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NBA.com currently has a poll asking fans if Rockets guard Kyle Lowry or San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker deserve a spot on the Western Conference all-star roster.
Parker answered that question on Wednesday as his 24 points and four assists topped Lowry’s efforts. On Saturday, Parker had bigger fish to fry.
It’s widely expected that Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook will be selected by coaches to backup Chris Paul when the All-Star reserves are announced next Thursday.
Finishing with 42 points, nine assists and becoming the Spurs’ all-time assists leader, all while being defended by Westbrook could be enough to turn some heads, just as the Spurs did by handing the league-leading Thunder just their fifth loss of the season.
In Paul Garcia’s game preview yesterday, he said the Spurs would need big contributions in order to stop the Thunder.
The Thunder come into San Antonio as a team on a role as they’ve only lost two of their last 10 games. The Spurs will need big contributions from the starters to the bench for this game.
There are four areas I’ll be observing tonight as I watch this game:
3) Tony Parker vs. Russell Westbrook – Westbrook and Parker are very similar aside from their age. They’re both speedy, score first guards, and streaky shooters from the outside. If Parker is aggressive on offense, it’ll make Westbrook have to work that much harder on defense and allow the offense to run through Durant and Harden, which would essentially limit one of the Thunder’s weapons in Westbrook.
Parker, Leonard and Tim Duncan all had big games and the Spurs got scoring from everywhere. While it seemed like the Parker vs. Westbrook game for a while. Westbrook couldn’t keep up with Parker for the entire game.
“When I first got here, all I heard was Avery Johnson and what he meant to this city, the community and the Spurs organization. So I feel honored and happy to be with Avery as one of the best point guards in San Antonio and I owe a lot to Pop. He’s the one who has pounded me to be a good point guard and to share and know the balance between scoring and passing.”
– Tony Parker
By the numbers
13-1 – Spurs record at home with the win against the Thunder
-26 – Westbrook’s plus/minus against the Spurs
9/19 – Kevin Durant’s shooting percentage. Durant was hounded by Kawhi Leonard all night.
15 – Game-leading rebounds by Tim Duncan to go along with his two blocked shots.
Since Manu Ginobili was injured, Tony Parker has only had three games where he has not scored in double digits. His assist numbers are also off the charts this season. While in past years, I’ve advised against picking him up in smaller leagues due to him being mostly a one-cat player, that’s a different case this season. If he’s sitting on the waiver wire and you need points, assists and reliable shooting numbers, don’t hesitate to pick him up. I’m sure his fantasy owners are celebrating today.