LA Clippers: Predicting Serge Ibaka’s stats for next season

Serge Ibaka, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Serge Ibaka, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Serge Ibaka has the chance to have a big year for the LA Clippers, and add to his strong resume as an important impact player in this league.

Ibaka’s season was derailed by injuries in both the regular season and postseason.

He passed the eye test, but his numbers weren’t exactly up to what we have come to expect from Ibaka.

Serge Ibaka will bounce back and put up better numbers for the LA Clippers this year.

Serge Ibaka put up 11.1 points this past season for the LA Clippers, which is the lowest he’s ever had since the 2011-12 season.

Now, Kawhi Leonard, who scored over 24 points a game last year, will likely not be around for a while. Some of those scoring opportunities are going to go to Ibaka.

That, along with him being healthy will help Ibaka see a stronger scoring average. I predict him to not necessarily get over 15 like he did in the season before last, but I think he’ll be scoring 13.5 points per game. He’ll meet it around the middle.

As far as his rebounding goes, he’ll be better with his rebounding too. Remember, even if Ibaka doesn’t start this year, he’ll be around the paint very often. There is only one other center currently on the roster, so I see him playing a lot of minutes down low.

He’ll be forced to step up, and I like the chances of a vet like Ibaka taking advantage of the opportunity. He averaged over eight boards a game in his last two years with Toronto, after getting his feet under him with the Raptors.

I think he’ll be more adjusted to playing with the Clips this year, and will get back to grabbing at least eight rebounds per game again.

As for his defensive numbers, it’s important to remember that Ibaka still did block tons of shots last year. He had 1.1 blocks per game. Just because he’s not blocking three or more shots a game like he used to doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have it as a shot stuffer.

The last time Ibaka played over 27 minutes per game (2018-19 season), he averaged 1.4 blocks per game. He averaged less than half of a game this past season, which literally can’t happen again. We literally don’t even have a third center on our roster.

Ibaka’s going to be playing a lot, and with that will come with more blocks. Now that he’s with a team who is going to send him in the paint consistently on defense (where as the Raptors had more options there), he’ll put up more than the 1.4 he had in the 2018-19 season.

He’ll have a block and a half per game next season.

Back to the offensive side of the ball, Ibaka shot 33.9% from three this past year. That’s not bad at all for a center, but it wasn’t great.

It’s honestly hard for me to expect that to change coming into next year. With Leonard out, more threes are going to go around. That could be a good thing for Ibaka, as he’ll have more chances to gain strong rhythm from behind the arc.

It could also be a bad thing, however, because these shots will likely be a bit more contested now that Kawhi isn’t part of the other teams’ defensive game plans.

I think he’ll shoot about the same this year from three, as well as about the same from the 51% he shot from the field in general. He’s now had three straight seasons shooting over 50%, and I expect it to continue again next year.

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Ibaka won’t be the savior next year, but he’ll be better. He’ll be an important player for the team next year, and is only getting healthier.