Three games in three nights? Utah Jazz get their chance
The last time a labor war shortened an NBA season and forced teams to play three games in three nights, Tyrone Corbin was a 37-year-old member of the Atlanta Hawks.
The memory from 1999 is not a pleasant one.
"I had no idea how tired I would be by that third night," Corbin said. "You were used to four games in five nights and back-to-backs. But that third game, man, it was tough. â¦ Your mind says, 'Go get the ball.' But your feet just won't move."
Today, Corbin is coach of the Jazz, who play Sunday at Memphis, Monday at New Orleans and Tuesday at Oklahoma City.
"We have to be smart," Corbin said. "We have to keep guys as fresh as we can. We have to approach each game with a plan, first of all, to win but also to preserve as much energy as we can."
The Jazz have four players averaging over 25 minutes Al Jefferson (33.1), Paul Millsap (31.3), Gordon Hayward (28.2) and Devin Harris (26.2).
"We may tweak some minutes," Corbin said. "If we get an opportunity to rest some guys, we will. We'll probably use a few more guys to give ourselves a chance to be ready for the third game. But we have to give ourselves an honest chance to win, too."
Millsap wasn't in the league 13 years ago, when the Jazz went 6-2 in three sets of back-to-back-to-back games during a 50-game season.
"It will be amazing to see what happens to see where our bodies are and where we are mentally," Millsap. "I think it's going to be more of a mentally-tough thing. I think our bodies are prepared for it. The big thing will be the mental part."