For the week of December 30-January 5
"There are going to be two teams that make the playoffs that don't deserve it, and I wouldn't mind being one of them."—Denver coach Dick Motta, whose team, despite being 8-23, was within five games of gaining the eighth and final Western Conference berth
Agent Dwight Manley has the Clippers talking again about re-signing free-agent center Brian Williams. The hard-line stance of Fred Slaughter, Williams's former agent, had stymied negotiations. Now the Bulls, the Mavericks, the Jazz and the Pacers are interested in trading for Williams once he's under contract.
The Magic is 7-16 and averages 85.6 points without point guard Penny Hard-away; with him, Orlando is 4-1 and scores 96.2. Hard-away is scheduled to return from an injury to his left knee this week.
What's wrong with Houston? After Rocketing to a 20-2 start, Sir Charles and Co. have dropped six of their last 10, including back-to-back home losses to the Trail Blazers and the Clippers. And Houston has a problem: the Bulls. The Rockets travel to Chicago on Saturday for the teams' first matchup of the season.