“Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry are perfect examples of players who are respectively over- and underrated because of the teams they play for. Lowry’s the starting PG for the Rockets; Ibaka the starting PF for the Thunder. The Rockets have zero games appearing on ESPN, TNT, and ABC this season; the Thunder have 14. As a result, most casual fans don’t know who Lowry is, which is a shame because he’s Houston’s best overall player. His defensive on-off differential last year was minus 7.79 pts/100 possessions. Know how amazing that is? It’s better defensive numbers than LeBron, Howard, Garnett, Rondo, Iguodala, Tony Allen… or pretty much any other top-tier defensive player in the NBA. Serge Ibaka – whom many perceive as a great defensive player – actually allowed more points when he was on the floor than when he came off! (plus 0.17 pts/100 possessions) Numbers don’t lie; perception does."
Who would you rather have this season: Kyle Lowry or Serge Ibaka?
“So essentially your argument is because the Rockets couldn’t make the Playoffs and therefore get no TV coverage, everyone on the team is undervalued and every successful team has a bunch of overrated players due to national exposure, and not because they win games? Nice one. I’ll give your Rockets some advice: win more games. Serge Ibaka is a raw talent and his huge strides in the last two seasons - and inevitable huge leap in year 3 - have me salivating over those national TV appearances. I can’t wait to see an increase in his monster 2.41 BPG, swallow the 13.5 Rebounds Per 48 minutes, and sweet shooting 0.543 TS% touch. Lowry is a good guard, sure, but I can find a replacement. I’m choosing Serge Ibaka."
“Oh please, you really think national TV coverage correlates with winning? The Suns finished with a worse record than the Rockets last year and they have eight nationally televised games set. It’s all about star power, and I’m sorry to break your heart, but Serge Ibaka isn’t the Thunder’s star; Kevin Durant is. Ibaka can do three things well: block shots, rebound, and hit open midrange J’s. But he’s terrible at everything else. His assist rate is dead last among PFs, his scoring rate’s worse than Nenad Kristic, and don’t even get me started about his post moves (or lack-there-of). Lowry’s an all-world defender, fantastic 3-point shooter (37.6 %, 9th among starting PGs), never turns the ball over (2.1 TO’s/game, 5th among starting PGs), and has a true shooting % of 55 that’s equal to Derrick Rose. Face it: your boy Serge is just cotton candy; Lowry’s a shish kabob."
"How is Ibaka cotton candy? You just said he blocks and rebounds well. What does Lowry is shish kabob even mean? It’s not hard to pick out a stat, throw in a star’s name and suggest wrongly that Lowry’s better. Otherwise, Ibaka is: better than Howard and Lebron (#1 in Blk/48min), better than Bosh and Stoudemire (#8 in Rbs/48min), and better than Nash and Dirk (FG%). But that would be crazy. If Kyle Lowry is traded straight up for Rose, Lebron, or Howard I will personally give you Lowry’s next season salary in cash. The debate is Ibaka / Lowry and Ibaka is the rarer specimen. Sure, national coverage factors in winning teams and exciting players, but the Rockets have neither. Ibaka is an improving big, a charismatic performer at All-Star Saturday, and the clear starter on a championship-calibre team. It’s Serge Ibaka."