By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
It’s bad enough when you lose a game and look bad in an area where you know you are actually very good but when you then have to go back and watch the tape and see it happen all over again...well that’s an even worse feeling.
“Of course we take it personally,” said Thunder forward Serge Ibaka when he was asked about the Warriors advantage in rebounds.
In fact Ibaka sounded almost embarrassed when he said watching the film of Game 2 made he and his teammates “feel like we’re soft...weak.”
And the reasons for the Warriors 45-36 advantage on the boards in general in Game 2 and their 15-7 domination of the offensive glass were just as obvious to Ibaka.
“They were tougher, they were more aggressive than us,” and Ibaka said seeing that happen was a little weird.
“Yes, it’s kind of weird, especially for us playing big. They’re small,” he pointed out. “So, yes it’s kind of weird but give them credit because they’re the best team in the game. So they’re going to come play. It’s not going to be easy. But we have to do a better job next game and be aggressive.”
Russell Westbrook didn’t totally agree with Ibaka that the Warriors made them feel soft and weak, “I wouldn’t say that he just probably meant that we didn’t play hard enough,” and on that point Westbrook is in total agreement.
“Just gotta play harder,” he said. “You know once we play harder everything else will go into place. I think that’s the most important part.”
Billy Donovan also wasn’t totally on board with the soft and weak assessment, “Yeah I don’t know that I would necessarily fully agree with that,” but Donovan did agree that the Warriors “were really physical in coming up with loose basketballs. They made those plays (in Game 2) and in Game 1 I thought we did a better job so I thought (the Warriors) did a great job of raising their level of play so maybe Serge’s point is that when you’re getting beat like that, to loose balls and rebounds, it can certainly make you look that way.”
And feel that way.
And that’s a feeling Ibaka can’t wait to get out of his system.