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Clippers’ Ibaka undergoes back surgery, will not return these playoffs

Michael Holley and Michael Smith say the Clippers’ inconsistency can be troubling and it’s hard to tell who they are quite yet because it’s still early in the series with the Jazz.

Last offseason, the Clippers signed Serge Ibaka to be a key player for them deep in the playoffs. In a series like the one against the Jazz, he could space the floor as a center who can shoot the three (pulling Rudy Gobert out of the paint) and providing rim protection on the other end.

However, Ibaka missed 30 games with a back issue this season, and in the playoffs has been on the court for 18 minutes against Dallas, minutes where he could not move well enough to meaningfully tribute.

Friday, the Clippers announced that Ibaka underwent back surgery on Thursday, and while he is expected to make a full recovery, he is out for the rest of this postseason.

That postseason may not last much longer with the Clippers down 0-2 to a Jazz team that has yet to play Mike Conley this series.

Ibaka, 31, has a $9.7 million player option for next season he is almost certain to pick up.