Spurs should have enough to beat Thunder in West final

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (left) talks with Tony Parker (center) after a timeout against...

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (left) talks with Tony Parker (center) after a timeout against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 14, 2014 in San Antonio, TX, USA. (Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:29 PM ET

Serge Ibaka’s season-ending calf injury has stolen some of the thunder from the Spurs-Thunder matchup in the West final, a potentially dramatic series that begins in San Antonio Monday night.

With OKC’s rim protector on the floor and an emerging offensive weapon when given enough touches in the right circumstances, Ibaka’s presence would have made the Thunder slight favourites over the playoff-savvy Spurs.

Without Ibaka, San Antonio should advance, even as guard Tony Parker nurses a mild hamstring injury, a setback that will probably force Parker to be more of a facilitator than a scorer.

Eventually, Parker will look to get off his own shot and there’s no one as fearless in basketball than this veteran point guard, whose credentials have all but assured Parker of his place in the Hall of Fame.


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