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 Orlando Magic, who played three straight from Jan. 16-18.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t paid that much attention to Orlando’s on-court product so far this season, as I assumed like most of you the only thing anyone cared about with the Magic is if and/or when Dwight Howard gets traded. However, wouldn’t you know they decided to play their games anyway and remind everyone they can still play this game a little?
Game 1: Magic 102, Knicks 93 - Also drowned out by the speculation over Howard’s potential whereabouts? Ryan Anderson‘s impressive start. Anderson knocked down seven 3’s on his way to a career-high 30 as the Magic knocked off the Knicks at MSG. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for road)
Game 2: Magic 96, Bobcats 89 - 25 and 17 for Superman, but Orlando leaves points on the board (for our purposes) in what should have been a much easier home win over the hapless Bobcats. 3 points
Game 3: Spurs 85, Magic 83 - Oooooh, this one had to sting a little. The Magic came justthisclose to becoming the third team (after the Bulls and Thunder) to sweep their three-play, but J.J. Redick‘s three-pointer came a split second after the final buzzer sounded. Can’t fault Orlando for running out of gas in an overtime game at the tail end of the trip. Also of note: It was the first road win of the season for the Spurs. 0 points
The Magic are having a nice season so far despite all the distractions, but they fall to the bottom half of the table with 5 total points.
Up next: The L.A. Clippers also played 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)
— 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)