Western Notes: Thunder, Booker, Stephenson

Center Steven Adams and shooting guard Andre Roberson are working with the Thunder’s first unit, Anthony Slater of NewsOK.com reports. That puts two other prominent players, center Enes Kanter and shooting guard Dion Waiters, on the team’s second unit, Slater continues. New head coach Billy Donovan confirms that it’s no accident Adams and Roberson are playing alongside Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka in training camp practices and scrimmages, Slater adds.

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Rookie Devin Booker has shown maturity beyond his age in the early stages of the Suns’ training camp, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic“The kid knows how to play,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek told Coro. “Most of the time defensively, he’s in the right spot. Offensively, he makes the little plays. Eighteen-year-olds sometimes get sped up and the game comes at them fast and the speed of these pro guys is a big adjustment for them. But when you watch him play, he’s in control.” Booker, the No. 13 overall pick from Kentucky, is battling Sonny Weems and Archie Goodwin for the backup shooting guard spot, Coro adds.
  • Lance Stephenson is off to a slow start with the ClippersBen Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports. Stephenson went scoreless Sunday during the Clippers’ 93-73 exhibition loss to the Raptors and has made two of 14 shots in two games. The second unit has no chemistry right now and that’s part of the problem, Bolch adds. “We’re struggling right now and we’re just getting to know each other and get in a groove,” Stephenson said to the team’s beat reporters. “I just have to take it slow, figure out my place and we all will figure out each other and I think everything will fall in place.”
  • Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons is entering a pivotal season in his career, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. Sefko believes that Parsons must show that he’s capable of making his teammates better as well as himself. Parsons will either take that step forward or settle in as a 15-point, 5-rebound role player, Sefko adds, with Parsons’ health being the determining factor. Parsons underwent a microfracture procedure on his right knee during the offseason.

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