We Finally Get To See Spurs vs. Thunder
The matchup I'm most excited to watch in this series (besides Durant vs. whoever is trying to guard him) is Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook. These two guys are speedsters who love to push the ball. Tony Parker had one of his best seasons, scoring 18.3 points per game on 48% shooting and a career-high 7.7 assists per game. Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, finished 5th in the league in scoring at 23.6 points per game. Westbrook is a crazy little firecracker on the basketball court, and it will be interesting to see if Parker can manage to find consistent offense while having to battle Westbrook on the other end of the floor. Something I'd love to see out of Westbrook, however, is for him to defer to Durant just a little bit more. Westbrook has taken more shots than Durant in 5 out of the 9 playoff games thus far, and is averaging more field goal attempts than Durant in the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, Westbrook should shoot, he's a talented scorer, but this year's scoring champ should be option number one.
I was sort of kidding before with that comment about Durant, because I truly am excited to see the matchup of Kevin Durant being defended by Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was acquired by the Spurs on the night of the 2012 NBA Draft when they traded guard George Hill to the Pacers for the draft pick with which they selected Leonard. His defensive mentality was what sold the Spurs on the 20 year-old prospect, and he hasn't disappointed. Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich is one of Leonard's biggest fans, comparing him to former Spurs' lockdown defender Bruce Bowen. "He’s aggressive and not afraid to stick his nose in it. Failure doesn’t bother him. You score on him, he doesn’t sulk and say gee coach, this and that. He goes back and tries to do it better,” Popovich said of Leonard.