LINE OF THE WEEK: Chris Copeland, New York vs. Boston, Oct. 21: 37 minutes, 11-18 FGs, 3-4 3-pointers, 9-9 FTs, six rebounds, two steals, one block, 34 points in a 109-98 loss. Coach Mike Woodson gave virtually all of his camp invitees a chance to show their stuff, and Copeland – who may be battling veteran Rasheed Wallace for the last spot on the roster – responded with the highest-scoring game of any player in the preseason.
LINE OF THE WEAK: Jeremy Lin, Houston vs. San Antonio, Oct. 14: 25 minutes, 1-10 FGs, 0-3 3-pointers, 3-3 FTs, one rebound, one assist, one steal, two turnovers, four points in a 116-107 loss. Linsanity had more turnovers than assists and was responsible for as many as 11 empty possessions with nine misses and two giveaways.
TRILLION WATCH: Milwaukee Bucks camp invitee Eddie Gill, who has been operating on the fringes of the NBA for more than a decade, is this week’s winner with a three-minute statue impersonation at Chicago on Tuesday. Honorable mention goes to New Orleans Hornets center Solomon Alabi, who had a 2 trillion Thursday at Atlanta.
TWO MINUTES: Dwight Howard finally made his Lakers debut Sunday night and looked every bit like Dwight Howard with 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. His return to action means half the teams in this summer’s four-team blockbuster have started to see a return on their investment. Until Sunday, the Nuggets had been the only team getting its money’s worth with Andre Iguodala, who has shown no signs of wear and tear from the longest postseason run of his career, followed by his stint with Team USA. Meanwhile, the 76ers are still waiting for Andrew Bynum (knee), whom CEO Adam Aron tweeted will be practicing by Wednesday. And the Magic – whom everyone believes were fleeced in the trade – still haven’t gotten a look at Arron Afflalo (left hamstring), Al Harrington (right knee), Moe Harkless (sports hernia) and throw-in Christian Eyenga (right hamstring). … Hornets rookie Austin Rivers is shooting 29 percent (14-of-48) from the field in the preseason. … After this week’s signing of Leandro Barbosa, no team has a stronger roster from top to bottom than the Celtics, whose 13th man is first-round pick Fab Melo. A former Sixth Man Award winner, Barbosa should easily find minutes until Avery Bradley returns sometime in December from his offseason shoulder surgeries. But once Bradley is back, Boston’s backcourt will be crowded, with Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Barbosa, all of whom are accustomed to regular minutes. Injuries are always a concern, but it seems like the idea of signing Barbosa was less about having him and more about not letting someone else have him, like the Lakers or the Heat. … In the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game at the Toyota Center in Houston, the horn and went off and didn’t shut off – for six minutes. When the horn finally was shut off, courtside officials used airhorns to mark timeouts and substitutions for the rest of the game. … Here’s something worth monitoring once the season starts: Through five preseason games, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is shooting .702 (26-of-37) from the field but just .282 (11-of-39) from the line. The difference is a staggering .420 percentage points. By comparison, Shaquille O’Neal’s biggest one-season differential was 169 points in 2006-07, his last full season with the Miami Heat, .591 FGs, .422 FTs). Wilt Chamberlain had four seasons above 200 points, with his biggest one-season differential of 242 points coming in an MVP season of 1967-68 (.683 FGs, .441 FTs). There is a season to play, but Jordan’s current differential dwarfs the worst numbers by O’Neal and Chamberlain, the two most dominant big men/bad foul shooters in NBA history. His clearly improved offensive game will have little positive impact for the Clippers if he can’t make free throws; opponents will simply foul him and put him on the line, where he is a complete liability. … Center Eddy Curry is trying his darnedest to snare the last roster spot on the Spurs, which appears to be a two-man race between him and former Bobcats combo forward Derrick Brown. Curry has shown his ability to score in the post (17-of-25) and get to the line (8-of-17) while grabbing 18 rebounds. Brown has shot well (15-of-23), including from the perimeter, but has not gotten to the line (2-of-2) or rebounded well (just 3). Coach Gregg Popovich couldn’t have made this more of a fair fight; Curry has played 76 minutes with one DNP and Brown has played 77 with one DNP. San Antonio has one preseason game remaining Friday vs. Washington. It also is possible that GM R.C. Buford decides 14 players is enough. … Are folks in Montreal starved for sports by the NHL lockout, or is there a closet basketball community in the City of Mary? On Friday, the Knicks played the Raptors, who are Canada’s basketball team but whose primary fan base is six-plus hours away. A sellout crowd of 22,214 filled the Bell Centre. Afterward, Raptors coach Dwane Casey was impressed. “I want to say one thing about the fans here. I don’t know if we can bottle it up and take it back to Toronto, but they were exciting fans, great fans,” he said. “Packed house, guys on the sideline were yelling at the referees and getting on them, and it felt like we were in an NBA city. A great arena, great building, hot building.”
Trivia Answer: Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire, Brad Miller. … Happy 87th Birthday in Heaven, Slater Martin, who died Thursday. … Instead of limiting the pregame routines of players to 90 seconds, let’s limit the pregame introductions to 90 decibels.
Chris Bernucca is the managing editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.