DEFENDING TONY PARKER
One of the biggest challenges the Spurs will present the Thunder when the Western Conference final begins Sunday is Parker, San Antonio's point guard.
Parker scored a season-high 42 points against the Thunder on February 4, which stands as the third most points scored by an opposing player against the Thunder this season.
“There's no question he's a good player. He's going to score. That's what he does,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He leads that team in scoring. He has the ball in his hands a lot and he gets to the paint and he's talented. He's smart, he's clever and his outside shot is much better. You have to respect that.”
Westbrook said Parker's quickness is a part of what makes him so effective.
“He likes to stay in attack mode and get in the paint to get guys open 3s,” Westbrook said. “So you got to find a way to slow him down.”
Asked if this season was the best Parker has played, Westbrook said: “I don't know. But his team is doing well. They had a great record, the best in the West so this definitely might be one of the best years he's played.”
VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE REACHES RECORD NUMBER
A record 24 teams will participate in this year's NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
The Thunder is among the seven NBA teams that will not.
Brooklyn, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia Orlando, and Utah also will not be present. Those seven teams are expected to compete in the Orlando Summer League, which the Thunder has made its summer league home since 2010.
The Thunder has opted to compete in Orlando annually as opposed to Las Vegas because of Orlando's shorter schedule and more structured environment. In Orlando, each team plays every day for five days. In Las Vegas, there are breaks each team's five-game schedule and the league is held over a 10-day span.
A team of NBA D-League Select players will serve as the 24th team in Las Vegas.