Spurs vs. Thunder Preview & Prediction

The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are both fighting for positioning at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture. San Antonio has won three of their last four games and have risen to sixth in the conference, while OKC has won four games in a row while grabbing a firm hold on the eighth spot.

Projected Starting Lineups

San Antonio Spurs (44-26)

G Tony Parker –14.8 ppg, 4.9 apg

G Danny Green – 12.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg

F Kawhi Leonard – 16.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.3 spg

F Tim Duncan – 14.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg

C Tiago Splitter – 8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Oklahoma City Thunder (41-30)

G Russell Westbrook – 27.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 8.7 apg

G Andre Roberson – 3.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

F Kyle Singler – 3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg

F Serge Ibaka – 14.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg

C Enes Kanter– 17.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg

What to watch for:

Will Westbrook get another triple-double?

This is the burning question every time the Thunder have taken the floor over the past month. Westbrook has officially put up five triple-doubles in the past 11 games - it was six until a rebound was taken away in OKC's win over the Heat - and no one would be surprised if he put up another. He's absolutely carried the Thunder without Kevin Durant, and he might carry them to a win over the defending champs, which leads to the question....

How will the Spurs guard Westbrook?

No one in the world has the athleticism to guard Westbrook one-on-one, which causes most teams to organize their whole defense to stop him. This has led to Westbrook having five straight double-digit assist games, four of which have been Thunder wins.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is less inclined to do that, and usually focuses his defense on taking away everyone else while letting the opponent's superstar put up their numbers in a loss. He'll probably do this with Westbrook tonight, meaning someone else is going to have to step up for OKC.

Prediction: Spurs win 102-95

Westbrook will do all he can to carry the Thunder, but San Antonio is rounding into form and Popovich will find a way to limit Westbrook's overall effectiveness on the game.

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