Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka will miss the remainder of the postseason with a left calf injury sustained in the team's second-round Game 6 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced.
Ibaka suffered the injury contesting Chris Paul's drive to the basket during the third quarter. He had to leave the game and was deemed "doubtful" to return. The Thunder rallied to win and close out the series, led by reserves Nick Collison and Steven Adams.
However, Ibaka's presence will be badly missed in a Western Conference Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. Ibaka has made significant strides even since the Thunder's 2012 series win over San Antonio, particularly defensively, where he's cultivated his raw tools into a devastating rim protection package. His ability to hit mid-range jumpers also provides Oklahoma City's offense with a modicum of spacing. It's unclear if the Thunder will start Collison in his place, or instead go small more often with Kevin Durant at power forward and Adams, Collison or Kendrick Perkins at center.
This is the second straight year the Thunder's postseason run has been interrupted by a key injury. Russell Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus in the first round last year against the Rockets, and he missed big chunks of the 2013-14 season, as well.