We took a look at a list of goals for the entire Thunder team a couple weeks ago. But let’s get detailed. Let’s get specific. I’m going to dig in and hit on some individual goals for a few players that would define a successful season. So what meters for success should we set for Serge Ibaka and Byron Mullens?
Don’t become Mo Sene. In other words, don’t become best buds with the Gatorade jug. Sene had potential but never found a way onto the floor unless OKC was down 30 with a minute to go. Ibaka showcased a far more polished game in the summer than Sene ever displayed, so that’s encouraging. He’s just 20, so I understand if he gets put on the end of the bench to learn and work. But the point is, don’t get trapped there. Show some improvement throughout the season, forcing Scott Brooks to give you time. Whether it be four minutes at the end of a game or 15 meaningful ones in the first half, just get some time on the floor. Sure, I’d love to see him explode and have a big year, but let’s be realistic and keep our minds set on player development.
Learn help defense. This will be a major goal for Byron Mullens as well, but with Ibaka’s length and absurd athleticism, there’s no excuse for him to not be swatting shots from little guards that try and come to the rim. He was late helping during summer ball, but that’s understandable as he learned the pace and feel of the game. But like I said, if there’s one thing he should do well, it’s rejecting shots from the weak side. Keep Reading…