TRILLION WATCH: Another fantastic week for the 15-zero crowd. Memphis’ Hamed Haddadi had a 4 trillion Monday vs. the LA Clippers and was matched by Milwaukee’s Tobias Harris on Tuesday vs. the LA Lakers. The best disappearing act of the week went to Denver’s Julyan Stone, who had a 6 trillion Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City. And Chicago’s Daequan Cook made a valiant late charge with a 5 trillion Saturday vs. Memphis. Congrats to everyone who makes playing in the NBA look effortless.
GAME OF THE WEEK: LA Clippers at Golden State, Jan. 21. This is the top of the triangle – the Clippers go to Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and the Thunder visit the Warriors on Wednesday – and there is some simmering hatred between the teams. The Clippers didn’t like the way the Warriors overtly celebrated a win at Los Angeles on Nov. 3, and Warriors coach Mark Jackson offered a death stare after three straight alley-oop dunks by the Clippers in a win Jan. 5.
GAME OF THE WEAK: Sacramento at New Orleans, Jan. 21. Other than the showdown between lackluster lottery picks Thomas Robinson and Austin Rivers, the best thing about this game is that it probably will be over by the time you read this.
TWO MINUTES: If the Lakers make the playoffs, they can thank the Rockets and Blazers, both of whom have tumbled back to .500 after quick starts and likely will regret squandering huge leads in the loss column. The Rockets were a .600 team (21-14) on Jan. 8 but have lost seven in a row. “I think we’re kind of in a fog right now,” James Harden said. The Blazers were a .571 team (20-15) on Jan. 10 but have lost five in a row, including three at home. … How do you feel after going to the dentist? Raptors guard Alan Anderson had dental surgery to fix a chipped tooth Wednesday afternoon, then matched his career high with 27 points that night against Chicago. … On Sunday, the Celtics resorted to intentionally fouling Pistons rookie Andre Drummond, a 39 percent free-throw shooter. Drummond foiled the strategy by knocking down 6-of-8 from the line. his best performance of the season. “You know you’re in the league when they do that,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. … Tim Duncan was given another “DNP-Old” by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Saturday in Atlanta, and it was well-deserved. Duncan has at least two blocks in 16 straight games and 23 of the last 24 contests. During that span, he is averaging 3.13 blocks. For the season, he is at 2.78 blocks, third in the league behind spring chickens Larry Sanders and Serge Ibaka and his best norm since the 2002-03 season. … Where did Chicago’s suffocating defense that held Atlanta to 58 points Monday come from? “Early this morning, Tibs (coach Tom Thibodeau) was going crazy on us at shootaround,” center Joakim Noah said. “Just waking up early in the morning and having Tibs just screaming at you and screaming at you and screaming at you. We didn’t want that to happen to us again.” … Seven members of the Bucks and six players on the Suns had not been born the last time Milwaukee won in Phoenix on Feb. 21, 1987, a dry spell that ended Thursday. The longest current drought any team now has in one city is the 28 straight losses by the Warriors in San Antonio, dating to Feb. 14, 1997 – or four months before the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan. … The Nets are staying in the hunt for the top seed in the Eastern Conference – they are three games behind Miami entering today’s final East River showdown with the Knicks – simply by beating the teams they’re supposed to. Brooklyn is 15-0 against teams below .500 (at the time of the game) and 9-16 against everyone else. … The injury-ravaged Timberwolves ended a five-game skid – all by double digits – with Saturday’s home win over the Rockets that included a fourth-quarter surge led by D-League journeyman Chris Johnson and French import Mickael Gelabale, who signed 10-day contracts that morning and combined for 23 points in the final period. The signings were on such short notice that ESPN’s boxscore still says Gelabale didn’t play, even though he scored 11 points. But Minnesota has another problem besides missing eight players with injuries; it can’t make an outside shot. The Wolves are making just 29.3 percent of their 3-pointers. Since Denver shot 27.8 percent from the arc in the 2002-03 season, only one team has shot below 30 percent from distance for an entire season – last year’s Charlotte Bobcats (29.5 percent), the worst team in NBA history.
Trivia Answer: Larry Bird, who won MVP three times, and Jerry West, who never won it. … Happy 50th Birthday, Detlef Schrempf. … Inaugurating a black man for his second presidential term on the MLK holiday. Yeah, that’s more like it.
Chris Bernucca is the deputy editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.