Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Derek Fisher
Fisher is 35 and allowed 30-year-old Steve Blake to go off for a triple-double (23 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) Wednesday. So it's not just young point guards he struggles with. Westbrook averaged 22 points, 9.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds his last two games against L.A.
Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Kobe Bryant
Kobe's point production vs. the Thunder: 31-26-40-11. Sefolosha has done about as good a job defensively as anyone, but Bryant averages 27 against the Thunder and the league.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Ron Artest
Artest has made a career bullying opponents defensively. But Durant is shooting right at 50 percent and averaging 26.4 points against Artest's teams the last two season. The thin man isn't intimidated.
Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Pau Gasol
Both guys create mismatches their teams thrive on, Green by taking bigger power forwards outside, Gasol by beating smaller ones down low. Neither has sparkled in this series this season (Gasol 13 ppg, 8 rpg on 39.4 percent shooting; Green 11 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 37.7 FG pct.).
Center: Nenad Krstic vs. Andrew Bynum
Health is an issue for both. Krstic says the knee that caused him to miss the last four games is fine. Bynum is returning from a strained Achilles tendon but is expected to return for Game 1 of the playoffs. Bynum's stats against the Thunder (19.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 62.8 FG pct) show his value. In the one game he didn't play, OKC romped.