Fantasy Doctor, NBA / Dec 23, 2011 / 10:30 am

Fantasy Basketball Analysis: Back-To-Back-To-Back Games

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett (Photo. Gary Land)

The 2011-12 NBA schedule is peculiar, for various reasons. For one thing, not only will each team play 66 games (in the NBA’s 66th season, no less), but every team is slated to play at least one back-to-back-to-back set – that’s three games in three consecutive nights – during the season. This obviously has implications for older teams/players, guys playing through injuries, etc. Here are a few quick observations:

*The Lakers are first to experience the joy of a back-to-back-to-back set, right from the start of the season. This will be tough, given Andrew Bynum‘s five-game suspension and Kobe Bryant‘s bum shooting wrist. Expect Pau Gasol to be heavily leaned on in the first week.

*The Boston Celtics (Week 16), Cleveland Cavaliers (Week 16), Detroit Pistons (Week 17), Golden State Warriors (Week 17), Memphis Grizzlies (Week 15), Philadelphia 76ers (Week 17), San Antonio Spurs (Week 17) and Washington Wizards (Week 15) all have a back-to-back-to-back set during what could be your league’s fantasy playoffs. While this might seem like a windfall for the fantasy-relevant players on these squads, it’s more nuanced than that. Keep an eye on injuries, veteran players in need of rest and playoff standings (teams safely settled into a playoff spot might be inclined to rest their stars during the late stretch of the season, especially if they’re older or nicked up).

*Having a back-to-back-to-back set doesn’t guarantee that the team will have five games that week (e.g., Minnesota Timberwolves in Week 10).

*Some of these three-in-three sets start in one week and end in the next.

*The New Orleans Hornets are the only team to have a back-to-back-to-back set in the shortened week before All-Star Weekend (Week 9), but they’re not the only team to have three games that week.

*Twelve teams have two back-to-back-to-back sets; the remaining 18 have just one.

Here’s a look at when each NBA team has three-in-three sets this season:

Atlanta Hawks (two): Week 2 (Jan. 5-7), Week 13 (March 23-25)
Boston Celtics (one): Week 16 (April 13-15)
Charlotte Bobcats (one): Week 3 (Jan. 12-14)
Chicago Bulls (one): Week 3 (Jan. 9-11)
Cleveland Cavaliers (one): Week 16 (April 13-15)
Dallas Mavericks (one): Week 11(March 8-10)
Denver Nuggets (two): Week 1-2 (Dec. 31, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012), Week 6 (Feb. 2-4)
Detroit Pistons (two): Week 6 (Jan. 30-Feb. 1), Week 17 (April 17-19)
Golden State Warriors (one): Week 17 (April 20-22)
Houston Rockets (one): Week 1 (Dec. 29-31)
Indiana Pacers (two): Week 8 (Feb. 14-16), Week 13 (March 22-24)
Los Angeles Clippers (two): Week 4 (Jan. 16-18), Week 13 (March 20-22)
Los Angeles Lakers (one): Week 1 (Dec. 25-27)
Memphis Grizzlies (one): Week 15 (April 2-4)
Miami Heat (one): Week 7-8 (Feb. 12-14)
Milwaukee Bucks (one): Week 13 (March 22-24)
Minnesota Timberwolves (two): Week 2-3 (Jan. 8-10), Week 10 (Feb. 28-March 1)
New Jersey Nets (two): Week 4-5 (Jan. 21-23), Week 8-9 (Feb. 18-20)
New Orleans Hornets (one): Week 9 (Feb. 20-22)
New York Knicks (one): Week 6 (Feb. 2-4)
Oklahoma City Thunder (one): Week 2 (Jan. 6-8)
Orlando Magic (one): Week 4 (Jan. 16-18)
Philadelphia 76ers (two): Week 3 (Jan. 9-11), Week 17 (April 16-18)
Phoenix Suns (two): Week 8 (Feb. 13-15), Week 12 (March 14-16)
Portland Trail Blazers (two): Week 5 (Jan. 23-25), Week 8 (Feb. 14-16)
Sacramento Kings (one): Week 2 (Jan. 3-5)
San Antonio Spurs (two): Week 13 (March 23-25), Week 17 (April 16-18)
Toronto Raptors (one): Week 3 (Jan. 9-11)
Utah Jazz (one): Week 7-8 (Feb. 12-14)
Washington Wizards (two): Week 13-14 (March 24-26), Week 15 (April 4-6)

Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.

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  • http://twitter.com/#!/DonCharlionne hollywud15

    Hey doc, what are your views on dropping lopez for memet okur?

