Three for all

Three For All: A Retrospective

by Micah Hart

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will come to an end tonight, and one thing we can say for sure is the compressed 66-game slate certainly gave teams their share of challenges. Chief among those (in our eyes at least) were the back-to-back-to-back series that every team faced at least once throughout the year, a chore that never occurs during a normal 82-game calendar but was made necessary once again due to a lockout (the last time teams played three games in three nights was 1998, the last time the NBA played a shortened season due to a labor stoppage).

With 42 three-for-all sets built into the calendar, we made it our business here at All Ball to document each one, curious to see what information we might glean from them. Would it be an accurate predictor of postseason achievement? Would we see NCAA-tournament style cinderella runs from some of the lesser squads? Could anyone win what we assumed would be an incredibly grueling third game?

Let’s run through some of the numbers and see what’s what.

7 – Number of times teams went undefeated in their three for all challenge, led by the Spurs, who managed to do it twice within the span of less than a month. The Spurs’ second run saw them match the Heat with 15 points, the maximum possible score allowable for three road wins by double-digit margins. We’ll break down who’s was more impressive on Thursday night. In addition to those two, the other perfectionists were the Bulls, who maxed out their trip with 13 points (all wins were by double-digits, but they played only one road game), the Thunder, the Hawks, who amazingly found the strength to win the third game in four overtimes over the Jazz, and the Suns (more on them in a second). Of the six teams to taste perfection, only Phoenix will be sitting out the postseason.

6 — Number of times teams went winless. Would it shock you to learn that the Wizards were the only team to go defeated twice? Would it shock you further to learn the Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, aren’t on this list? In addition to the Ashington Izards (No Ws – I R HILARIOUS), the Pistons, Clippers, Mavericks, and Suns found the going toughest. The Suns, incidentally, were the only squad to put up undefeated and winless marks, which really encapsulates their season in a nutshell, from being 12-19 to just missing out on a playoff spot after their loss in Utah on Tuesday.

4.5 — The average score for the 42 attempts was 4.5 points. The most common score was 2 points, accomplished 10 times, while no one scored 14 or 9.

22-20 – Record for teams in the third game of the three for all. I gotta tip my cap to these guys, I would have pegged this mark to be much worse before the season started.

And now for some superlatives, after the jump.

(more…)

Three For All Finale: Pistons and Warriors

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.

We come to the final stretch of three for alls on the season, as the Pistons and Warriors finished out the 41st and 42nd instances over the last few days. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Let’s see how our final contestants fared:

Detroit Pistons (April 17-19): I daresay no one had a more convincing Game 1 victory in their three-play than the Pistons, who beat the Cavaliers 116-77 (!) in a game in which the lead ballooned to as much as 50. 5-0. The Pistons should have just pulled a Costanza right there and called it a season, really. Especially because the next two games saw them trail by more than 20 in losses at the Hawks and at home against the Timberwolves. Gotta know when to quit, Detroit. 1 point (2-1-0) for their second three for all, with the Cavs win keeping them from racking up two oh-fers.

Golden State Warriors (April 20-22): Flip the script for Golden State. The short-handed Warriors fell on the road in Dallas and Houston (giving the Rockets their only win in the last eight games) before rebounding to beat the even-more-shorthanded Timberwolves in Game 3 Sunday night in Minnesota. 3 points (-2+(-1)+6) for Oakland’s finest, who somehow managed to save their lone three-play for the final week of the season.

Up next: That’s all folks! 42 up, 42 down. We’ll have a look back at the best and worst three for all performances later on this week as the regular season draws to a close, and draw some conclusions then.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All Round Up: Grizzlies, Wizards, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Spurs

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.

I was on vacation during a bad stretch of three for alls, so I thought we’d do another round up post getting up to date on what we missed while I was out.

Memphis Grizzlies (April 2-4): Memphis started out strong, getting a road win in Oklahoma City. Maybe not quite vengeance for last year’s playoffs, but a nice victory nonetheless. They followed it up with a win at home over Golden State, and just when you thought they might get a sweep they fell to the Mavericks in Dallas. 5 points (2+3-0) for their three for all, and their story has a happy ending of sorts — they beat Dallas at home three days later.

