For J.R. Smith, game time = cotton candy time
The guard sat out for his 2nd straight preseason game because of a sore hamstring but didn't stay out of the spotlight. Smith flagged down a cotton candy vendor and, unbeknownst to his coach, obtained the snack and munched on it during the game. May have gifted treat
Spurs are best across sports
The Spurs have never won back-to-back NBA titles, but for the second consecutive year they top ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, which ranks every franchise in the four major North American professional sports. No. 1 to 122 ranked
James Harden: More than a beard
You want to go from obscure to unforgettable? Grow the most famous beard in sports history. When Rockets star goes out, "it's just, like, There's The Beard! There's that guy with The Beard! Mom, Dad, there's The Beard!" The Harden brand
NBA is doubling down on love of the 3
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins shot just eight 3-pointers all of last season. But he's attempted 10 already this preseason, part of the league's obsession with the shot beyond the arc -- an obsession that's growing beyond record levels. More 3s than ever (Insider)
Another long season ahead for the Lakers
RPM projects the Lakers to finish 14th in the West with 27 wins, which Amin Elhassan thinks is right on: "It's tough to get wins in the Western Conference ... if it's anything more than 27, I'd be shocked."
Shaq on current state of the Lakers
"When you mean 'turn it around,' do you mean a championship? Because that's done. That's not happening unless they make a miraculous trade and get four new people. Who do they have on the Lakers? I'm not sure. I'm not joking. Do they even have anyone to trade that somebody would want?" Lakers' new reality
Jefferson eyes title with Cleveland
Richard Jefferson went to the Finals the first two years of his career, but lost both times with the Nets and hasn't been back since. Now with the Cavs, he has his mind set on one thing: "I love to win. So to me, that's the most important thing." Full Q&A
Knicks better than you might think
The Knicks check in at No. 14 in ESPN's Eastern Conference rankings, but Amin Elhassan says: "I do think they'll be better than what almost everyone is projecting them to be ... I think this Knicks team will be approaching .500."
The importance of the assist
Kirk Goldsberry writes for Grantland: "[S]hots that immediately follow passes are much more likely to go in the hoop than their unassisted counterparts. The best kinds of shots result from teamwork, and the worst kinds are a result of selfishness." The next shooting revolution
Yao Ming makes tall people look small
Yao Ming is very large. This week, comedian Kevin Hart proved the point by instagramming a fictional, Photoshopped image of him standing next to Yao and Shaq. Yao makes people look tiny
Porter breaks ankles, nutmegs defender
Wizards forward Otto Porter put not just one, but two silly moves on defenders in a preseason game.
Davis propels Pelicans past Bulls
Playing in his hometown, Anthony Davis recorded 26 points and eight rebounds in New Orleans' 123-115 win over Chicago. Bulls rookie Bobby Portis had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Aldridge scores 17 in loss to Heat
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, but San Antonio was outscored 26-10 in the fourth quarter of its 97-94 preseason loss to Miami.
LeBron, Cavs fall to 0-3 in preseason
LeBron James scored 14 points for Cleveland, but Zach Randolph matched that with 14 for Memphis in its 91-81 win.
Anthony Davis is working on threes
The Pelicans forward said he will get to back to his high school and college days under new coach Alvin Gentry. Said Davis: "I’m getting even better, adding more to my game."
Memphis Grizzlies @memgrizz
#Grizzlies lead 65-55 heading into the 4th! @MarcGasol has 10pts and 4reb.
Mazzeo: Nets looking for Lopez to step up
Said ESPN's Mike Mazzeo: "This is really Brook Lopez's team right now. ... They don’t really have that one guy to stand out [defensively]. ... I think they’re going to play hard."
NBA NEW YORK KNICKS @nyknicks
Coach Fisher on Porzingis injury: "He strained his left quad -- similar to the quad injury he had pre-draft, just not as severe."