By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com
SAN ANTONIO — Though he admits to lingering pain and tightness in his left hamstring, Tony Parker says he’s fit and ready to play Game 1 of the Western Conference finals tonight against the Thunder.
Parker, who suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in the close-out game of the previous round of the playoffs against Portland, will draw on his experience from a year ago in the NBA Finals. Back then, he suffered a Grade 2 strain against the Heat, but still managed to play 36 minutes and scored 26 points in Game 5.
“I know what I have to do,” said the Spurs point guard.
Parker will face his toughest defensive matchup of the postseason going head-to-head with OKC’s Russell Westbrook. However, SportsVu tracking cameras showed Parker having success during the regular season, limiting Westbrook to just four points on 14 drives to the basket when they were matched up during the regular season.
“I just try to be aggressive and try to make him work,” Parker told reporters following a full workout with the Spurs. “He’s super aggressive and he’s very good at going to the basket. So I just try to make it a little harder on him at the defensive end.”