By Trevor Zickgraf, Project Spurs.com
The Western Conference Final is set and the West's two best teams (maybe the league's two best teams) tip off what should be an epic series.
There are a lot of storylines and match ups to watch but probably the most important one is Tony Parker versus Russell Westbrook. Two of the top five point guards (two of the top three?) in the NBA this season who use blinding speed to create shots for themselves that are nearly impossible to stop.
It would do a disservice to the many other moving parts for both teams to say that whoever wins the Parker-Westbrook match up will win the series, but whether or not Westbrook can stay in front of Parker will go a long way in determining who ends up winning the West.
The San Antonio Spurs won the season series against the Thunder 2-1 in large part to Parker's brilliant play. In the first game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in January, Parker was dreadful, scoring only four points in the Thunder blow out win over the Spurs. The two Spurs wins? Parker scored 42 points and dished out nine assists, the next game he scored 25 points and tallied seven assists. If you look at the player vs. player comparison on NBA Stats Cube, Parker shot better and finished with a +/- of 10.7 with Westbrook on the court as opposed to with him on the bench. Westbrook spends a lot of time covering Parker when they're in at the same time, and often times Parker goes crazy because despite his physical gifts, mainly freakish athleticism, Westbrook is a lazy defender.
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