Share “Watson to teach and play point”

By Mike Baldwin Modified: October 1, 2008 at 7:16 am •  Published: October 1, 2008

/> "His experience will not only benefit Russell but other players,” Presti said. "The way he goes about his business, he goes hard every day. He plays hurt. He leads by the way he approaches his craft. We saw tremendous growth last season.”

Coach P.J. Carlesimo doesn't think minutes played will be an issue at point guard. Both players should play a lot. Sometimes they'll be on the floor together. Westbrook also played shooting guard at UCLA.

"It's understandable if guys are a little protective of their turf,” Carlesimo said. "By the same token, when you have a team that's not successful, and we were not, the team gets better if you get more players. I'm certain Earl is pleased we've added a player (like Westbrook). Earl knows he's good enough that he will play.”

After beating out Luke Ridenour, Watson started more games last season (73) than his first five NBA seasons combined. Regardless of who starts the most games, having two quality point guards is a luxury.

"It's critical for us, especially defensively to have two guys who have a defensive mentality at that position,” Presti said. "Both Earl and Russell take pride stopping the guy in front of them defensively. That is really big for our team.”

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Earl Watson is shown on the screen of a video camera while giving an interview during media day on Monday. Photo By Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

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