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The Thunder Lose in Europe, Embiid Is Playing, Whiteside Hypes Whiteside

Basketball is happening, real games not necessary

Getty Images
Getty Images

We are in full NBA Preview mode over here at Ringer HQ. Last week was Warriors Week, when we kicked the tires on the latest model superteam in the NBA, with pieces on Klay, Steph, KD, Harry Barnes, Ayesha, and more. This is Banana Boat Week. But we don’t want to lose sight of the other stories percolating in this embryonic NBA season. So for the sake of basketball and blogging, let’s do the news and notes thing, shall we?

Good News, Bad News, Sixers News

[EXTREMELY LOUD VOICE USED INSIDE OF AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON’S WAITING ROOM, WHILE LETTING OFF 1,000 AIRHORNS] Happy “Joel Embiid Is Playing Competitive Basketball” Day! It’s been a tough week for the Philadelphia 76ers already, what with their no. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons going under Martin O’Malley’s knife (not that Martin O’Malley) (but let’s pretend that’s what he’s doing since he suspended his presidential bid) to repair an acute Jones fracture in his right foot. It’s still unclear when or if we’ll see Crocodile Magic Johnson suit up for Philly this season, and there’s even talk that Simmons’s Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul would prefer he takes the entire campaign off, so. The only silver lining here for Sixers fans is that Embiid is suiting up for his first competitive game since his days at Kansas. Too bad he won’t get to play with Simmons just yet. They really had something going together.

Expect Embiid to play about 12 minutes Tuesday night — that’s what head coach Brett Brown has allotted for him. If you’ve got a couple of minutes to kill before tonight, watch the most important documentary of the year.

Some teams have already started their preseason campaigns …

279 Points in Madrid

Real Madrid beat Oklahoma City, 142–137, in a Monday exhibition game in which both teams were apparently coached by Doug Moe. Real rallied back from more than 20 down, with former Nuggets product Sergio Llull scoring 22 points, and forcing overtime with this 3-pointer. Nobody told the Spanish announcers about the “exhibition” part.

Victor Oladipo scored 34 for the Thunder, Russell Westbrook played only 22 minutes, and Enes Kanter looked pretty good, but the big headline was Steven Adams going down with an ankle sprain. Also, Cam Payne’s foot injury will keep him sidelined for a while, and Kyle Singler’s hair software update has some bugs.

Pellies in China

Speaking of NBA teams playing overseas, the Pelicans are going to China, and Alvin Gentry is using the opportunity to try out some new material. When asked what the trip will mean to the team, Gentry said, “It gives us an opportunity to buy a lot of nice suits for cheap.” He also said, of China, “it’s a great country with great history and great culture. And a wall that Donald Trump would be proud of, I guess. It goes a long way; what is it? Five thousand miles or something?” More than 13,000, actually. I really hope Alvin Gentry doesn’t get canned in December.

Starting Suns

Earl Watson is going to bring Brandon Knight off the Phoenix Suns’ bench, favoring a starting backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Devin “Best Teenager in the World” Booker (at least until Eric Bledsoe gets injured). “That’s the starting lineup for the season,” said Watson, who is going into his first full season as Suns boss. “We’re not wasting time. We’re not lingering with inner-competition.”

I give my .GIF choice a B-minus there. I’m rusty.

Yo …

This is really weird to see. It’s going to take some time for this to settle in.

Yes …

Stretch Whiteside is a thing:

Lastly …

Danny Chau wants you to know he’s still willing to die on the Dante Exum hill.