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News from and

  • 76ers rally from 19 down, top Cavaliers 115-114 on late 3 (The Associated Press)

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Scottie Wilbekin made a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to 115-114 preseason win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

  • BDL’s 2015-16 NBA Season Preview: Orlando Magic (Ball Don't Lie)

    The Orlando Magic have all the pieces. We just don’t know how they all fit yet.  Ever-improving 24-year-old 7-footer Nikola Vucevic is the eldest statesman in a starting lineup that features a fellow mid first-round find from the 2011 NBA draft, Tobias Harris, fresh off signing a four-year, $64 million extension in restricted free agency, and three top-10 picks from the 2013 and 2014 drafts — the uber-athletic trio of forward Aaron Gordon and guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton. [ Yahoo Fantasy Basketball: Sign up for a league today ] Headlined by Vucevic, who was worthy of a 2014-15 All-Star invitation, even if he didn’t receive one, every member of the Magic’s young core has shown considerable promise. Mix this year’s No. 5 pick, Mario Hezonja, with an odd blend of untested youth and the team’s only players born before 1989 — Channing Frye, C.J. Watson and Jason Smith — and you’ve got arguably the league’s most unpredictable roster. There’s a reason Orlando has picked in the top five for three straight years. They’ve been bad, like really bad. They haven’t won more than 25 games in a season and own a .276 win percentage since trading Dwight Howard in 2012. Their Magic act has been worse than The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’s Rotten Tomatoes rating . It’s now up to prodigal son Scott Skiles to develop a cohesive unit out of this bunch in his first year coaching the Magic. His hardball approach has whipped young teams into shape in Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee, making playoff appearances in Year 2 of his short-lived tenure at each stop, but his act also meets a Siegfried & Roy end. But we’re talking Year 1 here, so he’s still all right. And the Magic might be, too.

  • Jury begins deliberations in Thabo Sefolosha-NYPD trial (Ball Don't Lie)

  • Celtics end European tour with 111-96 win at Real Madrid (The Associated Press)

    MADRID (AP) -- Avery Bradley scored 17 points and the Boston Celtics ended their two-game European tour with a 111-96 victory over Real Madrid on Thursday night.

  • BDL's 2015-16 NBA Season Preview: Phoenix Suns (Ball Don't Lie)

  • Teague leads Hawks over Cavaliers 98-96 in preseason opener (The Associated Press)

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jeff Teague scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-96 in the preseason opener for both teams.

  • LeBron James takes selfie with kids during timeout at Cavs preseason game (Ball Don't Lie)

    The NBA preseason is a time for teams to sort out their on-court systems and prepare for the season ahead, but it's also by nature a more relaxed atmosphere than what basketball fans usually see on the court. Players are a little looser, fans don't care quite so much about the final score, and coaches only yell for 40 minutes instead of their usual 48. It's basically the pro basketball version of a Casual Friday. [ Yahoo Fantasy Basketball: Sign up for a league today ] If you're a kid, that also means you'll have a better chance to interact with your favorite player. Just look at this group of kids that ran up to LeBron James during a third-quarter replay review in Wednesday's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. As LeBron waited at the scorer's table to restart the game, these kids took advantage of the break to grab a memorable moment: Dave McMenamin of details how it went down: During a ref review, about 30 kids rushed down an aisle to where LeBron was sitting at the scorer's table & LeBron posed for a group selfie — Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 8, 2015 Nice work, kids. Just don't expect the same outcome next month. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball] Cool moment aside, LeBron mostly struggled on Wednesday, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field in 22 minutes as the Hawks won 98-96 . Jeff Teague led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 21 minutes. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric

  • BDL's 2015-16 NBA Season Previews: Miami Heat (Ball Don't Lie)

