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Serge Ibaka out for rest of regular season

"Son Of The Congo" - 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

attends the premiere of “Son of the Congo” during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Heather Kennedy

The Thunder initially ruled out Serge Ibaka approximately 4-6 weeks with his knee injury.

The low end of that projection would put Ibaka back in the lineup Wednesday against the Timberwolves for the season finale. (Oklahoma City hosts the Trail Blazers tonight in its penultimate game.)

Royce Young of ESPN:

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This wouldn’t be the first time Ibaka beats the Thunder’s public timeline for his return from injury, but if we take Brooks at face value, that’s one more reason for pessimism about Oklahoma City making the playoffs.

The Thunder are 43-37, tied with the Pelicans for the eighth in the Western Conference, but New Orleans holds the tiebreaker. The Pelicans finish with the Timberwolves and Spurs.

So, in order to make the playoffs Oklahoma City must win one more game than New Orleans – and do it without Kevin Durant, with only game of Russell Westbrook and without Ibaka. It’s certainly possible, but the Thunder’s defense has fallen apart without Ibaka, and good luck scoring in the game Westbrook misses (unless his 16th technical foul is rescinded).