Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Who Has the Edge?

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Point Guard

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Toney Douglas, Nemanja Nedovic

Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, Derek Fisher

April 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) rests between plays during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The City Thunder defeated the Warriors 116-97. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook are two of the top, young point guards in the NBA.  It’s gotten to the point where almost every team seems to have talent at the point guard position, but these two players still stand out – and they could not be more different.

Curry relies heavily on his shooting – as he should.  He is the best shooter in the game.  He lacks athleticism and a powerful first step, but he makes up for it in other ways.  Curry’s range makes his pump fake even more effective and his ball handling is actually underrated.

Curry loves to stop-and-go, dribble behind the back, and his crossover is very good.  He also has a great floater for when he gets into the lane.

Westbrook is one of the most athletic players in the NBA.  His size, strength, and speed allow him to leave defenders in the dust.  Westbrook is known as a bit of a chucker and doesn’t have a three-point shot, but he still manages to be an efficient scorer.

Curry rarely – if ever – dunks in game, but Westbrook is a powerful dunker.  These point guards also differ when it comes to defense.  Westbrook is able to use his athleticism and length to contain his man.  He is a great defender.

Curry, on the other hand, has to work a lot harder to make an impact on defense.  He is an average defender at best, but he seems to be making improvements.  He isn’t short, but he is small and he can be bullied by larger players.

Westbrook’s defense and athleticism make him the better player, but any team would be happy to have either him or Curry.

As I mentioned when comparing the rosters of the Warriors and Clippers, the backups for the Warriors have much to prove.

Reggie Jackson, on the other hand, played well when Westbrook was injured during last year’s playoffs.  He is a great scorer and he was able to do a decent job of running the Thunder offense.

Edge: Thunder