Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Wednesday’s Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder boils down to one thing:If Tony Parker figures out how to counter OKC’s tough defence and play well, the Spurs will win and extend the series to seven games.
If instead Parker keeps playing as awful as he has in the last three games (only 16 points and 4 assist per game on 39 per cent shooting to go along with a bunch of turnovers), the Spurs’ season will end and OKC will punch its ticket to the NBA Finals.
It’s really that simple.
Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook are still going to make Parker’s life miserable in terms of his shot selection, that much we know.
How can Parker lead San Antonio to a win in Game 6?
By channeling his inner Rajon Rondo and taking over the game in a facilitating role, not a scoring role like he did in the first two games of the series (both Spurs wins).
Rondo couldn’t buy a basket in the Boston Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Miami Heat Tuesday, only going 3-for-15 from the floor and missing eight of his 11 shot attempts from inside the paint.
So he chose to lead his team to victory with 13 assists and tremendous hustle (Rondo assisted Kevin Garnett on nine of his 11 field goals).
The Thunder have clearly figured out how to stop Parker. And much to the surprise of everyone, he and head coach Gregg Poppovich face elimination because they can’t find a solution to the problem.
So the only way this series lasts past Game 6 is if Parker is patient and waits for the Thunder defence to collapse on him on the perimeter so he can find his teammates for open shots.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.