The Thunder From Down Underlahoma signed Serge Ibaka to a four year deal. Baraka means “blessing” in Hebrew, and even though Ibaka is spelled differently than Baraka, the Thunder are hoping he is a blessing for them. The lad turns 23 in September, and thus far he has averaged .540 FG%, .695 FT%, 6.9 RPG and 2.4 BPG. Those are solid numbers, and there’s room for improvement. Just because there’s room doesn’t mean he will improve, of course. There’s room in my heart for love, but I don’t allow it!
Ibaka has not actually improved over three seasons. He’s been consistently the same, but for youth we want improvement. Because he is so young, I can’t say he won’t improve. That would be foolish, and foolishness is a young man’s game. Defense is the area I believe Ibaka will increase his output next season. The #1 reason I say this is because out of all of the stats in the world, he showed dramatic improvements in blocks – from 1.3 BPG to 2.4 BPG to 3.7 BPG. I don’t think that means he gets 4.9 BPG next season, but to me I see a man increasing in confidence and execution. Next season, I seem him producing the following: .540 fg/.680 ft/0.0 3pt/10.0 pts/8.0 rbd/0.4 ast/0.6 stl/4.1 blk/1.1 tov