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Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  44 responses

Tony Parker Ready to Attack Russell Westbrook


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

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.

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  • ALD

    Tony Parkers statement is the reason why KD is not the MVP…. oN another note, i hope tony can back himself up because Russ is not playing the same way when he scored 42.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    this series is going to be fiiire. the top 3 is better for the thunder right now than the spurs imo, but 4-12 the spurs are much better. One top heavy, the other deeeeeep. spurs in 7

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    man looking forward to the spurs thunder matchup. never thought i would be saying that about a spurs game.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    These two will be a great matchup!

  • Riggs

    umm the thunder still had a tougher postseason than the spurs, so it doesnt matter. Oh and their record is 7-1 facing two tough teams while the spurs finally faces a tough team.

  • IamYOU

    Well it is true that Westbrook is the heart of OKC. Without RW they’re doom.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    If there’s one huge difference in the teams, it’s coaching. Pop has more than an edge on Brooks. He has a whole grind-saw.

  • ash

    Whoever win this series win the NBA championship. As much as I enjoy the Heat they have no bench to compete with either team. Spurs has beaten them this regular so I’m expecting them to win the series. Keep in mind Spurs has home court advantage. Spurs in 6

  • LA Huey

    Riggs, Jazz < Mavs < Clippers < Lakers. You could just argue that the Spurs made their comp look worse more than the Thunder made their comp look bad.
    Regardless, Parker v Russbrook, Spurs D v Durant, Duncan/Diaw v Ibaka/Perk, Manu v Harden are all going to be so fun to watch.

  • http://slamonline.com jumpman22

    I think Tony is kind of bluffing here. He is also facing the same threats form WB, if not tougher. He knows that, and now hope that WB would spend more efforts on defending him than attacking.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    In game 1 Russel will shoot 30 and will make 5. Spurs for the SWEEEEPPP!!!

  • Ldub

    Neither of the guards are premiere defenders. I would give the edge to RW just because of his athleticism. Offensive effectiveness definitely goes to TP….but we shall see how the other guys play out. I would say TP over RW, Harden over Ginobli, Durant over whomever they put in front of him. Its going to come down to Duncan and the rest of the Spurs. I say OKC in 6 or 7!

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    I think Westbrook might actually get him this series. IDK why tho

  • FnF

    Sunday can’t get here fast enough.

  • Woody

    I have to agree with Hursty. Pop is the best coach in the league. The playoffs are about half court execution and the Spurs are the best in the biz!

  • shutup

    @Datkid because you dont like the Spurs like youve said countless times on this site. Tony Parker is probably the most underrated guard of our generation, while clearly the most successful. I am dying to watch these games great match-ups all-around. The Spurs have the advantage at the 4-5 because Perkins cant guard Duncan and as well as Ibaka is on defense his on the ball defense isnt that great and he cant help off Duncan or Diaw or Bonner and Splitter is very active on his cuts, that being said I don’t know what answer the Spurs have for Durant, maybe Stephen Jackson, hopefully Leonard makes it uncomfortable for Durant. Sunday can’t come fast enough.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Well he did just outplay the sh!t out of Chris Paul… who happens to be the best PG in the league. I mean he manhandled him. But Westbrook will be gunning right back at him, unlike Paul who refused to shoot that series and did so with a terrible FG%. This series will be awesome.

  • shutup

    @FNF lol your post wasn’t up when I started typing my comment, I walked away for a min hit submit comment then saw our posts back to back. This series is gonna be fireworks. I’m thinking Spurs in 6

  • Cranium Basher

    This topic is hot as hell. Everyone believes that it’s gonna be exciting than the Finals. Spurs has not reached the Conference Finals for quite a while and the Thunder is hungry for that Finals spot. Both team have great confidence after the 2 Playoffs rounds but I still pick the Spurs. This series will give me goosebumps for sure.

  • Jamaal87

    The Zombie Sonics re going down!

  • http://www.nba.com Saviour

    this is going to be an amazing series – I love TP’s game this game and RW is playing with straight FIRE….bring on the good times! Spurs in 6!

  • Ill Smith

    Definetely the series of the playoffs. OKC in 7, KD is on a mission.

  • LA Huey

    I predict foul trouble for Ibaka. Spurs big three are gonna have him biting so hard on pump fakes and misdirection.

  • http://Slamonline.com JTaylor21

    Tony Parker can get it (no homo)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I know it’s a video game and all but in 2k, SA just swept OKC despite OKC having HCA.

  • LA Huey

    JTaylor, I see 2K is piggybacking off my Fo-Fo-Fo-Fo prediction.

  • T-Money

    the thing is, kd can sometimes drift in and out of a game or let the game come to him. russ west just goes hard, all the time. he doesn’t ease into anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542782613 The White Steve Smith

    Patty Mills is going to be the difference maker in this series. He’s the spark that kicks San Antonios offense into a thrid (unstoppable) gear. If the thunder dont contain Patty Mills they wont make it to the finals.

  • Ldub

    @t-money….even with KD letting the game come to him…he still can drop 30. Its all within the rhythm of the offense and allowing other guys to get theirs too. Its a good way to go about it because he shoots such an effecient %, he doesnt need a ton of shots. Plus if he did shoot a grop, Harden wouldnt get his!

  • Ldub

    grip*

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    T-Money said:
    russ west just goes hard, all the time. he doesn’t ease into anything.
    I see you and Larry Bird have been talking.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    For the record CP3 was injured… A healthy CP3 would have won them at least a game or 2.

  • robb

    Pas de quoi.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    how often are they gonna guard each other? i see danny green guarding Russ and thabo guarding tony.

  • Mike

    Haha tony Parker matched up against the weak jazz and an injured Chris Paul. This is gonna be an awesome series. Thunder in 7

  • thomas lewis

    holyyyyy sh******* i cannnnt wait for thisss seriessssss!!!!!!!!!!!! 4-1 spurs

  • Dingo Rob

    @the white, Patty has seen minimal minutes during the playoffs I doubt he would be a concern as a game changer. I love the Spurs but the romance of legacy and future story telling Is likely coming to an end.

    Thunder nah nah nah na na naaaarrr

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    ^ Dingo were sarcasm goes to die.

  • Jerome

    Datkid is in high-school or he doesn’t know this game. Tony gonna introduce his little fren.

  • ripslam

    Thunder take it in 6. Neither of these teams have yet faced an opponent as good as the other, but I favor OKC’s trio (and bench) over the Spurs’.

  • JB

    When Westbrook is on his game he can’t be stopped. A beast of a PG

  • Phil da Windmill

    Tony Parker good and all but my homie Hustle Westbrook is explosive and he will yack on parker once or twice before the season ends.

  • Name Required

    Kawhi leonard will be the key. He will defend Russell. STOP DAT PENETRATION. Manu too though not as much

  • Weapon X

    cosign ripslam, JB & Phil da Windmill…Zero!

    @ Name Required, if Kawhi is covering Zero, who is covering 35??

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