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 York Knicks, who played three straight from Feb. 2-4.
The Knicks have been in a season-long funk, unable to live up to the increased expectations that came with trading for Carmelo Anthony and adding Tyson Chandler. Would three games in three nights be a rallying cry for the squad, a bonding experience that could turn the season around and put them back on a playoff track? Or would it be just another 72 hours of disappointment in a season so far full of them? Let’s find out.
Game 1: Bulls 105, Knicks 102 - Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire combined for 60 points, but the Knicks defense could not contain Derrick Rose, who torched them for 32 points and 13 assists as the Bulls escape MSG with the road win. -2 points
Game 2: Celtics 91, Knicks 89 - It seems to me if you go through all the trouble to sign Amar’e to a giant contract, then trade half your roster to get ‘Melo, you might want to get one of them a shot in the closing seconds of a tight game. Instead the Knicks got two bad shots from Landry Fields and (making sure I’m reading this correctly) Steve Novak in the final seconds, and there’s your L. -1 points
Game 3: Knicks 99, Nets 92 - Much like the Pistons, the Knicks faced the prospect of going oh-fer in their three play with the final game coming against the lowly Nets. Fortunately for New York they found some resolve, and by resolve I mean backup guard Jeremy Lin, who set new career highs in (gathers breath) points, field goals made and attempted, 3-pointers, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, assists, and minutes played in helping the Knicks salvage a win. 5 points
2 total points for the Knickerbockers, which given the way their season has gone so far seems fairly appropriate.
Up next: The Denver Nuggets also played three straight Feb. 2-4, with games against the Clippers, Lakers, and Blazers.
Three for all Scoreboard:
– Chicago Bulls (13 points)
– OKC Thunder (12 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 (6 points)
– Orlando Magic (5 points)
– L.A. Lakers (3 points)
– Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
– New York Knicks (2 points)
– New Jersey Nets (2 points)
– Sacramento Kings (2 points)
– Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
– Toronto Raptors (1 point)
– Detroit Pistons (-3 points)