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Tony Parker attempts a layup in Game 4 of the Clippers-Spurs series.
This matchup could easily decide the winner of the West.
Russell Westbrook's spectacular scoring ability and defense has kept the Thunder near the top of the West throughout the season. When he's really fired up, he can stay with a player and hold them scoreless for an entire quarter.
Just ask Jason Terry.
In Game 1 of the OKC-Dallas series, Jason Terry had 20 points and was the reason Dallas was beating Oklahoma City. However, Westbrook was assigned to guard him and follow him wherever he went (except the bench), and the Thunder ended up winning because Terry didn't score.
Against Tony Parker, that'll be tougher, but if Westbrook can deflect passes, block the middle, and disrupt San Antonio's system, the Spurs will be in trouble.
However, that task is much easier said than done. Parker was an MVP candidate and has had a marvelous year, anchoring the West's top-seeded team. He's run San Antonio's system very well throughout the season, and because of that, his numbers have shot upward.
On the defensive side of the ball, Parker will have to stop Westbrook, but he is capable. If Westbrook is struggling, Durant or Harden will take over, so the Spurs will have lots of trouble slowing all three down. But by stopping Westbrook, Parker would unlock a door full of opportunities for the Spurs.
Both players will have to work very hard to slow down the other, and both will have lots of trouble on both sides of the ball. Both players are very, very talented, and the point guard battle will come down to who will play harder to stop the other.
Because hustle will determine this battle, I really can't pick a side.