Modified: September 28, 2008 at 11:31 am •  Published: September 28, 2008
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Breaking down the Thunder's position battles as the team enters training camp

Starting point guard
Earl Watson vs. Russell Westbrook

•Skinny: Westbrook is the future, but the final decision is likely to come down to whether coach P.J. Carlesimo believes he can lead the team from opening night. There are no such questions regarding Watson, a seven-year veteran who averaged career highs of 10.7 points and 6.8 assists last season. Advantage: Watson

Starting small forward
Desmond Mason vs. Jeff Green

•Skinny: Mason is a proven veteran who doesn't mind doing the dirty work. But the Thunder is going into this season hoping to unleash Green, the fifth overall pick in 2007, more than the team could last season in Seattle. Mason could be a valuable sixth man or slide in as the starter at small forward and move Green to power forward when Carlesimo opts for a smaller lineup. Advantage: Green

Starting power forward
Chris Wilcox vs. Nick Collison

•Skinny: Wilcox's biggest advantage is his athleticism. He was the starter for 55 games last season, but Collison is the better rebounder. The Thunder also might want to give Wilcox an extra look to decide how to handle his expiring contract.




Point guard Earl Watson is a seven-year veteran and favorite to remain in the starting rotation. associated press

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