by Micah Hart
As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.
With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who played three straight from Jan 8-10.
The Timberwolves got off to a good start, but became the first team to lose the third game of the triumvirate in what was ultimately a disappointing stretch for the squad.
Game 1: Timberwolves 93, Wizards 72 - Minnesota becomes the first team to get max road points -i.e., winning on the road by +10 margin, but the fact that it was against (at the time) winless Washington makes it a little less exciting. Still, Ricky Rubio dished out a career-best 14 assists as he continues to impress. 3 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)
Game 2: Raptors 97, Timberwolves 87 - Minnesota couldn’t stop Andrea Bargnani (31 points, nine rebounds) and couldn’t hit the water from a boat, shooting 34% from the field as a team. Kevin Love was 3-16 from the field as no starter scored more than 13 points. -1 point
Game 3: Bulls 111, Timberwolves 100 - Minnesota got down early in this one, and I give them credit for rallying back to make it close down the strech despite tired legs. Plus, they had this sweet alley-oop from Rubio to Anthony Randolph. 0 points
Season in a microcosm for Minnesota over this stretch, as they continue to play exciting basketball but fail to register notches in the win column. 2 total points for the Timberwolves.
Up next: Three teams are at it at the same time, as the Sixers, Bulls, and Raptors all play three straight Jan. 9-11.
Three for all Scoreboard:
— OKC Thunder (12 points)
— Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
— Houston Rockets (7 points)
— Denver Nuggets (6 points)
— L.A. Lakers (3 points)
— Sacramento Kings (2 points)
— Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)