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’ve come up with a completely arbitrary system with which to judge team performance, that looks a little something like this:
Game 1 win = 1 point
Game 2 win = 3 points
Game 3 win = 5 points
Game 1 loss = -2 points
Game 2 loss = -1 point
Game 3 loss = 0 points
+1 for road win
+1 for +10 margin of victory
Will this system work? I guess we’ll see how the season goes. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how the first contestants, the Lakers, handled running the gauntlet.
Game 1: Bulls 88, Lakers 87 – L.A. nearly got a win in the first game, at Staples Center, before Derrick Rose reminded everyone why he’s the reigning league MVP. -2 points
Game 2: Kings 100, Lakers 91 – A road loss for the Lakers on night #2, but perhaps not a big surprise given it was opening night in Sacramento and the place was rocking. -1 point
Game 3: Lakers 96, Jazz 71 – It’s early, but it’s hard not to think this was a huge win for the Lakers. 0-3 would be a tough way to start, and with Lamar Odom off to Dallas and Kobe Bryant fighting a wrist injury, this should give L.A. a bit of a lift going forward. 6 points
Add it all up, and the Lakers finish the swing with a total of 3 points. Respectable, as any win in Game 3 deserves plaudits, but we’ll see how that stacks up against the competition as the season wears on.
Up next: The Rockets finish up the year with three straight Dec. 29-31.