MINNESOTAStartersPG Luke Ridnour* (31 while Flynn is out)SG Corey Brewer (28)SF Michael Beasley ( 32)PF Kevin Love (34)C Darko Milicic (30)Relevant reservesPG Jonny Flynn (N/A - 30 when healthy)SG Martell Webster (27)SF Wesley Johnson (28)Notes: Corey Brewer is not locked in as the starter, but he gets the nod here because he is the incumbent. It's a fluid situation. ... Jonny Flynn (hip) should be ready within the first month of the season. Expect him to get his job back from Luke Ridnour, but it will still be a pretty even timeshare. ... Kevin Love is a stone cold lock to average a double-double with these kind of minutes. NEW ORLEANSStartersPG Chris Paul (36)SG Marco Belinelli (29)SF Trevor Ariza (34)PF David West (36)C Emeka Okafor (30)Relevant reservesSG Marcus Thornton (28)SF Peja Stojakovic (27)Notes: Marcus Thornton is coming off the bench due to defensive struggles. He is still going to log a ton of minutes as the year moves along at both guard spots. ... Playing with Chris Paul should be a big boost for Trevor Ariza's offensive game. ... Peja Stojakovic is one of the worst defenders in the league, limiting his ability to get burn. OKLAHOMA CITYStartersPG Russell Westbrook (35)SG Thabo Sefolosha (26)SF Kevin Durant (40)PF Jeff Green (38)C Nenad Krstic (21)Relevant reservesC Serge Ibaka (25)SG James Harden (25)Notes: Nenad Krstic is nursing a finger injury, but should be okay for the start of the season. ... Thabo Sefolosha starts ahead of Harden because of his defense. ... Serge Ibaka blocked 12 shots in six games off the bench during last year's playoff series against the Lakers. PHOENIXStartersPG Steve Nash (30)SG Jason Richardson (31)SF Grant Hill (30)PF Hedo Turkoglu (32)C Robin Lopez (25)Relevant reservesPG Goran Dragic (23)SG Josh Childress (20)PF Hakim Warrick (22)C Channing Frye (23)Notes: Steve Nash's minutes have declined in each of the last four seasons. He'll be 37 years old in February and Goran Dragic is one of the better backups in the league. ... If the Hedo Turkoglu at power forward experiment fails, Hakim Warrick is a fine replacement. PORTLANDStartersPG Andre Miller (30)SG Brandon Roy (37)SF Nicolas Batum (29)PF LaMarcus Aldridge (38)C Marcus Camby (31)Relevant reservesC Greg Oden (N/A)C Joel Przybilla (N/A - 21 when healthy)SG Wesley Matthews (21)SG Rudy Fernandez (23)Notes: Greg Oden (knee) will be out until at least Christmas. Joel Przybilla (knee) should be back by Thanksgiving. By then, Marcus Camby should be breaking down. ... Brandon Roy is going to play more on the ball, leaving Jerryd Bayless without a role once again. ... Rudy Fernandez does not look like he's going to get his wish of a trade granted. SAN ANTONIOStartersPG Tony Parker (32)SG Manu Ginobili (31)SF Richard Jefferson (31)PF Tim Duncan (31)C DeJuan Blair (22)Relevant reservesC Tiago Splitter (28)PG George Hill (29)Notes: Tiago Splitter has had some nagging injuries and will be in a fight with DeJuan Blair for the starting gig even when healthy. Blair is making it tough for coach Gregg Popovich not play him. ... Tim Duncan was playing 34 minutes a night in 2007-08. Last year, he was at 31. He needs rest for the playoffs. ... George Hill is going to get plenty of starts behind those injury-prone starters. He has starting-caliber ability anyway. SACRAMENTOStartersPG Beno Udrih (34)SG Tyreke Evans (40)SF Donte Greene (24)PF Carl Landry (37)C DeMarcus Cousins* (28 while Dalembert is out)Relevant reservesC Samuel Dalembert (N/A - 30 when healthy)SG Francisco Garcia (23)PF Jason Thompson (29)Notes: Beno Udrih has no competition for the starting gig and averaged 14.8 points, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals as a starter last year. ... Tyreke Evans should never come off the floor. ... Samuel Dalembert (hip) should be back by Thanksgiving. UTAHStartersPG Deron Williams (37)SG Raja Bell (28)SF Andrei Kirilenko (30)PF Paul Millsap (36)C Al Jefferson (34)Relevant reservesPF Mehmet Okur (N/A - 30 when healthy)SG Gordon Hayward (24)Notes: Mehmet Okur (Achilles surgery) is tentatively expected back by December. He will still come off the bench as long as Paul Millsap is living up to expectations. ... Andrei Kirilenko simply performs better as a starter. Jerry Sloan knows it.
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