Washington Wizards (April 4-6): Let’s not waste too many words here. Three games, three L’s for the Wiz. -3 points (-2-1-0)

Boston Celtics (April 13-15): Raise your hand if you can tell me what the Celtics are going to do in the postseason. They could get swept in the first round on cut down the nets, and neither outcome would truly surprise me at this point. As if to prove my point, they started their three play by losing to the counting-down-the-minutes-till-the-season-ends-and-playing-as-many-DLeaguers-as-they-can-get-in-uniform Raptors before rallying (if you want to call beating the Nets and Bobcats rallying) to pick up double-digit road wins to finish it off. If they’d handled their business in Toronto, they might have tied the Heat for the best mark on the season. Instead, 10 points (-2+5+7).

Cleveland Cavaliers (April 13-15): The Cavs are a bad team to begin with, so facing three games in three nights without Kyrie Irving (out with a shoulder injury) makes for a pretty daunting task. Or at least it does when the opponents are anyone besides the Wizards. Ring Cleveland up for a loss at Indiana, a win at Washington, and a home loss to Orlando for a total of 2 points (-2+4-0).

Philadelphia 76ers (April 16-18): What happened to this team? At one point this season they seemed primed to challenge the Heat and Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy, now they are hanging on for dear life to the 8th spot. Their first two games were against playoff-bound opponents, netting them losses in Orlando and at home against Indiana. Lucky for them they finished Wednesday with the Cavs, who they beat by 16 a night after Cleveland lost by 39. To Detroit. Don’t expect Philly to last long in the playoffs, I guess is what I’m saying. 4 points (-2-1+7) for the City of Brotherly Love.

San Antonio Spurs (April 16-18): Saving the best for last. They (I) said the Heat’s 15-point performance in their three-fer could never be matched, but they didn’t count on the boys from San Antone. Not content to rest on the laurels of their previous 12-point undefeated three for all, the Spurs did indeed match Miami, knocking off Golden State (120-99), the Lakers (112-91), and Sacramento (127-102) to tie for the perfect score with 15 points (3+5+7). Which team had a better run, Miami or San Antonio? We’ll devote a separate post to that in the coming days.

Up next: Detroit takes its second crack at three in three April 17-19.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All Round Up: Hawks, Bucks, Pacers, Spurs, and Wizards

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. 

As we near the season’s home stretch (my god it’s weird to say that, but it’s true — the Bobcats became the first team to officially be eliminated from postseason qualification with tonight’s loss to the Timberwolves), we’ve seen so many teams face back-to-back-to-back challenges over the past few days that it’s hard to keep it all straight.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll run down each of the five teams that completed the threeplay along with a few comments about their performances.

Indiana Pacers (Mar. 22-24): A road win in Washington, a loss at home to the Suns, and a blowout win over the Bucks in game three nets the Pacers 8 points (2-1+7) for their three for all, good enough for a tie for seventh-best mark so far this season. The win over the Wiz was particularly impressive, as Indy rallied from down 22 to win. A pessimist might wonder how they got down to the Wizards by 22 in the first place, but there’s no room for that kind of negativity here.

Milwaukee Bucks (Mar. 22-24): Not a great showing for the Bucks, who sandwiched two home losses to the Celtics and Pacers around a double-digit win in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Big deal. My local rec league team could beat the Bobcats in Charlotte at this point. Or Kentucky, one of those two. One highlight of their threebie was the game with the Pacers, which was the first game this season between two teams on the final leg of the back-to-back-to-back. 3 points (-2+5+0) for the Bucks, a team that better get a hitch in their giddy-up pretty soon if they want to make the playoffs.

Atlanta Hawks (Mar. 23-25): And we have another undefeated entry! The Hawks become the fifth team to sweep a three-play, beating the Nets at home, the Wizards on the road, and the Jazz at home, a game that went to quadruple-freaking-overtime. I am so impressed by the Hawks winning the third game of their series in 4OTs, I’m hereby awarding them an extra point. THIS I DECREE! From now on, any team that wins a three for all game in 4OT gets an extra point. 11 points (1+4+6), and I promise to update the scoring system chart soon to reflect the change. Also, the Hawks are the only team now with two top-ten finishes in the three for all.

