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 L.A. Clippers, who played three straight from Jan. 16-18.
The Clippers have been the biggest story of this young season what with their acquisition of Chris Paul. So isn’t it ironic that as they enter their toughest stretch of the season to date that they’d have to do so without CP3, who strained his hamstring against the Lakers this past Saturday?
Game 1: Clippers 101, Nets 91 – No Paul no problem when your opponent is the Nets. Chauncey Billups slid nicely into the starting PG role and scored 20 points. Also, Blake Griffin did this to Kris Humphries, easily the most embarrassing thing to happen to Humphries in the last few months. Cough. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)
Game 2: Jazz 108, Clippers 79 – No real surprise here, as the Clippers have lost 16 straight in Salt Lake City. No Clip scored more than Caron Butler‘s 14 points. -1 point
Game 3: Clippers 91, Mavericks 89 – This is why the Clippers picked up Mr. Big Shot when the Knicks put him on waivers, to take and make shots like the game-winner against the Mavericks. Tough week for Dallas in the City of Angels; they lost both games at Staples on a last-second three-pointer. 5 points
A final total of 6 total points for LAC, which isn’t too shabby considering they were playing without Mr. Paul. Oh, and they were also without my fellow Murrah HS alum Mo Williams, which I expected to hurt them way worse. But I’m a homer like that.
Up next: The New Jersey Nets play three straight Jan. 21-23 when they host Oklahoma City and Charlotte, then hit the road to face the Bulls in Chicago.
Three for all Scoreboard:
— Chicago Bulls (13 points)
— OKC Thunder (12 points)
— Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
— Houston Rockets (7 points)
— L.A. Clippers (6 points)
— Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
— Denver Nuggets (6 points)
— Orlando Magic (5 points)
— L.A. Lakers (3 points)
— Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
— Sacramento Kings (2 points)
— Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
— Toronto Raptors (1 point)