By Randy Renner
Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka has always been known as a shot blocker. Early in his career that's about all he was known for.
But now as Ibaka's game has evolved and improved he's recognized around the league as a much more polished all-around defensive player.
Several wondered, especially his teammates, if he shouldn't have been named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.
That honor is surely in Ibaka's future but for now he continues to pile up appearances on the NBA's All-Defensive Team.
Ibaka and Clippers point guard Chris Paul are the only players whose names have been listed on the First Team for three straight seasons.
Ibaka is still a premier shot blocker, leading the NBA again this season in total blocked shots. He's been at the top of those charts for four straight seasons. He and legendary shot blocker Dikembe Mutomdo are the only players (at least since stats on blocked shots have been kept) to have led the NBA in that category for at least four straight seasons.
Ibaka played and started in 81 games this past regular season and helped his teammates maintain one the best defenses in the NBA.
The Thunder held opponents to just 43.6 percent shooting (3rd lowest in the NBA) this past season.