THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT: Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton, already awaiting trial on murder charges, was arrested Wednesday in Atlanta on felony charges of dealing cocaine and marijuana.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: President Barack Obama, sounding entirely like a second-term POTUS and getting in two zingers at once while addressing the Miami Heat media contingent during the team’s White House visit:
“Why don’t you make like the Heat fans in the last two minutes of Game 6 and leave?”
TANKAPALOOZA!: In Friday’s home loss to Miami, Philadelphia used a lineup of Tony Wroten, Elliot Williams, Dewayne Dedmon, Hollis Thompson and Brandon Davies. In the first quarter. Prior to this season, those five had played a combined 421 minutes in 59 games, all by Wroten and Williams. If that’s not tanking, I don’t know what is.
LINE OF THE WEEK: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City vs. Golden State, Jan. 17: 44 minutes, 19-28 FGs, 5-9 3-pointers, 11-13 FTs, four rebounds, six assists, two stels, one block, five turnovers, 54 points in a 127-121 win. In the last two weeks, Durant had a pair of 48-point games that were nudged out of this spot by superb performances by Stephen Curry and Gordon Hayward. But 54 points in a win gets our undivided attention.
LINE OF THE WEAK: Dwight Howard, James Harden and the rest of the Rockets. Houston vs. Oklahoma City, second half, Jan. 16: 120 minutes, 7-36 FGs, 0-14 3-pointers, 5-10 FTs, 23 rebounds, eight fouls, 12 turnovers, 19 points in a 104-92 loss. After scoring 73 points in the first half, the Rockets had a season-low 10 points in the third quarter, followed by a season-low nine points in the fourth quarter. The 54-point discrepancy between halves is the largest in NBA history.
TRILLION WATCH: A somewhat quiet week for the heroes of zeros. The best non-efforts came from Suns guard Ish Smith, who had a 5 trillion at New York on Monday, and Raptors forward Landry Fields, who had a 4 trillion at Boston on Wednesday. Honorable mention to Heat guard Roger Mason Jr., who wrecked a 7 trillion with a turnover Wednesday at Washington. The clubhouse leader remains Thunder forward Perry Jones III and his 10 trillion vs. Charlotte on Dec. 27.
GAME OF THE WEEK: San Antonio at Miami, Jan. 26. In the opener of an ABC doubleheader, the Spurs return to the scene of the crime in the first meeting between the clubs since the NBA Finals. San Antonio has not fared well against the top teams this season (see below), while Miami is 3-2 against the league’s elite.
GAME OF THE WEAK: LA Lakers at New York, Jan. 26. This is the doubleheader nightcap and a good time to address the “Honey Do” list. The NBA’s two largest markets haven’t been this bad at the same time since the 2004-05 season, when neither won more than 34 games and both ended up in the lottery. They are on pace to be even worse this season.
TWO MINUTES: For the first time during Kyle Korver’s record 3-point streak, the Hawks helped him chase a shot. Atlanta was being blown out by Brooklyn in London on Thursday, and Korver had missed his first five attempts from the arc. On three straight possessions, the Hawks set up Korver for 3-pointers, and he finally made one with 8:23 to go that “cut” the margin to 30 points and extend his streak to 108 games. Korver exited at the next dead ball. Previous record holder Dan Barros saw his streak of 89 games end in a similar contest. Boston was being beaten by New York, Barros was scrambling all over the court trying to get free, and Knicks defenders were shadowing him and ignoring his teammates. Barros ended up 0-of-9 from the arc in a game that ended in silly fashion. This week, Atlanta plays Miami (23rd in 3-point defense), at Orlando (22nd), San Antonio (27th) and at Milwaukee (24th). … Charlotte’s two most indispensible players are Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. Both have been sidelined this season by sprained ankles suffered when stepping on Chris Bosh’s foot. … Before edging Boston on Sunday, Orlando was 0-12 when center Nikola Vucevic didn’t play. … During Washington’s home win over Miami on Wednesday, the Verizon Center video scoreboard mocked fans wearing Heat apparel with the “Bandwagon Cam.” … Since the beginning of the 2013 postseason, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins has 158 points and 153 fouls. … After being clobbered by Suns rookie Alex Len, Lakers guard Nick Young retaliated because he felt like he was being mauled while his teammates just watched. “What I’m mad about is it was 1-on-5,” Young said. “I felt like if someone would have gotten in the middle of everything it wouldn’t have escalated am much.” Young was right; rookie Ryan Kelly was the only teammate in the vicinity of the scrum, and a photo caught point guard Kendall Marshall standing about 30 feet away, making no attempt to protect his teammate and afterward saying, “Nick saw what he wanted to see.” Coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t crazy about Young taking his displeasure with his teammates to the media but had his players clear the air, with Marshall admitting he was wrong. “I should have been the first one to run over there and pull him out of whatever was going on regardless of what I thought was happening,” he said. “He had every right to get upset.” For his part, Swaggy P just wanted some backup. “You don’t have to fight, you just got to step in between,” Young said. “Nobody really wants to fight. Nobody wants to get beat up on national TV.” … On Saturday, the Jazz shot 28.8 percent from the field, the worst mark in franchise history. They managed to accomplish this at Minnesota, which came in with the league’s worst field-goal percentage defense. … The Spurs may have the best record in the West, but it’s been largely compiled against less than the best. San Antonio is 1-8 against the West’s top five teams and East-leading Indiana, a fact not lost on coach Gregg Popovich. “No, we don’t ignore anything,” he said. “It’s like when we started the season, the first thing we did was watch Game 6 in Miami. We look everything square in the eye and talk about what we need to do.” The Spurs host the Thunder on Wednesday before visiting the Heat on Sunday.
Trivia Answer: Mark Blount had 28 points and 25 rebounds on March 1, 2004 vs. Orlando. … Happy 50th Birthday, Ron Harper. … After getting out of alcohol rehab, Dennis Rodman plans to visit the leader of North Dakota.
Chris Bernucca is the managing editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.