May 5, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second quarter in game one of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Serge Ibaka (calf) leaves game, doubtful to return

After tweaking his leg in the middle of the third quarter, Serge Ibaka exited the game with a calf injury and according to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he is doubtful for return.

No Ibaka is a huge loss for the Thunder. Prior to Game 6, the Defensive Player of the Year candidate averaged 12.4 points on 64 percent shooting along with 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, all while giving Clippers star Blake Griffin hell in post-up situations. Before exiting tonight’s game, Ibaka had 3 points, 2 rebounds and a block in 35 minutes of action.

With Ibaka out, veteran forward Nick Collison will get the bulk of the minutes. Collison isn’t the better overall player than Ibaka, but he’s the perfect player a team needs in a situation such as this. Defensively he won’t be able to contain Blake Griffin on the other end, but Collison adds another dimension to the offense as he is one of the best playmakers the Clippers have.

All-in-all, the Thunder have to hope that Ibaka is healthy rather there’s a Game 7 between the Clippers and Thunder or when they begin to prepare for the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals. If he isn’t healthy, their road to the NBA Finals will have gotten a lot harder.

Tags: NBA NBA Injuries NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Serge Ibaka

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