San Antonio Spurs (Mar. 23-25): Of course the Spurs would also go undefeated at the very same time the Hawks do. Can Atlanta never have the spotlight to themselves? Naturally San Antonio did it better, beating the defending champs and Atlantic-leading Sixers by double-digits and escaping the plucky Hornets on the road in New Orleans. 12 points (2+4+6) for Los Spurs, good for a tie with the Thunder for third best overall score this season. And did we mention the win over Philly came without the services of Tim Duncan, who was apparently too old to play?

Washington Wizards (Mar. 24-26): We spend a lot of time around NBA.com arguing about which teams are the best, and thankfully we have the playoffs to settle any questions of team dominance. But what of the league’s worst teams? How will we ever know which team is more terrible between the Bobcats and Wizards? Yes, Charlotte may have four fewer wins at present, but they did put up 3 points in their three for all earlier this season. The Wizards? Bagel. -3 points (I’m not even adding the math here because the – and + get confusing with the negative numbers — just trust me they had -3) for Washington, which lost home games to the Hawks and Pistons and on the road at Boston. Washington is the fifth team to take the collar, but they do get another crack at it Apr. 4-6. Goody?

Up next: Things slow down for a few days, then the Memphis Grizzlies play three straight April 2-4.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks I (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: Los Angeles Clippers II

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 Mar. 20-22.

Some teams, when faced with the three-for-all challenge, choose to look big picture and not worry so much about the individual outcomes of such a difficult stretch of games. And by some teams, I mean the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers? Something tells me that will not be the case with them as they embarked on their second threeplay of the season. With rumors of unrest and discord swirling around them, how they performed over this span could end up shaking the team to its core:

Game 1: Pacers 102, Clippers 89 – A bad start for the Clips, but a loss to the Pacers isn’t the worst thing in the world. Blake Griffin had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but was 2-7 from the foul stripe. BG, you have got to work on your free-throw shooting dude. It pains me to dislike a single part of your game. -2 points

Game 2: Thunder 114, Clippers 91 - LA gave up 66 first-half points to Oklahoma City, which I’m not sure is a great recipe for success in this game. This was the first outing for Derek Fisher in a Thunder uniform after being unceremoniously dumped by the Lakers at the deadline. Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he’d been ceremoniously dumped? -1 point

Game 3: Hornets 97, Clippers 90 - This one hurt. I don’t care if it was their third-in-three, you can’t let Chris Paul lose his first game back in New Orleans. Yeah this was the Super Bowl for New Orleans (Even Jason Smith played like a Saint — too soon?), but no amount of motivation should be enough to overcome the talent differential between these two squads. For shame, LAC, for shame. 0 points

Interestingly enough, there have now been four teams to go undefeated (Heat, Bulls, Thunder, Suns II), and four to go defeated, as the Clippers put up -3 points and join the lowly ranks of the Mavericks, Suns I, and Pistons in the winless column.

Nothing of note came out of the previous three teams putting up a bagel. Will that be the case for Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers?

Up next: The Bucks and Pacers both play three straight Mar. 22-24.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: Phoenix Suns II

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 Phoenix Suns, who played three straight from Mar. 14-16.

The Phoenix Suns’ season can pretty easily be summed up by their two entries in the three for all challenge. In their first foray back in February, Phoenix went winless, part of a four-game skid that saw the team fall a season-worst seven games under .500 after a loss to the Lakers on Feb. 17.

That game must have shook something loose in the desert, because ever since the Suns have been scorching, winning 10 of 13 games and moving all the way back to .500 on the season at the culmination of their second threeplay:

Game 1: Suns 120, Jazz 111 – Part of the reason for the Suns’ success has been the production the team has been getting from up and down the roster. To wit: Channing Frye dropped a season-high 26 points (with nine rebounds), Marcin Gortat had 25, and Jared Dudley had 21 in the win over the Jazz. 1 point

Game 2: Suns 91, Clippers 87 - Home win over the Jazz? Not bad, but nothing special. Road win over the Clippers? Now that’s a nice win, despite how weird it makes me feel to write that sentence. Oh, and did I mention they did it without Grant Hill and Steve Nash, who picked up DNP-OMs (Did Not Play – Old Men)? Seriously. Sebastian Telfair started this game. Crazy season indeed. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for road)

