Parker-Westbrook At Center Stage





The hits just keep on coming for Tony Parker. No sooner does he get past the Clippers and All-Star point guard Chris Paul than up pops the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook blocking his path.

Never mind three-time NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant. After the Spurs finished a long practice Wednesday ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, Parker said the key to keep moving ahead is slowing down Westbrook.

“He’s more aggressive. Chris is more looking to get his teammates involved. Westbrook is going to take a lot of shots. He’s going to be super-aggressive. It’s going to be one of the keys, trying to contain him.

“He’s definitely the head of the snake on this team. He gets them going. Durant is obviously the best scorer in this league, but I think Westbrook is the one who makes them go.”

When the two teams squared off in San Antonio back in February, coach Gregg Popovich insisted that Parker try to get up 30 shots in order to keep the pressure on Westbrook and the Thunder. He finished with a season high 42 points and the Spurs won easily.

“Pop wanted me to be aggressive, told me to be extra aggressive actually that game,” Parker said. “I was in a good rhythm. Shot was feeling good. Manu (Ginobili)was not playing, so I had a lot more plays for me.”

So more of the same to open the series?

“We’ll see, huh?” Parker said. “We’ll see what they do. We’ll see if they trap me like the Clippers. We’ll see on Sunday.

“I’m definitely going to go at (Westbrook). It’s definitely not like Dallas or the Lakers, where their point guards are not aggressive. It’s going to be a little bit different. I’m going to go at him and make sure he works a little bit.

“That’s why you play basketball, for these great challenges. Chris Paul was a great challenge. Now I have another one.”

32 Comments

  1. dabog says:

    MIAMI HEAT WILL BE THE CHAMPION- TRY TO STOP D-WADE AND LBJ IF YOU CAN OR KILL THEM BOTH TO GET THE TROPHY FROM THEM. LOL

    • Jay says:

      @dabog. Clearly, you have been watching basketball w/ your minds closed. Try toning down a bit your emotion & pay close attention.

  2. Mary Ross says:

    This is the year of the thunder. Love Parker , but peanut butter& jelly is better Westbrook & Durante

  3. Albert says:

    Both Parker and Westbrook are great scorers, but defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS….Parker will slow Westbrook down on offense and also wear him down on defense, but we seem to forget that we have other great defense players on the spurs…I would let Danny Green defend westbrook at some time so tony can save some energy and how can we forget Kawhi Leonard on Kevin Durant………Not saying he will shut him down but will make him earn those points!!!!!!! We have great star matchups here , but we cant forget about the spurs youngsters and bench that will be the difference and really interesting to watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOSPURSGO

    • Randall Hill says:

      You are nothing short of a genius!!!! You just said exactly what any real Spurs fan has known from the beginning!!! The Spurs will not allow Tony to tire himself out guarding Westbrook for the entire game instead they will alternate guys like Danny Green and possibly even slide down Kawhi Leonard to take the pressure off of Parker defensively so that his Offense doesn’t suffer due to a lack of energy from working so hard on defense. The thunder on the other hand lack any other defenders who are fast enough much less talented enough to guard Tony or keep him out of the paint. So with all of that said the Spurs will win in 4 by slowing down Westbrook just like they did with Chris Paul who is in actuality a better point guard than westbrook overall!!!! So thank you Albert for keeping it real and informing the misinformed about how a real team like the Spurs works!!!! I respect and appreciate your post bro!!! GO SPURS GO!!!

    • gameon says:

      you guys made me smile < Spurs in 6

    • Jay says:

      @Albert. You are absolutely right, the Spurs bench is the difference. They’ve been in absentia for the past 3-games.

  4. doe columbus says:

    Your chance of stopping Russell Westbrook is about 0% Tony Parker!!! Just ask the BLACK MAMBA!!!!!!

    • RayRay20 says:

      You clearly didn’t watch the Thunder-Lakers games. Russel Westbrook completely tore apart Sessions and Steve Blake, but when Kobe was rotated around to defend him he seemed as though he couldn’t sink a shot (like in Game 3 of that series). Westbrook has no problem blasting around other point guards, but he seems to face a problem when faced with one of the league’s premier defenders (like in the Lakers games when they put MWP or Kobe on him).

  5. peter says:

    The Spurs-Thunder rivalry will start in this series. They will be rivals in the years to come. Tony Parker is as freakishly athletic as Westbrook as he scores more points in the paint than any point guard but Westbrook can take a jumpshots in front of him like he is not there due to his high leaping ability. The Series will boil down to who scores more in the sense that offense will be highlighted more than defense. Defense wins championships but in this series it will be secondary.

    • Christiaen says:

      Rivals for years to come?
      Should the Spurs be able to win another championship this year, or even if they loose, my guess is that Duncan will announce his retirement by the end of the season. And if he quits, I don’t think Ginobli will play much longer. The Spurs won’t be good enough anymore to be even considered a rival for OKC.
      That being said, San Antonio is a great team now and a big challenge for OKC. If OKC wins this series, it’s hard to imagine them being beaten by any other team in the finals.

