September 17, 2020, 2:56 pmFred VanVleetPG, Toronto Raptors
Masai Ujiri said on Thursday that Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are all priorities for the team in the offseason.
All three are set to hit free agency, and Ujiri gave VanVleet the extra special nod as a "big priority." The Raptors figure to go big game hunting in the 2021 offseason and would like to maintain enough space to add a max player, but will also try and thread the needle by keeping as much of the band together as they can. Despite losing two starters from their championship run, Toronto didn't skip a beat and took the Celtics all the way down to the final 20 seconds of a fantastic seven-game series. VanVleet will command the most on the market as a starting-caliber guard, but all indications to this point have been that the Raptors will try and work something out. Ibaka has previously indicated a willingness to re-sign but might have to take a discount for that to happen. Gasol is rumored to be considering a deal in Europe to wind down his career, though he is still a superb defensive player even if his game looks a little uglier than it used to. We'll see what Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster do to try and reload for another title run.
Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter
September 12, 2020, 12:52 amSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka logged 20 minutes off the bench in Friday's loss to the Celtics, contributing 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, adding just eight rebounds and one trey to the box score.
Ibaka tied Norman Powell with a plus-six on the plus/minus column tonight as the Raptors starters found themselves struggling with their shot for most of the game. Ibaka has been a consistent force off the bench for the Raptors throughout this series and the nine-year vet will get some much needed rest, now that this hard-fought series is over, though not with the result he and his team had hoped for.
September 10, 2020, 1:19 amSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka returned from his ankle injury in Game 5 and played 21 minutes, ending with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 3-of-5 from deep along with three rebounds in Wednesday's big win over the Celtics.
Ibaka removed the walking boot and hit the court for his standard allotment of minutes. He's been deadly from three in this series and has consistenly stepped in to give his team a jolt of scoring when the Raptors' offence stagnates. They'll need him to keep it going if they hope to take Game 7.
September 9, 2020, 5:06 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka (left ankle sprain) will play without any minutes restrictions in Wednesday's Game 6.
Nick Nurse said that Ibaka was "ok," and while that's almost surely disguising the fact that the big man is under 100%, there was little doubt that he'd be playing in a do-or-die game for the defending champs. Ibaka was in a walking boot during yesterday's media session, so we'll have to see how he looks in this one. He was spotted entering the arena sans boot on Wednesday if you're looking for another positive sign.
Source: Josh Lewneberg on Twitter
September 8, 2020, 2:27 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka (left ankle sprain) is listed as questionable for Game 6 on Wednesday.
Ibaka was forced to leave Game 5 with the injury and said that he feels worse today than he did in the immediate aftermath, which is not a great sign. We'd expect Ibaka to try and gut it out with the champs facing elimination but if he can't, it'll mean more minutes for Chris Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Source: NBA Injury Report
September 8, 2020, 11:36 amSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Speaking to reporters this morning, Serge Ibaka revealed that he twisted his ankle in Game 5 and is going to see how he feels tomorrow morning to determine his availability for Game 6.
Ibaka showed up in a walking boot this morning and his availability looks to be up in the air for the crucial Game 6 tomorrow. This would be a tough blow for the Raptors who have struggled to contain the paint and have been outplayed by Daniel Theis and Robert Williams. We should get another update tomorrow but Nick Nurse could be forced to play Chris Boucher or Pascal Siakam at the center position if Ibaka can’t give it a go.
Source: Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter
September 7, 2020, 11:07 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka managed seven points, four rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes before exiting during the fourth quarter of the Raptors' Game 5 loss on Monday.
Ibaka shot 5-for-9 from the field and did not return after leaving. After the game, Nick Nurse said that he wasn't aware of an injury. Nevertheless, this was a bit of a letdown after Ibaka scored 18 points in Game 4. It's also true that Nurse hasn't given him more than 22 minutes in any of his last three contests.
Source: Michael Grange on Twitter
September 7, 2020, 8:52 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka was forced to head to the locker room during the fourth quarter of Game 5 on Monday with an apparent leg injury.
