The Western Conference Finals is the ultimate matchup of transcendent scoring wings between Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki. However, the matchup to watch won’t be the offensive duel between Durant and Nowitzki or the chess match at point guard between Jason Kidd and Russell Westbrook. Instead, I’ll be watching for friendly fire between the Oklahoma City Thunder’s two stars.

Great tandems usually break up before they reach the peak of their success. Sometimes the breakups are amicable but most of the time they end with vitriol. Tupac and Biggie once rode together. Lex Luthor and Clark Kent were once best friends. Shaq and Kobe’s breakup left behind more carnage than a Michael Bay film set. As a result Kobe spent his prime scowling at Smush Parker and Kwame Brown while Shaq became a soldier of fortune. Lebron’s Cleveland career never recovered from Boozer’s backstabbing after the young power forward spurned Cleveland for Utah in 2004.

Throughout the Grizzlies series, the tandem of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant showed the first signs of chinks in their armor. Westbrook has had moments where he treated his teammates like NCAA history books treat the Fab Five. Russell Westbrook cuts to the paint harder than Waka Flocka and Kevin Durant can score from any spot on the floor. Together they could be the most potent young duo in the NBA. But do they mesh together? Does Durant need a pass first floor general and would Westbrook flourish as the #1 option like Derrick Rose?

On every possession, it seems Westbrook’s mind is made up by the time he woke up in the morning. Either he creates ball movement or lowers his head and commits to creating his own shot. Shawn Lealos of the Oklahoma City Examiner said Westbrook has a dangerous tendency to revert to hero mode.We’ve all seen in it before on the movie screen–or your illegally download laptop version: A wannabe hero rushes headfirst into a deadly situation only to cause more harm to himself and those around him.

Comic book heroes are more prevalent than talking cars(Cars, Transformers, Herbie Fully Loaded) these days so let’s use one for comparison. In the world of superheroes, Westbrook would be Dave Lizewski. In the graphic novel and film, Kick Ass was an alter ego created by Dave Lizewski, an over stimulated teenager who sought to emulate his comic book heroes. ( II Pause–spoiler alert!) IThrough his escapades, Kick Ass accidentally becomes famous before crossing path with two professional heroes in “Big Daddy” and Hit-Girl. Kick Ass’ involvement ultimately gets “Big Daddy” killed and almost nearly costs Kick Ass his own life.

In reality, Durant is the equivalent to “Big Daddy” in Oklahoma City. He’s got all the weapons in his utility belt. Westbrook reckless decision making has painted him as the NBA’s caricature of Kick Ass. By ignoring Durant and Harden, Westbrook nearly led the Thunder to a premature playoff end.

Despite averaging 8 assists per game in the regular season, experts have frequently wondered whether Westbrook has the skill and mindset of a shooting guard. For two years at UCLA, Ben Howland had Westbrook play off the ball. Steve Nash’s name has been tossed into the mix as a possible addition to the Thunder. Or perhaps with Russell Westbrook out of the mix completely, Chris Paul would be better suited for the Thunder. The Hornets did play their home games in Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina.

In the playoff’s his shot frequency increased from 17.0 shots per game in the regular season to 20.3 in the first two rounds. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose’s shot totals have also increased from 19.3 to 23.2 in the playoffs. Fortunately, Derrick Rose does not play alongside one of the great scorers of our generation. thus deflecting any criticism.

Ten years ago, ┬áSteve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki ran in Westbrook and Durant’s shoes. The two separated amicably but have often left the basketball speculating what could have been if the pair had not split in 2004. Nash and Nowitzki could have been an alternative to the Lakers and Spurs dynasties of the mid to late part of the decade. If the chasm between Durant and Westbrook grows anymore, the Thunder could have a high profile divorce on their hands.

There were moments in Games 3 and 4 where Kevin Durant gave Westbrook a look only Elin Woods could identify with. Westbrook righted the ship with a season high 14 assists and the first Game 7 triple double since Scottie Pippen’s(the sidekick prototype) in 1992. Whether he was simply saving his shots for tonight remains to be seen. I enjoy watching Westbrook and Durant but as a Wizards fan I’d enjoy Wall and Durant even more. This series will give us a glimpse into how plausible which future scenario may be.