THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT: In Sports Illustrated’s NBA preview issue, the page dedicated to the Atlanta Hawks had a supposed picture of Lou Williams but was actually Devin Harris, who no longer is with the team.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, on his team’s defense:
“We are getting too many ‘My bads.’ And when you get two or three ‘My bads’ from each individual, it adds up. Guys don’t understand. You can say ‘My bad’ but we want to be a championship-level team and we can’t have 15 ‘My bads’ in the first half.”
TANKAPALOOZA!: Among the half-dozen teams supposedly Riggin’ for Wiggins, the only ones that seem to get it thus far are the Celtics, who are 0-3 with a home fourth-quarter gag job against the Bucks’ bench, and the Jazz, who are off to their first 0-3 start since 1979, their first year in Utah. But something’s gotta give, as you will see below.
LINE OF THE WEEK: Chris Paul, LA Clippers vs. Golden State, Oct. 31: 37 minutes, 12-20 FGs, 2-6 3-pointers, 16-17 FTs, two rebounds, 15 assists, six steals, six turnovers, 42 points in a 126-115 win. Paul became the first player since steals became an official stat in 1973 to go 40-15-5. We know Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, rookie Michael Carter-Williams and Anthony Davis also had terrific games, but not one-of-a-kind games.
LINE OF THE WEAK: Tyreke Evans, New Orleans at Orlando, Nov. 1: 17 minutes, 0-7 FGs, 0-2 3-pointers, 0-0 FTs, one rebound, three assists, zero steals, zero blocks, two turnovers, three fouls, zero points in a 110-90 loss. This was Evans’ 259th career game – and his first donut.
TRILLION WATCH: The early leader in the clubhouse was Knicks forward Kenyon Martin, who had four invisible minutes at Chicago on national TV on Thursday. The following night, however, he was joined by Raptors guard Julyan Stone, who had a 4 trillion Friday at Atlanta.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Indiana at Brooklyn, Nov. 9. Yes, the Nets got up for a visit from the Miami Heat last week, but otherwise they have not looked good. Meanwhile, the unbeaten Pacers look dead serious about winning the Eastern Conference. Will the Nets bring their A game against another contender?
GAME OF THE WEAK: Utah at Boston, Nov. 6. As on Monday, there were four winless teams in the NBA. These are two of them. The Jazz are starting 35-year-old Jamaal Tinsley at point guard. The Celtics have 37-year-old Brad Stevens as their coach.
TWO MINUTES: Thursday also was the deadline for options to be picked up on rookie contracts, and all but four 2012 first-round picks had their third year activated. Those four were Hawks guard Jared Cunningham (24th pick), who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and Kendall Marshall (13), Royce White (16) and Fab Melo (22), who already are unrestricted free agents, having been waived after their rookie seasons. … This may have just been an innocent slip of the tongue, but here’s what Kevin Martin said after Minnesota won at New York on Sunday. “This is such a fun team to play on. Nobody is trying to lead the league in scoring here. Everybody has the big picture of getting to the playoffs.” Hmmn. … Hawks swingman Kyle Korver is up to 76 straight games with at least one 3-pointer, the fourth-longest streak in NBA history. He can catch third-place Dennis Scott (78) in Denver on Thursday and second-place Michael Adams (79) back home vs. Orlando on Saturday. The all-time record is 89 by Dana Barros, which Korver can tie Nov. 27 at Houston. It should be noted that Korver was 0-of-7 from the arc in Game 6 vs. Indiana last season. … On Saturday vs. Charlotte, Pelicans big man Anthony Davis just missed a rare five-by-five game with 25 points, eight rebounds, six steals, six blocks and four assists. … In Saturday’s loss at Golden State, Sacramento’s starters were 9-of-36 for a combined 22 points in 102 minutes. And according to coach Mike Malone, they were even worse on the other end. “The fact that we were not ready to play is what set the tone all night,” Malone said. “They come out, first two possessions, posted up Andrew Bogut and he got layups at the rim. No resistance, no fight, no pride. If we think that we can show up to a very good basketball team in their house and just go through the motions, what’s going to happen is what happened tonight.” … This sounds hard to believe because everyone thinks of the Grizzlies as a very good team, but they have lost all 13 of their season openers since arriving from Vancouver in 2001. … There were some expensive players riding the pine in the first week of the season. Chris Copeland signed a two-year, $6.1 million deal with Indiana and didn’t play until picking up four meaningless minutes vs. Cleveland. Boston’s Kris Humphries and his $12 million didn’t get off the bench Friday vs. Milwaukee. Minnesota’s Derrick Williams, who had his 2014-15 option of $6.33 million picked up, sat the entire season opener vs. Orlando. Sacramento’s Luc Mbah a Moute, acquired in an offseason trade, did not play in the first two games before getting six minutes in Saturday’s mess at Golden State. And New Orleans guard Austin Rivers, who had his 2014-15 option of $2.4 million activated, had 13 minutes of garbage time vs. Orlando sandwiched by two DNPs. … After pass-happy Boris Diaw uncharacteristically came out firing in San Antonio’s season opener vs. Memphis, here was coach Gregg Popovich’s explanation: “He went and talked to a guru in India or something.” … Prior to the Pelicans’ home opener, new arrival Jrue Holiday was given the microphone to greet the crowd at New Orleans Arena and said, “How y’all doing, Pelicans fans? On behalf of myself and the Sixers we want to welcome you all to the first Pelicans game this season this year.” Nice job. … The Bucks are going to need more bang for the buck from Larry Sanders, who got a four-year, $44 million extension in the offseason. In 52 minutes over three games, he has eight points, 11 rebounds and nine fouls. … This is what a coach fearing for his job sounds like. “Well, you tell me what you thought the problem was. You watched the game. Commitment to bleeping playing defense. It’s what it is. It’s what it boils down to, all right? It’s a thing our guys haven’t learned and I’ve got to figure out a way.” That was Randy Wittman after his Wizards, coming off a lackluster effort in a loss at Detroit, allowed 65 points in the second half of a loss to Philadelphia in their home opener. Then they allowed 61 points in the first half of Sunday’s loss at Miami. Washington hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008, and Wittman is in the last year of his contract. He was fined $20,000 for his use of expletives.
Trivia Answer: Ray Allen. … Happy 38th Birthday, Mikki Moore. … Will someone please explain to the 76ers what “tanking” actually means?
Chris Bernucca is the deputy editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.