Two seconds is barely enough time to blink twice, but it is enough to deliver something eye-popping. The first 39 minutes, 58 seconds of Dario Saric’s Olympic debut were underwhelming to put it mildly. Instead of spectacular, he was barely solid. Anyone unaware of his draft position or the enthusiastic two-year wait of “trust-the-process” Philadelphia 76ers fans wouldn’t have invested any time in trying to find him on the floor.
But when he needed to be seen, when Croatia needed someone to rise up against Spain, Saric raised his right hand – and used it to send a future Hall of Famer’s shot in the opposite direction. Pau Gasol could be somewhat forgiven for not seeing Saric before the incredible, deafening blocked shot that secured Croatia’s unlikely 72-70 victory at Carioca Arena 1; Gasol had spent a good portion of the second half turning Saric into a ghost in the low post.
Source: Michael Lee of The Vertical
Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight
Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.
Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”
Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury
Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.
Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN