Fear DeMarcus Cousins, for he is a beast

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Thumbnail image for cousins_no1.jpgHow did this guy fall to No. 5 again?

One Summer League game is a meaninglessly small sample size. But it was big enough to make you realize this — DeMarcus Cousins could be a beast in the NBA. He is a big man in a world of big men, but he has touch and feel.

Cousins finished with 14 points and 10 boards, showed great footwork, was strong on the block, worked hard on defense most of the time, had good moves and even a face-up game not seen at Kentucky this year.

“I was very nervous in the beginning, I really didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I would manage through the game,” Cousins said. “But it came pretty easy.”

He didn’t look nervous, he looked like a guy having fun. Talking trash to Edgar Sosa. Getting out and running. Making the right play — he got doubled on the block early and he make the right pass out of the double to the shooter multiple times. He’s a gifted passer, and the fact he was a big man who passed out of the block at Summer League alone made him stand out.

At a couple times, he was having too much fun.

“He forced it a couple times, he tried to dribble it up the court, but, give it to your point guard DeMarcus and get your big butt down on the box,” said Sacramento Summer League coach Mario Elie.

Cousins even tried to show off his mid-range game for Elie. And he’s not the outside shooter Elie was (who is?) but he hit shots doing it. Cousins’ jumper release is a little low and the follow through needs to be better (or exist) but if he’s close now he could be good enough to really make you respect him outside the paint.

“I’ve had (and outside shot), but coach Cal didn’t need me to do that at UK, now I just go do what I do,” Cousins said.

It was easy to picture the Sacramento offense next season: Tyreke Evans coming off the high Cousins pick. It’s going to be brutal to stop. Evans can get into the lane with anyone, but show out hard to take that away and Cousins is rolling hard (or popping out off a flat screen).

Sacramento is going to be a lot of fun this year.

WATCH: LeBron James, Stephen Curry lead NBA’s top 100 plays of 2015-16 season

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The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.

No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.

No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.

There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.

Report: Celtics re-sign Tyler Zeller for two years, $16 million

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19:  Kyle Korver #26 of the Atlanta Hawks grabs a rebound against Tyler Zeller #44 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.

Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Watch Charles Barkley struggle to pronounce “Jonas Valanciunas” last season

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The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.

Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.

This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.

Watch highlights of USA’s 111-74 rout of Argentina in exhibition game

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Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.

They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.

Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.