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10 NBA X-factors: Russell Westbrook swings Lakers for better or worse; Klay Thompson does same for Warriors

CBS Sports

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If Westbrook, much like he did over the second half of the 2019-20 season with Houston, stays disciplined on offense, focusing on penetration, and has just a relatively decent shooting season while committing defensively, he should be a plus for the Lakers. While Doncic is a top-tier MVP candidate, Porzingis – assuming he doesn’t get traded – is the player on which Dallas’ season will likely swing. De’Andre Hunter ATL SF 12 View Profile

The Hawks did the majority of their postseason damage last season without De’Andre Hunter, who missed both the conference semifinals and conference finals with a torn meniscus. His offense certainly can’t be as bad for the Hornets as it was last season in Golden State, where he struggled to fit inside the maze of Curry’s movement, but if he can conjure his time in Phoenix, where he approached 20 points a game and was a 35-percent 3-point guy, and make a positive defensive impact, Charlotte becomes a more viable threat to inch above of the play-in seeds.

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