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Oklahoman Published: October 8, 2008
Westbrook full of confidence

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall pick out of UCLA, will make his preseason debut tonight against Minnesota. What’s become clear about Westbrook in the first week of practice is what he lacks in experience he makes up with confidence.

“I think that’s one of the biggest keys, to go in and be confident,” Westbrook said. “If not then things aren’t going to go so well. So I just go in and try to be confident in myself and always stay positive.”

Westbrook averaged 12.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds as a sophomore with the Bruins. He averaged 16.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals in four Orlando Summer League games, playing just 26 minutes per game.

“He’s very hungry,” said Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo. SMITH A GAME-TIME DECISION

Joe Smith will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game. The 13-year veteran is battling damaged toenails to both his big toes. Smith said he has dealt with the injuries to his feet the last three or four years

“It just hurts underneath (the toenail) for a while,” Smith said.

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