Given word Serge Ibaka might play Sunday against his team, San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich provided his best Capt. Renault impersonation.
"I'm shocked. I'm so surprised," Popovich said, a deadpan response from a man who has seen about everything the NBA playoffs can deliver.
Sunday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals is a time for desperate measures, and down 0-2 at home in the series means the Oklahoma City Thunder must dig deep for inspiration.
Ibaka, initially reported to be out for the rest of the series, if not for the remainder of the playoffs, is now day-to-day, according to general manager Sam Presti. No one questions the change in Ibaka's status or whether a miracle cure has been discovered for his leg injury.
Least of all Popovich.
"I told you from the beginning I know Sammy and we knew he would be back, and that's good," he told reporters, via the San Antonio Express-News .
"Nobody would wish that on anybody to miss the playoffs. We've had guys miss the playoffs before and it's obviously a downer. If he gets back in and I'm sure he will, as I've said from the beginning, I think it's great."
Not that Popovich was the only one channeling a scene from the legendary movie Casablanca.
"It doesn't change anything," Spurs center Tim Duncan said. "We're going to play the same way and act the same way, and hopefully have the same results."
Spurs players had for days expressed doubt that Ibaka was done[......]