Western Notes: Blair, Durant, ‘Wolves

With Brandan Wright out indefinitely after a left shoulder injury, free agent signee DeJuan Blair, is learning both the power forward and center assignments with the Mavs, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

The 6’7″ Blair is under-sized for a center, but as he told Sefko, “I’ve been playing five all my life against 7-footers.” Blair was largely relegated to the Spurs bench the last season. He only started 16 games and played only 76 minutes during their run to the Finals last year. So look for him to be extra motivated if given a significant opportunity in Dallas.

Here’s more from around the West tonight:

  • As mentioned previously, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry spoke with Thunder coach Scott Brooks about Kevin Durant‘s minutes with Russell Westbrook expected to miss the first quarter of the season.
  • Assuming Durant appears in at least 79 games this season, at 38 minutes a night, that would have him playing over 3,000 regular season minutes for the fourth time in five seasons. Ben Wallace in 2004/05 was the last player to win a title after playing over 3,000 minutes during the regular season.
  • But it’s a workload Brooks plans to manage with off days and practice time and Durant appears up to the challenge, as long as it helps them win.
  • Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman is looking for more continuity from his starters in preseason despite the second straight game without Kevin Martin, he tells  Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune.
  • But, Zgoda tweets that Adelman has no idea if a week of rest will get Martin back on the court, though he certainly hopes so.
  • Zgoda goes on to say that Othyus Jeffers, A.J. Price, Robbie Hummel and Lorenzo Brown are battling for what will likely be two spots when the team waives Chris Johnson.
  • But Adelman says the Wolves could add players cut from other training camps once teams pare down their rosters in the final week of preseason.
  • Adelman is also happy former ‘Wolves assistant Bill Bayno was hired as lead assistant for the Raptors (Twitter).
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