    Pat Riley just rolls one big boffo experiment into another – he can’t help it. The name (if not “star”)-driven firepower of the 1990s and early aughts Miami Heat bled into a year of almost position-less basketball in Dwyane Wade’s first year, which then allowed Riley to go right back after stars ( this guy ) names (not stars at the time: Christian Laettner, Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, Gary Payton) to bring in a championship in 2006. This gave both Wade and Riley the capital to clear out and shoot for the moon with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010. That trio brought home two titles and four Finals appearances before the top-heavy experiment petered out. Riley, ironically, went in the same oft-criticized direction as the Cavaliers did following LeBron’s move from the Cavaliers in 2010 with his 2014-15 Heat, but that capital (and the presence of three current or former All-Stars) allowed him to elude criticism. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Unfortunate injuries and a frightening illness also allowed Riley to elude criticism when his Heat missed the playoffs in 2015. The looming presence of the potential to possibly grab enough cap space by the hair of his suddenly-whiskered chinny-chin-chin to go after Kevin Durant in 2016 then allowed Riley to skate through the offseason without a major move. Will this be the year Riley finally faces the, oh god we didn’t mean to go here but alas here we are, heat? Probably not. Miami will enter 2015-16 with one of the more enviable starting lineups in basketball, while Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra will be afforded all the patience in the world as a smarter batch of NBA fandom and media are reminded that the lineup – Hassan Whiteside at center, Chris Bosh at big forward, Luol Deng at small forward, Wade at off guard and Goran Dragic at point guard – has yet to play a single minute together. [ Yahoo Fantasy Basketball: Sign up for a league today ] And they’ll be given the buffer, knowing that Dwyane Wade always breaks down for certain stretches of the year. And that Chris Bosh, in his first season back after overcoming a scary pulmonary embolism bout, simply wasn’t the same player away from LeBron James despite what, overall, was a darn good year. And that Hassan Whiteside will be playing for a contract, and that he might not pass to anyone else all season. And that the wheels could fall off Luol Deng, like so many Bluesmobiles , at any time. And that Dragic and Wade, two guys who kind of need the ball, may never mesh. And that Josh McRoberts may not be the same after a meniscus surgery. And that, even with the storm and stress given all the credibility it deserves in 2014-15, the team may have underachieved at times. Riley will take it. He doesn’t know if his latest batch of goodness will turn into a Conference contender, and he doesn’t know how the 2016 offseason will play out once all those cap holds and incumbent free agents are accounted for. What he does know, with nine rings in as a player, assistant and head coach, and executive, is that he’s going to have some fun with it. And for all the caveats pushing down on the Heat’s collective shoulder right now, this figures to be a fascinating team to watch. 2014-15 season in 140 characters or less: "D-Wade here?" "Nah." "Chris back?" "No." "Hassan in?" "Nope." "Birdman?" "Out." "Mario around?" "Yep." "Dammit." Did the summer help at all? In some ways. For the pessimist, all Miami’s summer did was truly lay bare how difficult it will be to sign someone like Kevin Durant to a massive free agent deal in 2016. After giving up money in 2010 and 2014 to help accommodate LeBron James, Dwyane Wade opted out of his contract to start the offseason. After some consternation , he signed a one-year $20 million deal that would earn him $3.9 million more than the deal he opted out of. A fair move for both sides, no doubt, but one that allows for the nagging realization that Wade isn’t really thinking about that $3.9 million as much as he is the millions that await him as a 2016 free agent, with that salary cap rising. Had Wade, who turns 34 midseason, signed the long-term deal many thought he would – that Big Final Contract – things would be different. Now there’s the wonder that Wade will try, after giving up cash twice in his career to help the franchise, to make as much as possible or even (shock horror) bolt in 2016, denying Pat Riley a chance at his next Big Three around Durant. Beyond that, though, the team locked up Goran Dragic for a five-year $90 million deal that won’t be any sort of millstone just as long as the 29-year old plays up to expectation, and will be a downright bargain if he can not only mesh with Wade, but sustain his pell-mell style deep into Wade’s declining years. Luol Deng exercised his $10.1 player option, Gerald Green was brought in on the cheap, as was Amar’e Stoudemire. The optimist points to the fact that each of the recently injury and illness-hit Heat – Wade, Bosh, Deng, Chris Andersen, Josh McRoberts – have now had a summer to recuperate. This is a clean slate that is full of familiar names. Go-to offseason acquisition: One doesn’t want to burden the rookie with outsized expectations, but Miami hopes they pulled out the steal in the draft in Duke swingman Justice Winslow. The versatile 19-year old can’t help but hear the whispered comparisons to fellow draft drop-ees like Paul Pierce (come on) and Paul George (well …), and though he’ll be working behind Wade and a player in Luol Deng that has twice led the NBA in minutes per game, he’ll have his chances. Winslow didn’t shoot well from the outside during the Summer League or in his first exhibition game, but his heady style and out and out game should quickly ingratiate him in with his veteran teammates. To wit : “He belongs,” Dwyane Wade said. “He’ll continue to get comfortable with what his role is gonna be. He can play in this league. He has the body for it, he has the talent and he has a team around him so that he doesn’t have to do too much. This is the perfect situation for him.” Glaring weakness: There is a lot to choose from, this was a 37-year old team last season for very good reasons – reasons that could sustain through 2015-16.