SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The biggest news of the day is D.J. White will miss four to six months after undergoing surgery on his jaw next week. You can read more on that in the post directly below this one.
For Friday’s paper I wrote about the team’s surprising amount of depth and how it could help win games.
The team used Thursday’s practice to put in a few more offensive sets. The additions are expected to be on display Friday. “I don’t know how good it’s going to be but at least we’ll have a couple of more looks,” said coach P.J. Carlesimo. “We’ll get more stuff in even tomorrow at the shootaround.”
* Jeff Green said his left ankle is fine after he rolled it midway through the third quarter Wednesday by landing on Al Jefferson’s foot.
* P.J. won’t start either Chris Wilcox or Nick Collison Friday night, choosing to separate them to allow Johan Petro and Chris Alexander to play with a more natural power forward rather than alongside another true center. P.J. didn’t like playing Chris and Johan together because they’re both big centers and not accustomed to playing next to someone so similar.
* P.J. also plans on changing a starter at one of the wing positions. He wouldn’t say who but my guess is Desmond Mason is inserted for Jeff Green. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave Russell Westbrook a start over Earl Watson, but P.J. specifically said “one of the wing positions” and point guards generally aren’t referred to as wings which makes me think Mason gets the nod Friday.
* Joe Smith practiced the entire session Thursday and should be a go Friday as long as his feet are fine come game time. He could be inserted as the starting center for Nick Collison. Or not. I really don’t know what P.J. is thinking. I don’t think he does until dissecting all his options. He said he plans on changing two or three starters every game for a while.
* P.J. said Thursday he still hasn’t figured out how he’ll handle playing time in the Oklahoma back-to-backs. “Some of the decisions might get made for us, how Joe Smith plays, things like that. I’ll just wait and see. If everybody’s healthy, we’ve got a long plane ride on Sunday to figure that out. I don’t think we’ll make that decision probably until Sunday on the plane.”
* Robert Swift still is not participating in full-contact practice. He’s doing more drills but primarily using his left hand. “Until he’s able to catch the ball and shoot the ball with his right hand he can’t really participate in practice,” Carlesimo said. ”He does a lot of conditioning, but he’s not really practicing.”
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