The Celtics are leading by 20 points late in the contest, so this could be a precaution. Ibaka scored seven points in 19 minutes prior to exiting.
Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter
September 5, 2020, 9:32 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka shot an ultra-efficient 7-of-9 from the field which included a perfect 4-for-4 clip from beyond the arc to finish Saturday's Game 4 win over the Celtics with 18 points, seven rebounds and one block.
Ibaka has been a solid pillar of consistency for the Raptors so far and his contributions off the bench, especially from 3-point land have been invaluable. He pounced into action everytime Marc Gasol (four points, two rebounds, five assists), who eventually fouled out of the game, was hampered by said fouls.
September 1, 2020, 9:57 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka hit three triples in the Raptors' loss on Tuesday, coming off the bench to drop 17 points, snag nine boards and dish two assists.
Ibaka was stroking it from deep in the first half and wound up going 3-for-5, his fourth consecutive contest with three makes from outside. The Raptors needed Ibaka's presence down low (and on the outside on offense) with Marc Gasol in foul trouble on Tuesday, but it wasn't enough. The Raptors are now down two games to none and will need to right the ship in Game 3 on Thursday.
August 30, 2020, 3:58 pmKyle LowryPG, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry (left ankle sprain) looked no worse for wear in Sunday's loss, dropping 17 points (5-for-12 FG), six rebounds, eight assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 35 minutes of action.
It was Lowry's first game since injuring his ankle last Sunday and he was easily Toronto's best player in a disappointing performance. He was an uncharacteristic 6-of-9 at the free throw line (the Raptors went 22-of-29 as a whole) but was the only member of the starters who finished better than minus-18 (he was minus-5) as the Celtics led wire-to-wire. Serge Ibaka (15 & 9 with three triples) and OG Anunoby (12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a 3-pointer) were the only other Raptors to really show up in this one.
August 23, 2020, 9:16 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka bullied the Nets with 27 points on crazy 12-of-14 shooting from the field to go along with 15 rebounds, 3-of-3 shooting from deep, two assists and two blocks in Sunday's Game 4 win over the Nets.
Ibaka was a dominant force as he basically had his way against the Nets' defense from pretty much anywhere on the floor. The Raptors complete the expected 4-0 sweep and now get a well-deserved rest.
August 21, 2020, 4:24 pmSerge IbakaPF, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka went 8-of-12 from the field for 20 points and made all three of his attempts from distance during Friday's Game 3 win over the Nets.
Ibaka also chipped in with 13 rebounds, two assists, one steal and two turnovers while he hit his lone attempt at the foul line. Ibaka has continued to outplay Marc Gasol despite the fact that he has come off the bench in each of the first three games.
August 21, 2020, 3:56 pmMarc GasolC, Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol couldn’t find the basket on Friday, going 1-of-7 from the field for 3 points in 22 minutes.
Gasol chipped in with five rebounds, six assists, one trifecta and two blocks and was outplayed by Serge Ibaka, who gave the team a great spark off the bench with a 20 point and 13 rebound double-double. Despite coming off the bench, Ibaka has outplayed Gasol in each of the team’s first three games. He added two assists, one steal, two turnovers and was a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Ibaka should continue to be the more reliable fantasy option moving forward.
August 19, 2020, 5:05 pmNorman PowellSF, Toronto Raptors
After a disappointing Game 1, Norman Powell responded in a big way in Wednesday's victory, finishing with 24 points (11-of-17) six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one trifecta in 33 minutes off the bench.
Powell tied Fred VanVleet for the game-high in points and was far more efficient from the field. The only area in which he struggled was from distance (1-of-7) as he did not miss a single 2-pointer. Powell was by far the most effective bench player while Serge Ibaka was the only other player who saw significant minutes off the pine. In 26 minutes, Ibaka had eight points, six rebounds, one assist and one block. The Raptors appear to be running with a seven-man rotation with Powell and Ibaka as the key players off the bench.