MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat star forward LeBron James has been playing some of the best basketball of his career in the 2012 playoffs. So it might not be the best time to give him even more motivation, which may be what Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka did.
“LeBron is not a good defender. He can play defense for 2-3 minutes, but not 48 minutes. LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-one-one,” Ibaka said.
Ibaka’s point on Kevin Durant is well-taken. However, when LeBron has been on KD; the Thunder’s primary weapon has struggled from the field. The rest of Ibaka’s statement is simply bulletin board material for the Heat.
The flaws in Ibaka’s statement are pretty obvious. LeBron is a four-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team’s first team and is widely regarded by opposing coaches as one of the toughest defenders in the entire NBA.
Plus, down 2-1 in the NBA Finals may not be the best place for Ibaka to challenge the best player in the world. LeBron is averaging 30.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in the Finals and is averaging just two personal fouls per game.
For his part, LeBron indicated he wasn’t at all concerned with what Ibaka had to say about his defensive prowess.
“I don’t care what he said,” LeBron said of Ibaka’s comments.
The Heat and Thunder will tipoff Game 4 Tuesday night at 9 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena.