Good morning! Tom's off this week, so you're stuck with me again. Let's basketball!
WE'RE DOOMED: Friday's final Blazers-Warriors preseason game was an up-and-down, tight affair ... until Kevin Durant erupted with a 14-point burst in four minutes of the third quarter. This'll happen a lot this year.
MEANWHILE ... This is how the most recent primetime NFL game ended. Fear not, malnourished sports fans. The NBA is coming to save you.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: We have a huge NBA preview for you, featuring:
-Team previews from Tom Ziller and Paul Flannery. Like this one.
-In-depth team previews from our 30 NBA team communities
-Tom's essay on the Decade of LeBron
-Paul's in-depth feature on how the Timberwolves plan to take over the NBA
-Tim Cato's introspective piece at what Russell Westbrook means to Oklahoma City
-John Gonzalez's look at the Clippers' constant struggle to win in the playoffs
-My video on how exactly Kevin Durant's presence ruins the best game plan to stop the Warriors
ALSO: The second-to-last Limited Upside team podcast preview looks at the Cavaliers. The final one (Golden State) will be out shortly.
SURPRISED IT TOOK THIS LONG: Stephen Curry provided an impassioned defense of Draymond Green in response to Ethan Strauss' piece on Green's temperament. Green himself is treating it like any criticism: by hunkering down and shutting out the outside noise.
SO STEPH IS TRUMP? Steve Kerr compares Kevin Durant to Gary Johnson as a means of predicting that Damian Lillard will win MVP. Confused? So am I. (It's worth noting that Kerr said this after the Warriors played the Blazers on Friday).
SASSY BLAZERS: Portland's official team Twitter account points out that Draymond's high leg moves are alive and kicking.
STARTING OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT: New Raptors big man Jared Sullinger will miss extended time with a foot injury.
DITTO: Nerlens Noel will miss 3-5 weeks after a "minor surgical procedure."
YUP: LeBron says that superteams form because "they want to beat me."
STILL NOT OVER IT: Byron Scott told ESPN's Outside the Lines that he can't say Jim Buss is doing a good job with the Lakers because "if he'd done a great job, I'd still be here."
LETTING HIM DOWN YI-SILY: Yi Jianlian saw the writing on the wall, so he's asked to be released before the Lakers can cut him.
A HEADLINE I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE: "The Lakers are comparing Nick Young's defense to Bruce Bowen and Kawhi Leonard"
WELL, I'M CONCERNED: Rick Carlisle is preaching patience after Harrison Barnes shot 27 percent from the field during the preseason.
LISTEN TO THEM: A PSA from Chris Paul, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony to register to vote in the 2016 election.
FISHING FOR ANSWERS: Denver Stiffs caught up with Wilson Chandler, who explained how he caught this massive fish and much more.
KRIS IS GLAD PRESEASON IS DUNN: Canis Hoopus has an in-depth look at the Timberwolves' rookie, who had a rough exhibition season.
HERE IS JAMES HARDEN'S NEW SIGNATURE SURE: I actually kind of like it?
IT'S HALLOWEEN SEASON, WHICH MEANS ... Russell Westbrook dressing up in a delightful costume. This year, he's Joe Dirt.
HE MAKES IT SEEM SO SIMPLE: Can Hassan Whiteside be my dance instructor?
One day until the regular season starts. So soon! Catch y'all tomorrow.