Game 3: Suns 109, Pistons 101 - I give Bassy credit for holding down the fort while Nash took the night off against LAC, and the rest paid off for Steve as he dished out 17 dimes, tied for a season high, against Detroit. Back to what I was saying earlier about contributions from everywhere? Robin Lopez had 14 points off the bench in this one, and Michael Redd had 11. If I so much as get a hangnail from now on, I’m going to Phoenix to have the Suns’ medical staff take a look at it. 5 points

It’s not so long ago that everyone was proclaiming this a lost season in Phoenix, and up until Thursday’s trade deadline many were holding out hope that the #FreeSteveNash movement would mercifully spring Canada’s finest from his Arizona prison.

Instead, the Suns join the Heat, Bulls, and Thunder (owners of the league’s three best records) as the only teams to go undefeated in the three play, and in doing so moved into 9th place in the Western Conference playoff chase, just two games behind the Nuggets, who just traded for JaVale McGee, so good luck with that. 10 points for the Suns, and total redemption for their first effort a month ago. This could be a playoff team after all.

Up next: The Clippers take their second crack at the triumvirate, playing three straight Mar. 20-22.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: Dallas Mavericks

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 Dallas Mavericks, who played three straight from Mar. 8-10.

The defending champs have had their share of struggles this season, which is to be expected of any team coming off the kind of high that was the Mavericks’ title run. Order seemed to be restored at one point, but then Dallas faced a nine-games-in-twelve-nights stretch to begin the second half of the season, culminating in the three for all, with all three games on the road to boot. A recipe for disaster? Let’s see:

Game 1: Suns 96, Mavericks 94 – Dallas had beaten Phoenix eight straight coming into the game, and led by 11 at the half. All seemed well. Then the Suns got it going, and Rodrigue Beaubois missed two shots in the game’s final seconds that might have sent it to overtime. Tough start. -2 points

Game 2: Kings 110, Mavericks 97 - This is exactly the kind of loss we should expect to see in this compressed season — a young, athletic team racing past an old, tired squad of veterans. The Kings were up 10 at the break and never looked back. -1 point

Game 3: Warriors 111, Mavericks 87 - See previous paragraph, and double it. 0 points

We’ve seen oh-fers twice before this season, by the Pistons and Suns, two teams on the outside of the playoff hunt looking in (Ironically, both teams have been playing their best ball of the season lately — perhaps the humiliation of the winless threeplays were the inspiration?). We weren’t supposed to see this kind of thing from the Mavericks.

However … we’ve seen a few veteran playoff teams take some games off this season. Mark Cuban said himself on the B.S. Report last week that seeding doesn’t matter this year, that every team is just trying to survive the compressed schedule, and that regular season performance will not necessarily translate to the playoffs. So, -3 points for the Mavericks. Were they giving it their all? Or were they taking a couple losses in battle right now in hopes of winning the war later on? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Up next: The Suns are back at it with a chance to redeem themselves, playing three straight Mar. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: Minnesota Timberwolves II

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 Feb. 28 – Mar. 1.

The Timberwolves take their second crack at the three-fer, having posted a mere 2 points their first go-round Jan 8-10. Could they improve on it this time, with all three games coming on the road?

Game 1: Timberwolves 109, Clippers 97 – I get the feeling that if Derrick Williams goes on to have an All-Star caliber career, many will look back at this game as the first time he really flashed that kind of potential. Coming off a disappointing performance in the Dunk Contest, Williams dropped 27 on the Lakers off the bench, scoring inside and out as Minnesota started the second half right with a huge road win over the Clippers. 3 points (1 for win, 1 for road, 1 for +10)

Game 2: Lakers 104, Timberwolves 85 - Williams’ hot shooting at Staples unfortunately didn’t carry over the next night, as the Masked Mamba dropped 31 on Minnesota, which was playing without Kevin Love (illness). The T’wolves clearly missed their All-Star, as no player scored more than 14 points and the team shot just 5-19 from downtown without the league’s 3-point champion. -1 point

Game 3: Suns 104, Timberwolves 95 - Another game typical of what we might expect from a team finishing three games in three nights. The Timberwolves were in it early, leading by five at the half, before running out of steam in the second half and losing by nine. 0 points

2 points for the Timberwolves, just like the last time, but they did face a somewhat unique challenge in this one. Not only were all three of their games on the road (which we’ve seen only a handful of times this season), but each game was their opponent’s first game after the All-Star break. Maybe not such a big deal against the Clippers, but certainly a disadvantage against the Suns.

