NBA Confirms It: Ibaka Got Jobbed
Does anyone else find it interesting that Tyson Chandler, this year’s recipient of the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, was only a second team selection on the 2011-12 All-NBA Defensive Team?
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Serge Ibaka deserved it more and the NBA knows it.
Just look at the numbers.
Ibaka led the NBA in blocked shots with 3.7 per game in just over 27 minutes per game. Tyson Chandler averaged 1.4 blocks a game, 25th best in the league. Ibaka also had 43 more blocks in this year’s shortened regular season than he did over the full slate a year ago. And those were just the ones he got a hand on- he alters at least three or four more per game.
Ibaka had three games of 10+ blocks, one of eight, three of seven, and six with at least six blocks. Roughly a quarter of the games he played in this year he had at least six blocks; that’s impressive.
Blocks don’t tell the entire story about any defensive player, but you sure get a quick idea how effective he was by looking at Ibaka’s numbers; especially when you consider he’s only playing 27 minutes a game. And at “just” 6-10, it’s not like we’re talking about Shawn Bradley here, who could blindly walk into more blocks because of his size alone.
But it isn’t about just the statistics, even though there is plenty of data there to support a “Pro-Ibaka” argument.
Ibaka is such a force that even as a fan watching the game, you can see how other players adjust to not only his shot blocking ability, but just to know where he is at all times. In bouncing the Lakers from the playoffs, Ibaka’s presence alone sapped both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol of effectiveness, just like an NFL QB running scared and reacting to a pass rush that doesn’t come.
Tyson Chandler is definitely one of the best defensive big men in the NBA, no doubt, but the season Serge Ibaka had should’ve been rewarded with NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors. And apparently, the NBA agrees in hindsight.
Photo Credit: AP NEWS