Is Ibaka playing Game 3? Is Caron Butler going to get a starter nod? Will Coach Brooks stick to his starting lineup?
Serge Ibaka is now upgraded to game-time decision. He did running and shootaround earlier without limping. If he plays Game 3, he will still play hurt. DTTF-wise, his re-introduction puts a lot of uncertainty on all our picks. If you want to be safe, pick Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook if you still have them; they will play their hearts out regardless of how the roster looks.
Certainly, one cannot pick Ibaka just yet. If he plays Game 3, I reckon he'll focus mainly in defense in his expected limited minutes. That spells bad PRA. Too bad 5 blocks don't count.
Caron Butler and Ibaka starting will make more sense since that floor lineup is the Thunder's best this season. Ibaka not playing Game 3 may put a little damp on Butler starting. If he does start, that affects Reggie Jackson too. Jackson will have to carry a thin bench then. He produced better PRA in the Memphis series Games 6 and 7 when Butler started.
Even those picking a Spur on Sunday is affected by Ibaka playing. A paint patrolled by Ibaka is like putting insect repellant for drive-to-the-basket pests like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Even Tim Duncan will be hesitant to take it to the rim, and may succumb to mid range shots.
For now, my pick remains to be Reggie Jackson. If Butler starts and if I have time to change picks, I might.
[UPDATE] Ten Before Tip reports that Ibaka will play. Also, Reggie Jackson replaces Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup. I guess my pick stays. Reggie is the hottest pick Sunday -- great shakeup in the leaderboards later if this lineup change works. Or maybe not, Westbrook and Durant are combined 41% owned.