The late night signing of Serge Ibaka has given the LA Clippers what they needed most going into the next NBA season.
After a first two days of free agency where it felt like the LA Clippers were missing out on guys that could help, the announcement that the team landed Serge Ibaka led Clippers fans to let out a sigh of relief.
Ibaka was the best candidate for the backup center spot on the market, and the Clippers got their guy. As the center off the bench, Ibaka can alleviate some of the biggest problems that led to a disappointing end to last season.
You don’t need me to tell you that defense off the bench was a huge problem last season, but I’m going to anyway. In the playoffs, when Ivica Zubac was on the court, opposing teams scored 106.1 points per 100 possessions. When he sat, teams scored 116.7 per 100 possessions.
If the bench hemorrhages points like that, it’s going to be hard to win playoff series. Now the Clippers have a very good defensive center for when Zubac sits. There can be 48 minutes of quality rim protection and defensive play from our bigs.
Not only that, but spacing isn’t going to be an issue when Ibaka’s on the court. Last season he shot 38.5% from three on a little above 3 attempts per game. Lou Williams‘ pick and roll game that he had with Trezz is going to have an added dimension now, with Ibaka being a great pick and pop shooter.
Ibaka also has the skills to play the 4 in limited minutes. He hasn’t got the speed to defend some of the faster power forwards out there, but in big lineups he can absolutely play next to Ivica Zubac for a few minutes at a time. This will be crucial with the loss of JaMychal Green.
The front office looked at the end of last season and saw that our biggest problem was our backup center play. By letting Trezz walk and signing Ibaka, they’ve addressed that need. It’s an encouraging sign if you’re a fan of the LA Clippers.
How are you feeling about the Ibaka signing? Do you think he’s the piece the LA Clippers needed to make a championship push? Let us know on social media, and keep following along here as free agency continues!