Lakers finish preseason 0-8. Still not time to freak out.

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The “Super Team” is a failure. These Lakers were always overrated. This group was never going to mesh, there is only one basketball. They are a disaster and David Stern’s master plan has failed. This isn’t a real team, this was a “good on paper team.” They don’t care about defense. They should have kept Bynum. OMG the Lakers suck. And so does Jim Buss. And Chinatown. And Malibu beaches. And the food truck craze.

The Lakers went 0-8 in the preseason and an earthquake is about to drop Los Angeles into the ocean.

Has everyone got that out of their system? Good. Let’s move on now.

Before you start to shovel dirt on the Lakers and their super team, maybe we should see them with their regular roster in a game that actually matters.

There is really no situation where going 0-8 is ideal. Not even preseason NBA basketball. But as Pau Gasol said after the loss on Wednesday: “We’d all love to be 7-0 instead of 0-7. Would that make us win more games in regular season? Probably not.”

Injuries (to Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant primarily), keeping the minutes down on veterans, the key lineup barely playing together, experimental rotations, a whole lot of things doomed the Lakers in the preseason.

Those things disappear next Tuesday when the Lakers open against the Mavericks.

(Well, maybe not Kobe’s foot injury, but I still expect him to play because, well, he’s Kobe Bryant. He always plays.)

If Lakers fans really want something to fret about there are a couple things they can take away from this ugly stretch of preseason, issues that should be of some concern. Depth for one. The Lakers weren’t a deep team to start with and preseason games are about the bench getting a lot of run. And it wasn’t pretty. The Lakers also were a turnover machine — 149 in 8 games — as they adjusted to new players in a new offense.

But that was all part of the process of forming this collection of talent into a team. That process is not over. It will start to look different next week, but the Lakers likely don’t hit their stride for a couple months.

Still, things will be different next Tuesday. If the offense gets stuck Steve Nash is going to run the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol is going to play 35 minutes. The Lakers will be playing their strongest rotations, not just experimenting.

If you are rooting for the Lakers to fail, revel in the 0-8 preseason record for the next few days. Because as of next week it doesn’t matter. And we all know things are going to look different.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.