Serge Ibaka could be the difference maker this season for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Congolese Super Star is already making a positive impact on the Clippers team. Serge is 6’10, 240 lb, and strong as an ox. No center in the NBA today can bully Serge in the paint, and his defensive skillset was what the Clippers needed in their loss to the Denver Nuggets in the 2020 playoffs.
Mr. Ibaka is not just a defensive presence, he has developed tremendous touch inside the paint during his eleven year professional basketball career. This Tuesday Serge played 22 minutes and had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and to me what is even more impressive than the eight rebounds was that he also had four of the Clippers thirty-two assists. The Clippers were playing total team basketball, without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. A total of seven Clippers players scored into the double figures.
You know a player had a good game when he scores as many points as the minutes he played, and that is what Lou Williams did last night. The young player had 20 points in 20 minutes and he is becoming the star of this Clippers team. Paul George played 26 minutes and only had 18 points, a decent game, but not great, I hope Paul George can become focused this season, especially after his disappointing playoff performance last season.
The T-Wolves look like complete garbage. So, it is hard to say really how good this Clippers team is without Leonard, they will definitely need Kawhi in the playoffs when the refs stop calling fouls. Kawhi, is just so slow running up the court, he’ll turn a fast break into a half court Princeton offense. I cannot say that the team is better without him, but since he is not wanting to sign a long term contract with the Clippers, I think the Clippers would still be a playoff team without Kawhi, but I don’t think they could win a championship without Kawhi. Not yet, anyway, Paul George has proven he cannot score when needed, Lou has stepped up bigtime, who else is going to?
I hope Serge Ibaka is ready to step into that veteran leadership role, to help take the Clippers to the promised land of the NBA Finals.