With Darnell Mayberry’s tweet and Chris Silva’s blog reporting that Serge Ibaka will start at center for the Thunder tonight, I couldn’t help but remember the plethora of conversations, discussions, debates, and name calling incidents that have centered around where Ibaka should play and if he’s a true 4, a tweener 4/5 or somewhere in between.
So, let’s have a look at the potential positives and negatives of starting Ibaka at center for the Thunder’s first preseason game against the Charlotte Bobcats and beyond.
Pro: Serge will get to play with the starting unit. This is obviously a no-brainer for both sides of the “Serge is a PF/C” argument because both want to see him eventually emerge as a starter, so getting as much time as he could with the starting unit is a good thing considering the fact that he would have been coming off of the bench in any scenario not involving him starting at center.
Con: He won’t be playing at the position he’s most well suited for and spent the majority of last season at. While some would argue that any time on the floor is good time (and I typically support this idea), some other individuals would also claim that Serge seeing time at center will only highlight some of his deficiencies from last season, namely his poor boxing out and man-to-man iso defense against bigger opponents, unless he has significantly improved those already, and might cause him to play differently when he returns to PF when Krstic and Collison get healthy. Keep Reading…