    • RayRay20 says:

      The Spurs are aging. I doubt they’ll ever truly be considered “rivals” with the Thunder of the sort that comes with the Lakers-Celtics rivalry. Even though this series guarantees to be an exciting one, in the West the ones most suited to be rivals to the Thunder (in age and potential) are most probably the Clippers and (wait for it), the Timberwolves.

      • crazyjoe says:

        Really ,the SPURS are aging.
        1- the SPURS avg. age is 27.6
        2- you don,t win championships with young player
        3- the depth of this team is scary

  6. jan_279 says:

    If OKC is gonna win this series, I think Westbrook needs to be more of a facilitator for the Thunder. He should let KD and Harden take care of much of the offensive burden ’cause the Spurs have proven to be good enough to contain him and expose the flaws of his offensive game during the regular season. If he’s gonna take more shots than Durant, I don’t see the Thunder winning this series.

  7. Douglas says:

    Defensive pressure from Parker will cause more turnovers from Westbrook. They did lead the league in turnovers? San Antons depth in defense and the 3’s will make the difference.

    • Jay says:

      @Douglas, you certainly hit the nail in the head. Only that it’s the other way around huh

  8. D-Knitz says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to this point guard matchup. Tony Parker sounds like he is too. While Parker is more of a traditional PG than the freakishly athletic Russell Westbrook, both guys have the potential to drop 30 points on any given night. I think this series will be tight, and both Westbrook and Parker will have one or two 30-point nights. But on the whole, I expect Westbrook to score less than his playoff average of 24.1 and Parker to score less than his average of 19.1. We can expect guys like Neal, Bonner, Harden and Sefolosha to get an unusually high number of shots on account of the interior defenses on both PGs. While the Spurs may are more experienced and well coached team, I predict OKC will win it in 7, if only because Kevin Durant is the undisputed scoring champ and perhaps the most clutch player in the NBA.

  9. lamarcus says:

    Parker and Westbrook are both with speed… but only parker has the consistency going the basket… Dunking is just only an exhibition but being a point maker (consistent as parker) it really matters on how to win a championship… Beside westbrook has NO LEADERSHIP thing, Parker HAS…

    • bunbury says:

      lamacus come on. Let me guess, you’re a spurs fan. parker is older, he is been in the league since 2001. of course he is going to be a better leader, he is supposed to. more consistant, maybe. the spurs play a different style. parker was not very consitant early in his career either. TALENT wins championships too. and WRESTBOOK is full of it. I still believe the spurs are going to win though, BUT NOT BECAUSE PARKER IS A BETTER PLAYER, the spurs are playing some of the best basketball i have ever seen.

  10. teamSpurs says:

    parker let westbrook feel your defense presence that was absent in ther previous games…gospursgo

  11. Krespino says:

    By my logic, OKC must get this one: OKC has the best scorer in the leauge, easly the best defensive player (Ibaka), the best sixth man. Plus a very productive PG. I don’t know when was the last time a team had all those together. Plus Kendrick Perkins who does not produce much but intimidates opponents. Sefalosha is also fine. Plus their youth and energy. I’m curious to see how Perkins will impact Duncan’s game, because Perkins most probably be harsh on Duncan and maybe even dirty.

  12. charles says:

    Parker-Westbrook is the reason this is truly entertainment. I love Duncan and Durant, but they are simply not as exciting as Westbrook who is absurdly talented and athletic. Parker is smart and super speedy. We’ll see who comes on top – who am i kidding i don’t even care…this is one of those rare moments when the journey is better than the destination.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      i dont know charles those 3 game winners in the playoffs from Durant were all pretty exciting!

    • gameon says:

      Man Charles I felt that comment hit me in my soul I am just going to be honored to watch it, it is going to be great!

  13. nickbartlett12 says:

    Parker is the most underrated player in the NBA. Westbrook is gonna get more attention because of his freakish athleticism and dunking, but Parker is more consistent and solid as a player.

    Check out my latest article about the Lakers:

    http://www.nbainsight.com

    • Fr3D says:

      I have to agree with your comment. Parker doesn’t have the athleticism but a basket is a basket, and he’s been consistent for oh so many years. Hopefully it won’t be an ugly series, both teams can score a lot and in different ways…looking forward to it!

      • crazyjoe says:

        “Parker doesn’t have the athleticism” are you kidding me,the fastest player in the NBA.

    • Ken says:

      I think Andre Miller is the most underrated player in the NBA. I’m not saying he’s an All-Star or anything, but you NEVER hear his name come up. Ever. The guy gets it done every single night and he deserves more credit.

      But yea not to hijack your post, Parker is very underrated as well. You always hear CP3, Rose, DWill for best PG… to leave Parker out of that conversation is not right. And if Westbrook keeps lighting it up and playing they way he’s been playing, his name should be coming up there soon as well.

      • bunbury says:

        I think WRESTBROOK is underrated. Considering how much credit ROSE gets, WRESTBROOK is the most underrated SUPERSTAR in the NBA. It reminds me of CWEBB- only a 6 time allstar- ridiculous.