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 Charlotte Bobcats, who played three straight from Jan 12-14.
Let’s be honest – the Bobcats are among the worst teams in the NBA. We’d probably expect them to lose three straight games at any point on the schedule, whether those games were six days apart or back-to-back-to-back. Still, they went through all the trouble of showing up at the arenas at the scheduled times, so we may as well take a look at how they did.
Game 1: Hawks 111, Bobcats 81 - One might think the Bobcats would have a chance in the Hawks’ first game after losing Al Horford for the season, but one would be incorrect. Oh one — always making mistaken assumptions. -2 points
Game 2: Pistons 98, Bobcats 81 - Hey at least the Hawks game was on the road. How to explain letting the Pistons — 2-9 coming into the game — win by 17 on Charlotte’s home court? I have an explanation, but the Bobcats aren’t going to like it. -1 point
Game 3: Bobcats 112, Warriors 100 - Just when you think we’re headed for the first shutout, the Bobcats summon their strength and top the Warriors by a dozen to salvage a win. Rookie Kemba Walker justified his first professional start with a career-high 23 points, so expect to see him in the first five more often going forward. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for 10+ margin)
The Bobcats are lucky (lucky I say!) my arbitrary scoring system doesn’t penalize for double-digit losses, or any losses to the Pistons for that matter. Teams are now 8-3 in the third games of the three-for-all, and the Bobcats are in the clubhouse with 3 total points.
Up next: The L.A. Clippers and Orlando Magic both play three straight Jan 16-18.
Three for all Scoreboard:
— Chicago Bulls (13 points)
— OKC Thunder (12 points)
— Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
— Houston Rockets (7 points)
— Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
— Denver Nuggets (6 points)
— L.A. Lakers (3 points)
— Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
— Sacramento Kings (2 points)
— Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
— Toronto Raptors (1 point)