I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.The Book of Second Timothy
There has been a few articles going around sharing thoughts about: “Why the Toronto Raptors should let Serge Ibaka leave in free agency at the end of this year.”
When I saw a few headlines like this, I thought it was an absolute joke. I didn’t realize April Fools was in July this year. I wanted to check the credentials of these so called sports writers and I wondered where they got this absolutely foolish idea. In my findings, they seemed to be puff pieces from these “writers” that have never played a game of basketball in their life. In my opinion, they also have the sports knowledge as great as New York Knicks owner James Dolan.
This article is about “Why the Toronto Raptors Need to Re-Sign Serge Ibaka”
The Serge Ibaka Impact
Serge Ibaka is 30 years old and has grown tremendously in all areas of his game through out his career. He has learned a lot from playing with Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol and has become an extremely key piece for the Raptors going forward. The impact and versatility of Serge is on both ends of the floor.
Serge Ibaka is versatile on the defensive end. He has always been known as a GREAT shot blocker. He also has developed into a GREAT positional defender. The impact he has on the defensive end, protecting the rim and having the athleticism to get out and contest a three point shot has been a focal point to the Raptors tough defense. The length of Serge Ibaka and his ability to switch onto a smaller defender, makes it hard for any player to score on him.
Serge Ibaka is versatile on the offensive end. Ibaka is able to make plays with his passing ability, the pick and roll (finishing at the rim), the pick and pop (hitting the mid-range jumper consistently) and being able to stretch the defense being a consistent three point threat.
Ibaka is averaging 16 PPG, 8.3 REB, 1.8 AST and is ranked in the top 10 for PER amongst centers in the NBA. This is all with dealing with minor injuries this year, and sharing playing time with Marc Gasol.
Marc Gasol & Serge Ibaka
When the Raptors centers are healthy it provides a balanced attack. It also gives them versatility at the center position. Marc Gasol is great for running the half court offense through. Serge provides a constant pick and roll & pick and pop option for the guards. Both centers are elite at boxing out and grabbing rebounds.
The beauty of this tandem is when Nick Nurse decides to put them both in the game together! The line-up of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol is one of my favorites. The athleticism of Pascal & Serge give them the ability to guard the perimeter and tons of length to clog the paint. The tree planted in the water known as Marc Gasol is at the end of the funnel of the Raptors defense, which makes anything at the rim contested.
The Ibaka Effect
Serge Ibaka is known as one of the toughest players in the league. Something that motivates other teammates to be tough, is knowing you have one of the toughest guys around who will have your back no matter what.
Ibaka also brings energy and effort every time he is on the floor. He is an absolute difference maker and the Toronto Raptors are definitely going to re-sign him. Just click here to check out his PER.
Serge has expressed wanting to re-sign with Raptors and between him and Masai Ujiri, the Raptors will work out a great deal!
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BY: DAN CHANDRAN – a.k.a THE SPORTS REVERENDS
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