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Russell Westbrook’s Matchup Against Steph Curry Might Be The Best Part Of The 2016 NBA Playoffs

Submitted by on May 16, 2016 – 4:25 pmNo Comment
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Earlier this afternoon, Russell Westbrook was asked what it’s going to be like for him to guard Steph Curry during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Western Conference Finals series against the Golden State Warriors. He gave a very honest—maybe too honest—answer about how he’s going to approach guarding the NBA’s two-time MVP.

“He’s a shooter,” Westbrook told reporters. “He’s not nothing I haven’t seen. Him, [Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian] Lillard, guys like that can shoot the basketball from four or five feet behind the three. You got to do a little different job. Just be physical.”

When you read Westbrook’s words—specifically, “He’s not nothing I haven’t seen”—it sounds like Westbrook is taking a shot at Curry. The world has never seen a player quite like Curry before, so why is Westbrook dismissing him like he’s just another guard? But if you watch Westbrook speak about Curry today, it’s clear he has the utmost respect for him. Lillard, like Curry, is an amazing player who is almost impossible to guard at the top of the key. So when Westbrook compares Curry to him, what he’s really saying is that he’s going to have to work overtime on the court to stop him. He’s not going to be able to simply coast through this series on the defensive end of the court, and he knows it.

 

The Westbrook vs. Curry matchup is going to be one of the best parts of the Thunder/Warriors series and could very well end up being the best part of the entire NBA Playoffs. Not many people expected the Thunder to make it to the WCF, so Westbrook and his teammate Kevin Durant are going to be playing with chips on their shoulders. They’re not going to get on the court and play intimidated like some other teams have done against the Warriors. Instead, they’re going to be ready to go from the tip of Game 1 tonight, and it’s going to be a hard-fought battle for both teams.

The Warriors might be the favorites to win the series, but don’t tell that to Westbrook. He’s seen Curry before, and he knows what he has to do to try and stop him. Now will he be able to do it? That’s where the fun begins.

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