The spotlight will be on the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder's point guard matchup -- Tony Parker versus Russell Westbrook. Both All-Star guards have their team's peaking at the right moment and both are headed for a collision course this Sunday in San Antonio.
For Parker, he has faced Devin Harris and Chris Paul en route to the Western Conference Finals while Westbrook had to face Jason Kidd and Ramon Sessions. Needless to say, TP has had to face tougher competition at the point guard spot than Westbrook did.
And it is this point that Parker says Westbrook hasn't faced a point guard like him.
Parker said ''it's not going to be like Dallas or the Lakers'' for Westbrook, adding that their point guards are ''not as aggressive'' as the Spurs' leading scorer.
In eight games in the playoffs, TP has averaged 19.1 points, 7.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and shooting 43% from the field. Westbrook has averaged 24.1 points, 4.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and shooting 47% from the field in nine games in the playoffs for the Thunder.
Though this is the marquee matchup, do not expect to see much of Parker and Westbrook to be guarding each other much of the time. Sure, they might guard each other once in a while but Danny Green and even Kawhi Leonard might be given the bulk of the defensive work on Westbrook in order to put a bigger guy on him and keep TP out of foul trouble.
But you got to love TP's competitive side showing here. Safe to say he is raring to go and Westbrook has been warned. Though I am sure Westbrook is also raring to go against the MVP candidate as well.
Zach Lowe had a good article on Parker's games vs Thunder. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/05/25/tony-parker/
Hands down TONY PARKER has been putting up MVP TYPE numbers in the season and in the first second rounds in the playoffs neither PGs are slouches TONY PARKER has to stay hungry vs WESTBROOK make him play both sides of the ball also put a body on dude cause he loves to crash the boards
I think quick point guards like TP and RW are to a large extent unguardable. These guys could easily hang 40 on each other night after night. What's more important is the interior defense--e.g., what Duncan and Ibaka do when RW and TP take it to the hoop.
This is what the playoffs are all about, the clashing of two heavyweights, let's go SPURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well it's sort of true, Westbrook has faced Jason Kidd, Delonte West, Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake so far. Really? Not one premiere point guard Russell has faced, and this will be his biggest challenge yet. Honestly they offset each other because Parker can't guard Westbrook and Westbrook can't guard Parker. Kawhi Leonard will be guarding Durant, and that will scare me. Either Kawhi will do a rather decent job defending Durant, or Durant will expose the rookie and just go off. The number one key for the spurs is their bench. Almost EVERYONE has to play good now. Gary Neal needs to do what he did in Game 4 against the clippers. Hopefully, Bonner will drain some open 3 pointers. And Manu, who has been almost non-existent this entire playoffs, needs to really step up because he's going to be playing the younger version of himself in Harden. And Stephen Jackson, now he has been non existent. He needs to step up offensive wise. He is capable of scoring alot but has yet to prove it in the playoffs. I understand he's a tough defender, but come on, reach in and channel the Golden State Stephen Jackson and actually score some meaningful points when you are in the game!!
This OKC team reminds me very much of our earlier years (as far as their "big three" goes)
They have a Superstar in Durant (Duncan), young, explosive score first point guard (like TP), and then you have Harden (like Ginobili) coming off the bench and putting up great numbers. Not to mention Harden has already stated how much he idolized Ginobili's game growing up and anyone who watches Harden and DOESN"T see Ginobili's game in him is crazy.
They will win a championship or two in the near future if they keep that core. But this year is ours.. sorry OKC...
@russman138 Actually Harden is an LA kid and he idolized Kobe Bryant growing up. But yeah, in terms of his skills and game, when he was interviewed during the 2009 combined he said his game most resembles Manu.
I'll bet Lenoard will guard Durant and Jackson will get some time as well and Green will get some time against Westbrook, but when Hardin is on th floor with Durant, and Westbrook ,Parker will hold Fisher, or Daqun Cook. OKC is at there best when Hardin is the playmaker with Durant and Westbrook are on the wings.
I want the media(including you) should stop trying to make shit where there is none. Parker simply stated a fact, westbrook has not faced a point guard like Parker in the playoffs.You think kidd and sessions are elite point guARDS? lol, give me a break.
I disagree. I think tony will guard westbrook a lot. I mean him or ginobili or anybody that can play point. I think danny green, kawhi, and jackson might take durant. long arms versus long arms.
I will bet that Pop wanted Tony to challenge Westbrook so the guy would feel it's necessary to dominate (which leads to OKC self-destructing).