Toronto Raptors big man Serge Ibaka isn’t just hungry for the variety of unique food items he serves his guests on his cooking show. Ibaka’s menu this spring has one thing on it: a deep playoff run.
After a pair of disappointing sweeps at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers the past two seasons, the Raptors re-tooled their team to give themselves a better chance at post-season success.
The moves paid dividends, as this year’s iteration of the franchise enters the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s second seed, and has a legitimate shot at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Removed from the heartbreak of seasons past, Ibaka is ready to leave everything on the court in hopes of capturing that elusive championship.
“I’m hungry for these playoffs. I’m ready,” Ibaka told Yahoo Sports Canada. “I’m playing in a position I was begging for in the playoffs last year. They are different situations, and now I’m playing where I can be me...
“I know one thing for sure: these playoffs, I want to give everything and I want to give my best.”
Ibaka is no stranger to playing into June and knows the taste of reaching the NBA Finals, as his Oklahoma City Thunder team fell to the Miami Heat in 2012. Should the Raptors emerge out of the Eastern Conference, that experience — along with Kawhi Leonard’s — could prove instrumental in helping deliver a title north of the border.
Toronto’s path begins with a first-round series against the seventh-seeded Orlando Magic, but going all the way is the only thing that will satiate Ibaka.
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