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @hollywud15: I’m OK with it, but Okur’s a stopgap solution. His back/health is going to lead to DNPs galore. I’m assuming there’s someone more appealing than Okur, though.

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan


    Sorry for double dipping on this one… but draft is tonight!

    I just realized that instead of turnovers, my league is now tracking “assist to turnover ratio”… what is that? and how do I draft accordingly?

    what do you think of the prospects for okur (now that lopez is out) and chuck hayes (seems like he should be able to pick up tons of non scoring stats in sacramento since everyone else on that team is a shooter)?

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @hakasan: Assist-to-turnover ratio is just assists divided by turnovers. So, if a player averages six assists and three turnovers per game, their AST/TO ratio is 2.0. You can look it up on NBA.com and other sites. I’d treat it the same as I would straight-up TOs: ignore it for the most part.

    Okur is OK, but his back/health is unreliable. I’d think 10/6 along with about a three per game is feasible when he’s healthy. Hayes will be fine to round out the end of your bench, but that frontcourt is too crowded for him to do anything big.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/DonCharlionne hollywud15

    so on the waiver wire besides okur, we have: Okafor, tyrus thomas, brandon haywood, sammy dalembert, and dejaun blair… suggestions?

  • Manila

    Hey Doc. New season is up for us, 9 cats, H2h, 10 players. I was the last pick, what do you of this lineup:

    David Lee
    Deandre Jordan
    Nick Young

    I just got rid of Chuck Hayes 2 days ago and replaced him with Hickson. Now he’s coming back. I also released Tony Allen for Jameer, thinking I might be short on assists because of Kidd’s resting and Steph’s ankle. Available on the board are:

    Tony Allen
    Mo Will
    Tyrus Thomas
    Augustin (waiver wire)

    Would appreciate your help! Thanks!
    Sjack (waiver wire)

  • bob

    hey doc, this is STAT%MELO from your mock draft, i was just wondering if theres any way that i can be in a real league with you and when a draft for that would be

  • Chris

    Doc, thoughts please

    12 man league, cats seem odd to me. FG%, FT%, 3pm, pts, rbs, O-rbs, ast, st, blk, to, a/t

    anyway, thoughts on this roster. starting PG, SG, G, G, SF, PF, F, F, C, util, util and 3 bench spots

    SG – Felton
    G- Harden
    G – Stephen Jackson
    SF – Josh Smith
    PF – Noah
    F – Luis Scola
    F – Tyrus Thomas
    C – Howard
    Utl – Jamal Crawford
    Utl – Brandon Bass
    BN – kenneth Faried
    Bn – Jordan Crawford
    BN – OJ Mayo (i had reggie wililams here till he got hurt)}

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan


    just finished my draft and here’s what i got…

    Raymond Felton
    Tyreke Evans
    Rodney Stuckey
    Kemba Walker
    Beno Udrich
    Luol Deng
    Rashard Lewis
    Al Jefferson
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Channing Frye
    Ryan Anderson
    Amir Johnson

    I’m actually pretty disappointed at this line up…
    After the first two picks (Jefferson/LMA) I wanted to concentrate on assists, but ended up with a lineup weak in rebounds, 3s, and blks… how would you suggest i tweak this lineup? is lewis hurt?


  • http://www.lobcityclips.com Conrad

    Which 2 of these guys should I start in my avg-based CBS league (at least 1 guard)?

    – JJack
    – Brandon Knight
    – Toney
    – Big Baby
    – Varejao

    Thanks, Doc! Merry Christmas!

    ps: Asts = 2 pts, all other stats = 1 pt, TOs = -1 pt

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @hollywud15: Dalembert or Blair.

    @Manila: I’d swap out Hickson, Nelson and Calderon for Teague, Delfino and Budinger. If you really want to hold onto assists, swap out Hickson for Budinger.

    @bob: Good to see you identified! I haven’t joined any other leagues recently but if I do, I’ll put out an alert via Twitter. Next season I’ll try to set up a readers’ league, for sure.

    @Chris: Yep, slightly weird categories. I like the roster, though you might want to consider stocking up on more bigs. I played in a few leagues with O-Reb as a category, and bigs that crash the o-boards really help — which is no surprise.

    @hakasan: You definitely have assets to work with. Lewis should be fine to start the season, but his health is a big question mark. Assuming this is a H2H league, I’d trade some of your guards to bulk up your threes and blocks.

    @Conrad: I think I answered this via Twitter, right? Merry Christmas to you, too!