OKC Lineups Without Ibaka
By Jay Cipoletti
Over the course of four games and 192 minutes in the regular season, no Ibaka-less Thunder lineup played more than 10 minutes against the Spurs. Only two lineups have played more than four minutes total, both of which include the four-man grouping of Steven Adams, Nick Collison, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb.
Interestingly enough, though statistically insignificant due to sample size, is that four-man grouping with Derek Fisher posted a Net Rating of 40.7. When Fisher was replaced with MVP Kevin Durant, the Net Rating dropped to 27.2.
The question it does raise, however, is how Scott Brooks will manage around the absence of Serge Ibaka. Will the Thunder give more minutes to a cohesive second unit that experienced success in very limited action against the Spurs? Or will Brooks attempt to maintain the first unit's dominant regular-season 11.1 Net Rating against San Antonio (110.2 OffRtg; 99.1 DefRtg) by spreading Ibaka's minutes to Nick Collison, Steven Adams and others, depending on matchups?
A look at the Thunder Big 2 of Durant and Westbrook with the two bigs offers conflicting insights.
|Regular Season||Regular Season vs Spurs|
|3-Man Lineups||Minutes||OffRtg||DefRtg||Net Rtg||Minutes||OffRtg||DefRtg||Net Rtg|
Although adding Collison to the equation proved to be more effective in the regular season, versus the Spurs and the rest of the League, Adams played twice as many regular season minutes with the Big 2.
We will begin to find out tonight how Brooks will attempt to address the Ibaka-sized challenge.