including 33 in nine playoff games.
A first-team All-Defensive team selection, Ibaka's average of 3.65 blocks per game led the NBA and set a franchise record. The 6-foot-10, 22-year old native of the Congo is apt to make his presence known early in Game 1 on Sunday.
"He's hard to miss," Spurs guard Danny Green said. "He's in there, and he lets it be known he's in there."
Ibaka posted three double-digit block games in the regular season, including a club-record 11 on Feb. 19 against Denver, the first player to do that since Shawn Bradley in 1996-97.
Ibaka's 241 regular-season swats were just 17 fewer than New Jersey posted as a team.
The key to neutralizing such an aggressive shot-blocker? Use your head, Green said.
"You can't just shoot any old layup," Green said. "You have to shoot some floaters. You have to make some drop-offs for bigs. You have to be smart. He's going to block your shot if you go in there soft."
Spurs wary of shot-blocking Ibaka
San Antonio Express-News | May 26