Up next: The defending champion Dallas Mavericks get their lone crack at the threeplay, with three straight contests Mar. 8-10.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: New Orleans Hornets

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 New Orleans Hornets, who played three straight from Feb. 20-22.

The Nets, formerly one of the worst teams in the league, put together a surprising 8-point effort in their three for all earlier in the week. Can the Hornets, their brethen of the basement, do the same? They’d have their work cut out for them, as not only would all three games be on the road like the Pistons and Heat, but they’d be at the tail end of a five-game road trip.

Game 1: Thunder 101, Hornets 93 - Oklahoma City had won ten straight at home, and was 13-1 overall in their own building coming in. So yeah, not a real surprise the Hornets fell short. They deserve credit for battling, as after falling behind by as much as 26 in the third, they cut the Thunder lead to just six with a minute to go. Still an L though. -2 points

Game 2: Pacers 117, Hornets 108 - A step closer to a win, as New Orleans takes the game into overtime before falling short at Indiana. Jarrett Jack had 19 points and 10 assists off the bench. -1 point

Game 3: Hornets 89, Cavaliers 84 - Success! The Hornets get the win at Cleveland, which may not seem like much at first but Cleveland has been surprisingly competent this year, thanks in large part to future Rookie of the Year winner Kyrie Irving. The award is Irving’s to lose, but he was gawd-afwul in this game, scoring a season-low six points on 2-13 shooting. Chris Kaman continued a bit of a resurgence since rejoining the Hornets, dropping 21 and 13. No one has said why he suddenly chose to play instead of sit out and await a trade, but my theory is he got a taste for some jambalaya at Acme and decided New Orleans wasn’t so bad after all. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for road)

Pretty tough slate, and though the Hornets end up with just 3 points, they improved in each game. They even finished the road trip 3-2, and with the season already a lost cause, that’s something to be proud of.

Up next: The Minnesota Timberwolves take their second crack at the threeplay, with three straight contests Feb. 28 – Mar. 1.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: New Jersey Nets II

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 New Jersey Nets, who played three straight from Feb. 18-20.

This hasn’t been the best season for the Nets. In a season full of injuries, they’ve been perhaps the most afflicted, suiting up the minimum eight healthy bodies for several games. They put up only 2 points in their first three for all challenge, and that is mainly because they got to play one of the only teams worse than they are. Playing this threeplay would be just leading lambs to the slaughter, right?

Game 1: Nets 97, Bulls 85 - Say what? Yeah that’s right. The Nets, behind 29 points from Deron Williams and a huge 24 and 18 rebounds from the guy you love to hate, Kris Humphries, came into the United Center and put it on the Bulls, jumping out to a 34-19 lead after one and never looking back. The Bulls were without Derrick Rose, but still — they’d only lost one home game all season before this spanking. Didn’t see this one coming. 3 points (1 for win, 1 for road, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Bucks 92, Nets 85 - Naturally, after the road win in Chicago, the Nets returned to New Jersey and promptly lost to the Bucks, despite the season debut for center Brook Lopez (nine points and two rebounds in 12 minutes) Game ball goes to Bucks F Ersan Ilyasova, who had perhaps the most surprising stat line of the season with 29 points and 25 rebounds — and fouled out as well! -1 point

Game 3: Nets 100, Knicks 92 - Oh sure, the Nets go right into Madison Square Garden, overcome Linsanity and the return of Carmelo Anthony to drop the Knicks, who had only won eight of their last nine coming in. Makes perfect sense. I gotta say, people were dogging on D-Will for getting an All-Star nod, but let’s not forget how freakin’ talented this dude is. A career-high eight 3-pointers and a season-best 38 points stole the show in this one. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for road)

No question about it, this is the surprise result of the season in the three for all. 8 points for the Nets, impressive regardless but especially so considering who they beat. Tip o’ the cap.

Up next: The New Orleans Hornets play three straight Feb. 20-22.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.