In this space we'll break down the best individual matchup of the week to see who's the better player. But toss out career accomplishments or potential. This is about ability -- strengths, weaknesses, intangibles -- and who gives his team the best chance to win. It's about the only thing that matters when you step on the court on any given night -- who's better right now.
This week's matchup features a pair of explosive guards capable of playing both positions who excel in uptempo situations. Russell Westbrook and Monta Ellis have a lot in common -- game-changing athleticism, 6-foot-3, 185-pound frames, full throttle mentalities and a flair for the dramatic.
But their main contributions come in different ways. Ellis pours in points by the truckload, while Westbrook has a hand in just about every phase of Oklahoma City's attack.
One is possibly the most underrated player in the game. The other is a rapidly improving cornerstone on a championship contending franchise. But which player's skill set has the biggest impact night in and night out?