Ibaka scored 18 points (9-20 FG, 0-4 3Pt) and added nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block across 44 minutes in Thursday's 114-111 preseason win over the Pelicans.
Magic coach Frank Vogel pledged to treat Thursday's preseason finale like a dress rehearsal for the regular season and was true to his word, as Ibaka saw a massive minute load while helping the Magic erase a 23-point deficit before taking the game in overtime. Ibaka's prior three games were superior from an efficiency standpoint, but the power forward looks ready nonetheless to take on a primary scoring role for the first time in his career. He closed out the exhibition slate with averages of 16.8 points (on 54.6% shooting from the floor), 8.8 boards, 1.0 block, 1.0 assist and 1.0 three-pointer over 31.4 minutes per contest.
Ibaka put up 25 points (9-15 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 6-6 FT), six rebounds, two blocks and one assist across 36 minutes in Sunday's 105-98 preseason loss to the Hawks.
Ibaka was limited by a sore knee in the early portion of the Magic's preseason schedule, but he's looked outstanding while playing in the team's last three games. He ranked second on the team to only Evan Fournier in shot attempts Sunday and should be in line for the highest usage rate of his career with the move to Orlando. If Ibaka can pair his expected increase in scoring with anything close to the 59.3 percent mark from the field that he's provided thus far in the preseason, he'll have a shot at flirting with top-30 fantasy value.
Ibaka totaled 19 points (7-9 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 17 rebounds, one assist and one steal across 29 minutes in Friday's 114-106 preseason win over the Pacers.
Ibaka looked shaky in his 21-minute Magic debut two days earlier against the Spurs, but overcame the rocky outing in quick fashion by submitting a highly impressive stat line Friday. The big man assuaged some of the concern about his declining rebound rate by dominating the glass against the Pacers, while also taking on a focal role on the offensive end. The perfect showing from three-point land was especially impressive, and could be of critical importance to a Magic starting five that lacks any other outside shooting threats beyond Evan Fournier. Indeed, with Fournier sitting out Friday, the other four Magic starters combined to go 1-for-6 from distance.
Ibaka (knee) supplied seven points (3-8 FG, 1-1 FT), three rebounds and one block across 21 minutes in Wednesday's 95-89 preseason loss to the Spurs.
Ibaka was sidelined for the Magic's first two preseason contests due to a sore knee, but he was never at much risk of missing the start of the regular season. While he didn't get a full minutes load Wednesday, Ibaka still took on a major role in the offense with eight shot attempts. Now that Ibaka no longer has to defer to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, he should see the most offensive responsibility of his career, with the Magic likely viewing him as its top or No. 2 option. An expected spike in scoring combined with his contributions as a rebounder and shot blocker should make Ibaka a viable early-to-mid round target in most fantasy formats.
A sore knee has plagued Ibaka through the first two weeks of training camp, but he's since resumed practicing in full and will play "a lot" Wednesday, according to coach Frank Vogel. While it's unclear what exact minutes count Ibaka will receive, Vogel's statement would seem to suggest that the power forward could be in line for close to a full workload. That might be enough to make Ibaka a strong play in daily games, though there's a bit of an inherent risk with using him since it will be his first game with his new teammates.
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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W 114-111 (OT)
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|Career Shooting Stats|
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