Serge Ibaka has struggled to find his rhythm. (Layne Murdoch/NBA/Getty Images)
It doesn't take a genius to see that Serge Ibaka's struggling these days. The Oklahoma City Thunder big man has had a miserable offensive series against the Memphis Grizzlies, shooting just 12 for 39 (30.8 percent) from the field through the first three games of the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals. The difference between his regular-season shot chart and his performance through three dates with the Grizz evokes a move from Wimbledon to Roland Garros, and it couldn't have come at a worse time, suffering as the Thunder offense is without injured point guard Russell Westbrook.
Whether you ever bought Ibaka at this stage of his development as a potentially viable second offensive option for Oklahoma City, he sure isn't performing like one now, and that's a pretty big reason why the Thunder find themselves down a game heading into a crucial Game 4 at FedEx Forum on Monday. After the Grizzlies snagged control of the series with an 87-81 win in Saturday's Game 3, Thunder star Kevin Durant, who has had to do nearly everything for Oklahoma City on offense since Westbrook went down in Round 1, took responsibility for Ibaka's struggles: "I have to pick him up, and that is what I have been doing. We have to get him confidence. [...] It's all in his mind."
Asked about his struggles and Durant's comments during the Thunder's Sunday practice, Ibaka acknowledged that the mounting misses are getting to him, according to John Rohde of The Oklahoman:Read More »from Serge Ibaka admits all his missed shots are in his head ‘a little bit,’ vows to be more aggressive