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Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.

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October 31, 2007

Durant starts; Swift and Thomas out

Posted by Percy Allen at 12:54 PM

Rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green didn't suffer a setback at this morning's shootaround and both figure prominently in tonight's rotation. Durant will start and Green will backup small forward Damien Wilkins, however, coach P.J. Carlesimo said Green and Wally Szczerbiak could see some time at power forward because the Supes are short on big men.

Centers Kurt Thomas (strained right hamstring) and Robert Swift (sore right knee) are inactive because of injuries. It's unlikely Swift plays Thursday against Phoenix, but Thomas is listed as questionable for the game against his former team.

Also Carlesimo hinted that reserve center Mouhamed Sene could see time tonight because of the lack of centers, but that seems unlikely.

Otherwise shootaround was uneventful, but you wouldn't have guessed with the large number of media in attendance.

Luke Ridnour said the mask that protects his broken nose hasn't restricted his play, however, Carlesimo attributed his decision to remove Ridnour from the starting lineup on the mask. Ridnour's nose should be completely healed in 10 days and at that time he won't have to wear the mask anymore.

It remains to be seen whether he'll return starting lineup.

Listen to Ridnour talk about his nose and how he's handling the demotion.

Durant was unavailable this morning because he had a commitment with ESPN, which is televising tonight's game along with FSN.

Here's our preview story and preview box.

And here's Steve Kelley's column in today's paper and Q & A on the arena situation that covers everything in regards to the team and KeyArena.

By the way, the NBA declined to confirm or deny whether it had received relocation papers from Bennett. Clay Bennett agreed to a Oct. 31 deadline with the previous owners and said he'd take action to move the team today. Recently, he's backed away from the day and is scheduled to address the arena issues on Friday.

Bennett will also attend tonight's game in Denver as well as the home-opener tomorrow in Seattle.

--- The Rocky Mountain News has a story today in which the Nuggets talk about winning 60 games. I was told that coach George Karl has set 55 wins as the team's goal, but the players think they can get 60. That's incredibly cocky. This team has never won more than 54 and last year, they won 45.

--- The Denver Post writes about the rash of injuries which has depleted the Nuggets' backcourt.

Also, referees Danny Crawford, Rodney Mott and Eli Roe have been assigned to tonight's games. One of the procedural changes after the Tim Donaghy gambling scandal is the NBA is now posting referee assignments for the games played that day.

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