As far as Tony Parker is concerned, Russell Westbrook has yet to face a real challenge at his position so far in these Playoffs. Parker is right, of course, as Westbrook has only had to deal with a decaying Jason Kidd, and the inexperienced Ramon Sessions in the first two rounds.
Parker presents Westbrook’s greatest challenge to date, and the San Antonio Spurs’ point guard promises to be extremely aggressive against his opponent.
From the Express-News:
On the evening of Feb. 4, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich walked into the dressing room at the AT&T Center and all but installed a green light in front of his point guard’s locker stall. Forget passing the ball. Popovich wanted Tony Parker to get up at least 30 shots that night against Oklahoma City. Parker “only” attempted 29 field goals in a 107-96 victory over the Thunder, good for a season-high 42 points. In the end, the performance transformed what should have been remembered as the night he passed Avery Johnson as the Spurs’ all-time assist leader into the night he completely obliterated the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. “Definitely, I think it sent a message,” said Boris Diaw, the Spurs’ starting center and Parker’s best friend.
It is Westbrook, and not three-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, who Parker says sets the tone for Oklahoma City. “He’s definitely the head of the snake on this team,” Parker said. “Durant is obviously the best scorer in this league, but I think Westbrook is the one who makes them go.” […] “I’m definitely going to go at him,” said Parker, 30, who is averaging a team-best 19.1 points and 7.1 assists in the postseason. “It’s not going to be like Dallas or the Lakers, where their point guards are not as aggressive. I’m going to go at him and make sure he works a little bit.”
Unlike most of his teammates in San Antonio, Tony Parker doesn’t shy away from openly displaying his self-confidence, and his unwavering belief that his team can win the NBA championship this year.
Parker will get his first crack at Westbrook and the OKC Thunder this Sunday night, in Game 1 of what promises to be a fantastic Western Conference Finals.