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Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant gaining steam toward All-Star selection?

By Darnell Mayberry and Mike Baldwin, Staff Writers Modified: January 15, 2010 at 4:53 am •  Published: January 15, 2010
Since Kevin Durant won’t finish first or second in the fan All-Star balloting, Western Conference coaches must vote him in if he’s going to make his first All-Star appearance.

Seven reserve spots will be determined by Western Conference coaches, who can’t vote for their own players but can vote for players off the 14 remaining teams. Does Durant have San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich’s vote?

"He’s one of the toughest covers in the whole league, one of the best players,” Popovich said. "He continues to be a rising star. I haven’t sat down and listed names or looked at who else is doing well.

"I have to remind myself how many spots there are, how many forwards, how many guards. I don’t even know right now. But he will certainly be in the mix for me, that’s for sure.”

Westbrook working on jump shot
After missing a potential game-winning 19-foot jump shot at the final buzzer Wednesday night, Russell Westbrook said it’s a shot that he’s spent a good amount of time working to develop.

"I worked on that shot every day in the summertime, and I still work on it now,” Westbrook said. "And that’s a shot that I’ve been working on and been using. When the game is close, that’s what I go to, what I’ve been working on.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he trusts the second-year point guard to make that shot.

"He’s a very good, attack hard and stop on a dime and pull up for a 17, 18-foot shot,” Brooks said.

Although Westbrook missed the final shot, his 25 points, 13 assists and six rebounds were another step in the right direction in his development.

"I thought Russell played a very competitive all-out game,” Brooks said.


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