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Western Notes: Thunder, Kings, Clippers

Despite occasional displays of frustration between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the two stars have learned to co-exist and stick together with the Thunder, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes. A lot of that, Mayberry adds, can be attributed to Durant’s efficiency: Durant has learned how to do more with less so Westbrook could be better with more. Of course, the relationship will be tested when Durant is set to hit free agency next summer.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • With several seemingly combustible elements and a few more characters added, there’s a decent shot that the Kings could have a chaotic season. At the same time, it’s also just as likely that because of those personalities and the players’ level of skill, Sacramento can experience a winning season, Shaun Powell of writes in a 30 teams in 30 days series.With the saga between DeMarcus Cousins and coach George Karl appearing to have come to an end, the Kings seem like they’re in good position to shed the notion of a dysfunctional franchise, Powell adds. Adding Willie Cauley-Stein and Rajon Rondo will also likely help the franchise move forward, Powell writes.
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders believes Paul Pierce is in line to see a drop in production with the Clippers this season. Although he provided a key veteran presence for the Wizards last season, Pierce averaged a career-low 11.9 points per game and should see that average drop with a loaded Clippers team, Greene writes. Pierce signed a three-year deal with the Clippers in July.

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