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J.J. Barea: Puerto Rico Needs ‘A Lot of Help’

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J.J. Barea is pleading for more assistance for his native Puerto Rico one day after borrowing Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s plane to deliver food, water and supplies to the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

“You always go to Puerto Rico — after the season, when I fly in — you look out the window and it’s beautiful,” Barea said after Wednesday’s practice. “The water’s blue, it’s green, there’s people moving around; you always feel the vibe. Yesterday, you look out the window, it’s dead. It is completely dead. “It’s awful. People are struggling. It was good to be down there and help, but to see it in person, it was tough. We need a lot of help, and it’s going to take a while. It’s just starting. There’s not gonna be no power. A lot of people are without water. It’s going to be a long, long process. We’ve just got to keep helping out.”

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight

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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

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Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games

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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.”

Source: ESPN

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Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury

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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

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