Parker fit and ready for Westbrook test

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com


VIDEO: Marv Albert discusses the Western Conference final matchup 

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.”

17 Comments

  1. okc2014 says:

    Stop drinking haterade you Russell Westbrook haters! It’s not a good look!

  2. kingranches says:

    no Ibaka= no chance for OKC.

  3. kingranches says:

    IMO the ability to kick the ball out doesn’t exist for Westbrook. You can’t kick it out and be the hero at the same time and he obviously wants and needs to be number one. Personally I’m counting on him to help the spurs win this one, he’s just not that good, atheltic yes, but the spurs have cut their teeth the last 15 years against superior athletes all playing for the newsreels and not their teams or the wins. i don’t believe ibaca won’t play for IF that turns out to be true, look for an easy victory for the spurs, because they have an easy time with one or two player teams and OKC will be imo down to 1.6 players if Ibaca is out.

  4. RCCOLA says:

    Its all about Match ups , but my heart hopes for the Spurs in 6, but in reality I think its OKC in 7..

  5. Bill says:

    Shouldn’t be having Parker waste energy trying to guard Westbrook. I know it might sound crazy, but why not consider putting Kawhi on him instead?

    • Omar says:

      No we need Kawhi on Durant, so we could put danny green on Westbrook and we could put parker on sefolosha since he’s not really a threat on offense. Much better matchups

  6. BigDawg says:

    Ibaka does not have a Plantaris tear, it’s a strain. Presti chose his words carefully, “Ibaka is “not expected” to play the rest of the playoffs. “Not Expected” means slight possibility Ibaka could play.

  7. lakers says:

    westbrook is up and down…takes to many bad shots…problem with westbrook he thinks hes better then KD…SPURS IN 6

  8. Max says:

    Block Russell out of head on to goal. Let him CHARGE. Then he can sit on the Bench and growl at Officials. He Cannot stand it that he is NOT #1

  9. KDfan says:

    As stated Ibaka has a Plantaris tear. The return time from this injury is 6-8 weeks at the minimum and that too not at 100%. Nobody, even an amature, with plantaris tear can play. So, believe us or not, I’ve cleared the situation for you. However, Parker playing with a Grade II hamstring injury (last year against the Heat) was either gutsy or plain stupid, as a Grade II will turn into a Grade III on a dime. Or, the injury was upgraded to throw the opponents of?? Get the drift?.

  10. okckd35 says:

    Westbrook is better than Parker. Parker is good but is also a product of the system (coach pop is amazing) i only say this bcause pop can pretty much plug any of his players in during injury and get production. but as for sheer athleticism and skill i think RW is better. he just gets knocked on because he shoots a lot. The loss of Ibaka hurts quite a bit to the point i think the spurs will win in 6 but thunder til i die. Thunder up!

    • Brainundrum says:

      This comment is so suspect. Plagued with fan bias. Westbrook might be stronger; thats about it. He’s more athletic. That doesn’t make him better and it definitely doesn’t make him smarter.

      • Aa says:

        I know this is going to sound odd, but I think OKC wins in 6. I don’t think there is a team in the league that can beat them, except the Heat. We can’t out talent the Heat so it depends on execution, and I believe the Heat execute the ball more consistently than we do. I think (even with Ibaka gone) that we can still out talent the Spurs. The Thunder can make things very difficult for Parker, Duncan, Splitter and Leonard. When you have two guys like Westbrook and Durant, it get’s very difficult during crunch time (playoffs) to beat a team constructed like that. I also this series will show how important it is to have two players with that combination of age/talent/experience (when they use those skills to get the role players moving). Loosing Ibaka is huge, but nowhere in the same realm as when Westbrook went down last year. Of course I’m probably biased, living in OKC. I think Thunder are good enough to win 60% of the time. That’s not 4 of 6 games, but pretty close.

  11. ruben says:

    Looking forward to it !! yes…I’m going to the game !!!

  12. nbaRulez says:

    parker is the best point guard in history???? you ever heard of magica johnson?

  13. MR210 says:

    This series will matchup the top two point guards in the league.

    Parker is probably the best point-guard in playoff history.

    Russell Westbrook still has a long way to go to catch up – but I’m sure one day he’ll be up there.

    Looking forward to this matchup – though Russell Westbrook will probably play 40+ minutes and flirt with a triple double. We’ll see how much he has in the tank if the series goes the distance.

    Stats don’t mean anything – only thing that counts is a WIN.

    So I’ll take the proven Winner – Tony Parker to prevail as he and the Spurs win in 5.

  14. I’m guessing Tony will be tested early on as Russell will attempt to drive into the lane. The defense will collapse a bit to help out and Russell ‘s ability to kick the ball out will determine the game’s flavor. With the perimeter defenders the Spurs have, they should be okay, but if the Okies get hot from outside it could get really scary for San Antonio. Adjustments will be made as they always are so I’m confident the Spurs will prevail. Still, I’ll be a nervous wreck all day waiting for tip off. I can also see a scenario whereby the Thunder play Serge starting with game three. The objective would be to instill some fear into the Spurs and remind them of what happened the last time they faced off this late. I know folks say the Spurs know the importance of each game, but they’ve shown they can play timidly at times. THAT scares the hell out of me. If they stay focused, they’ll take this.