Los Angeles Clippers Down A Key Ingredient

When the LA Clippers pulled another... well, Clippers moment, going down 0-2 to the Dallas Mavericks in their first-round series, one line in the boxscore left a lot of onlookers puzzled:

Five minutes for Serge Ibaka? The same Serge Ibaka who was a key performer at both ends of the court in helping the Toronto Raptors to a championship in 2019?
The same Serge Ibaka who averaged over 15 ppg, 8 reb, and 52% FG  in his two-year Toronto run? 

Now we know why, as reported this afternoon by Shams:

And wait, it gets worse, when you compare Ibaka's importance to the team's big rotation:

Without their big-time big off the bench, the Clippers' fortunes have taken another hit, or so it would seem. Heading into Dallas for Game 3 tonight, it's a must-win for LA Basketball's running punch-line. 

Oh well, the good news for the Clippers? At least they can't blow a 3-1 series lead this time around. 


photo credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports