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#NBArank: The countdown continues with Nos. 81-90

Rookie Jahlil Okafor joins our countdown of the league's best players. Who will join the Sixers big man on today's list? Follow along as #NBArank dives into the league's top 90.

Rose: Cavs don't necessarily win the East without Thompson (1:38)
Boogie jumps with Leuer and loses (0:12)
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Scouting every player in the Pacific Division

Our NBA Insider crew is analyzing all 30 rosters heading into 2015-16. Today, Amin Elhassan breaks down the games of Kobe, Steph, Blake and the rest of the Pacific Division.

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1dTim MacMahon

It's not ideal, but Mavs need Sam Dalembert

Dallas is depending on infamously unreliable Samuel Dalembert, who is in the process of his annual preseason tradition of trying to get in shape.

Shaq sells car on "Fresh Off the Boat" (1:33)
Durant: 'Today step in right direction' (0:28)
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Edge of glory: Will the Clippers make the leap or hit reset?

The Clips have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they're not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last -- that another flameout will force them to ask whether this core has grown stale, Zach Lowe writes.

J.R. Smith sends military member home happy (0:15)
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2dMichael Wallace

The journey back for Heat's gentle giant

Enduring the first week of a rigorous training camp gave Miami Heat star forward Chris Bosh only a taste of the battle he's facing in his return to normalcy.


Tania Ganguli ESPN Staff Writer 

Rockets star Dwight Howard here pregame for the Texans vs Colts.

Barnes: I went to house to check on sons

Matt Barnes said today that he went to his ex-wife's home to check on his 6-year-old twin sons, and not to confront Knicks coach Derek Fisher. Sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that Fisher and Barnes were involved in a physical altercation Saturday night. Story

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Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics defeat Real Madrid 111-96 in preseason play overseas. Quick postgame 3-pointer: * Avery Bradley finally missed a 3-pointer (he’s 7-for-8 this preseason) but put up a team-high 17 points over 21 minutes. * David Lee was questionable due to illness. Instead, he started and put up a double-double (13 pts, 11 reb) and showcased his passing skills again. * Celtics rookies — especially Terry Rozier (14 points) — were excellent in 4th quarter against Madrid regulars.

Indiana Pacers @Pacers

Injury report: Chase Budinger (sore hamstring), Solomon Hill (sprained left ankle), and George Hill (sprained right ankle) are out tonight.

Kevin Pelton @kpelton

R.J. Hunter's passing ability could ultimately make him a threat to score or pass coming off a curl in the same manner as J.J. Redick.

Barnes downplays Fisher confrontation

The Grizzlies forward gave his version of the story with Derek Fisher. Ryen Russillo doesn't know what to believe.


ICYMI: LeBron loves the kids ... and selfies

A school of kids got a king-sized surprise during the Cavs-Hawks preseason game when LeBron James took their phone and snapped a selfie.


Rose: There aren't 92 players better than Kobe

Jalen Rose had an up-close view of Kobe Bryant's greatness when the Lakers' star scored 81 against the Raptors. That's part of the reason Rose disagrees with Kobe at No. 93 on NBArank.


ICYMI: Jefferson jams on 7-foot-3 defender

Cavs forward Richard Jefferson reversed the clock to throw down a thunderous slam against the Hawks. Cleveland's bench went wild for the 35-year-old, to say the least.


How Stephen Curry can get even better

He doesn't have elite size or athleticism, but the reigning MVP is working to strengthen his best skill: lightning fast decision-making. Slowing the game down

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The best thing SVP saw today was ...

... when LeBron James let a lucky young fan sit next to him on the bench during a preseason game and even stopped to take a selfie with her once it was time for him to hit the court.


Brooklyn to be short-handed vs. Pistons

The Nets will be without Jarrett Jack (rest), Joe Johnson (rest), Markel Brown (oblique), Andrea Bargnani (hamstring), Bojan Bogdanovic (ankle), Thomas Robinson (wrist), Willie Reed (quad) and Sergey Karasev for Thursday’s preseason game against Detroit, the team announced. Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Rondae-Hollis Jefferson, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin will start, the New York Post reports. (via Mike Mazzeo)

NBARank features 76ers rookie

Jahlil Okafor joins ESPN's countdown of the league's best players in terms of quality and quantity. Players ranked 81 through 90

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

ICYMI: Teague gives Cook the business

Hawks All-Star Jeff Teague put Cavs rookie Quinn Cook in the spin cycle with this between-the-legs step-back jumper. Welcome to the NBA, kid.


Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Pelicans announce that Omer Asik is out three weeks with a calf strain. NOT what the Pels needed after losing Alexis Ajinca first

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Rockets coach Kevin McHale said James Harden sprained his ankle badly this summer. "He just hasn't played a lot of basketball, just a lot of other stuff to stay in shape," McHale said. "Basketball is basketball and you got to play it to get your feel back and everything." Harden hasn't missed a practice and was supposed to get the second preseason game off but asked to play.

ICYMI: Towns throws down on hustle play

A good way to kick off the preseason as a rookie and No. 1 overall pick? Hustle. See: Karl-Anthony Towns against the Thunder.


Fisher, Barnes in scuffle at L.A. party

Knicks coach Derek Fisher and Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes were involved in a physical altercation Saturday in Los Angeles at the home of Barnes' ex-wife, sources confirmed to ESPN. The New York Post first reported the story. The NBA, Knicks and Grizzlies are gathering information. Story

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