Pacific Notes: Preston, Westbrook, Booker, Mann

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue expressed confidence that rookie guard Jason Preston will succeed once he gets past his rehab, Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.

Preston, 22, was drafted by Los Angeles with the No. 33 pick in July. He recently underwent surgery to repair ligaments in his right foot, a procedure that’s expected to cost him a significant portion of the season.

“He’s always asking questions about the offensive sets, about the defensive coverages, and then moving forward,” Lue explained, praising the Ohio University product. “So everything I’ve told him, he’s retained and repeated right back to you every single time.

“From the start of summer league to where he’s at now, he’s made a huge jump, and that’s because he’s asking questions, he’s watching film, he wants to get better and he wants to be better. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem for him at all, he’s very attentive and very smart and picks things up very well.”

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic gave his first impressions of Russell Westbrook‘s preseason debut with the Lakers on Friday. Westbrook mostly struggled in his 17 minutes, recording two points, seven rebounds, four assists and six turnovers on 1-for-7 shooting.
  • Despite missing the game against the Lakers on Wednesday, Suns star Devin Booker is starting to ramp his conditioning back up, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Booker tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of September. He’ll miss the team’s second game against Los Angeles on Sunday.
  • Clippers guard Terance Mann is poised to have a breakout season with the team, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times opines. Mann is coming off a season where he averaged seven points and 18.9 minutes per game, shooting 51% from the floor and 42% from behind-the-arc.
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