SEASON 41, PLAYOFFS
By: League Analyst
MUST HAVE PLAYED 2 GAMES TO QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS
MATCHING JERSEYS. JERSEY TECHS WILL BE CALLED
REF FEES BEFORE THE START OF GAME
vs. (8) The Rock
18x Champions, Relics, are in position to take the throne back.
Word is circulating that The Rock may not have enough players
for the 1st Round match-up and Relics may advance to the Semis
without having to play against The Rock. With the possibility of
playing just 2 games, will Relics earn Championship #19?
Cisco Acevedo, Gold Division MVP candidate, averaged 22.9
ppg, 2.4 apg while Bobby Kovach averaged 16.5 ppg, 8.1
rpg. Kovach, the top candidate for Defensive Player of the
Season, contests every shot and is often seen guarding the
opponent's best player. Andrew Knox has found his legs
*cough* late in the season and he is averaging 13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg.
Drew has contributed to the highlight reels with several dunks
late in the season and the Relics have been efficient despite
losing a lot of flash due to Father Time. Terrence Martin
is a proven Championship player and when the Relics struggled in
games, Martin was sitting out. Expect Terrence to be in action
as Relics go for Championship #19.
Several players from The Rock are out of town and Mike
Ashanti (10.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg) should drive from his new
residence (Las Vegas) in order to avoid The Rock forfeiting
their Playoff game. D'Angelo McDaniel (12.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
was on fire in their last game of the season while Kassah
Kantiok has been a menace in the boards for The Rock. Kassah
averaged 10.2 ppg, 12.0 rpg while Eric Rey averaged 6.1 ppg, 5.1
LA Dream Team
vs. (5) Prodigy Plug
The 2x Reigning Champions, East LA Dream Team, has a tough
match-up in the 1st Round as they take on "The Team of the
Future" Prodigy Plug. The team is 4-4 and has won 3 straight as
GM Paul Magaway (11.5 ppg, 2.0 apg) features a team of
young high flyers in Isaiah Watson (28 ppg, 3.3 apg) and
Garrison Shey (16.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg). Prodigy also features
a team of sharp shooters in Poobie "Russell Eastbrook"
(10.7 ppg, team-high 17 three's) and Steven Goytia (13.1
ppg, 5.9 rpg). The team's toughness will be tested as they take
on 2x Defending Champions, East LA Dream Team.
East LA Dream Team has lost 2 straight and coincidentally, those
2 games marked the return of Finals MVP, Ever Garcia
(14.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) to the line-up. Fingers cannot be pointed at
Ever as East LA Dream Team has faced inconsistency all season
with several players in and out of the line-up this season. A
glance at the team stats will show that NO PLAYER from East LA
Dream Team played all 8 games. Center Ant Lefeau averaged
17.0 ppg while Andrew Martinez scored 23 ppg, 7.0 rpg. At
full throttle, East LA Dream Team is the team to beat but with a
depleted line-up, East LA Dream Team is barely losing games
against their opponents.
(2) Ball Broz
vs. (7) Hoopers
After forfeiting their last game of the season, are the former
Champions ready to turn on the light switch? Is there a light
switch? Hoopers lost 3 straight games to end the season with a
2-6 record as Uzoma Kalu led the team with 19.7 ppg, 7.3
rpg. Rookie phenom, Ryan Cort, averaged a team-high, 26.7
ppg while shooting 50% from beyond the arch. GM Gary Beiard
averaged 16.5 ppg, 1.3 spg while Larry Parker scored
11.7 ppg. The team had a slow start but showed signs of
competitiveness when Zach Nece (18.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) was
playing for Hoopers. After blowing his knee out, both Hoopers
and Bronze Division team, IHOB, struggled late in the season.
Ball Broz won 4 straight to finish the season with a 6-2 record.
Last season's Finalists was led by Steve Carpenter who
finished with 22.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg. Mike Peters, last
season's MVP, averaged 17.4 ppg on 57.5% shooting while rookie
phenom, Derrick Tamanaha, averaged 16 ppg, 2.6 apg.
Kahlil Duke averaged 17.5 ppg in 2 games while Yader
Combs controlled the tempo, averaging 5 apg in 5 games. The
team is loaded with offense and their first match-up with
Hoopers was the highest scoring game of the season.
vs. (6) Monstars
Word on the street is, Monstars won't have a full roster as
The Morelos Brothers (Ralph - 16.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg and Xavier -
14.0 ppg, team-high, 10.3 rpg) and Andrew Martinez are
questionable in the 1st Round against Renegades. If 3 of their
starters are missing for their 1st Round match-up, expect GM
Jared Ojeda (12.9 ppg) and Johnny Cabrera (10.7 ppg)
to shoot for the stars against a gritty Renegades roster.
If Monstars are short-handed against Renegades, expect GM
Aaron Mancell to look at the bigger picture and sit his star
players out. Kris Dick, MVP front-runner, led Gold in
scoring with 29.3 ppg, 14.8 rpg while Mike Ratliff
averaged 21.8 ppg, 2.8 apg. Jason Fielder (8.3 ppg) and
James Griffin (3.7 ppg, 1.7apg) should get the majority
of the minutes as Renegades look forward to the winner of the
Ball Broz vs. Hoopers match-up.
vs. Winner of (4) Reckless vs (5) We Tried
Word on the street is, Chicle may be fatigued for the Semis as
the Nike 3 on 3 Tournament has Chicle playing double duty on
Championship Sunday. Will Chicle overcome the heat and having to
play 3 games to advance to the Semis? History isn't on their
side as several teams from Superstar have completed a perfect
record (8-0) only to lose in the Playoffs. Will Chicle be the
next team to fall for the Undefeated Team Jinx?
Mike Trout (MVP front-runner) averaged 17.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg
while Jay Tapang led the team with 17.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg.
Damien Reyes averaged 9.3 ppg while CJ "Nitro" Pang
scored 12.7 ppg, 2.0 spg, 5.6 apg. With the trio of Nitro, Mike,
and Louis Venegas (6.0 ppg, 1.3 spg) participating at the Nike 3
on 3 Tournament, expect Chicle's late additions (Danny
Villalobos - 14 ppg, Matt Gutierrez, 9.5 ppg) to come
through for GM Chris Duran (6.3 ppg)
Reckless vs (5) We Tried
Regular Season records don't matter for Reckless, winners of
last season's Consolation Bracket. The former 2x Champions take
on We Tried in the 1st Round and look for Reckless to show up
with a full roster. The team from North Hollywood finished the
season with a 2-6 record as Steven Castanieto led the
team with 22.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg. GM Noel Serpas averaged 13.5
ppg, 1.1 spg while Luis Montes, last season's Finals MVP,
averaged 17 ppg in 4 games. With a full roster, the team is
capable of playing in the paint and dominating the glass for
second chance opportunities. Without a full roster, Reckless has
been a jump shooting team and this season, they averaged 32.4%
from 3-point range, attempting 225 three-point attempts.
We Tried finished their rookie campaign with a 1-7 record and
the late addition of Lance "The Claw" German gave We
Tried a 1-1 record on the last weekend of the season. Lance
averaged 33.5 ppg, 19 rpg in 2 games while GM Anthony
Meltcher averaged 15.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg. Cody Rote was
off to a fast start from 3-point range but has cooled off
averaging 13.1 ppg, 2.9 apg. If We Tried is hoping to advance to
a match-up with undefeated team, Chicle, The Nava Brothers
(16.6 ppg, combined) or Johnny Truong must provide
unforeseen scoring support.
vs. (3) IHOB
Both teams are 5-3 as Championship laden Foundation takes on
rookie team IHOB in the 1st Round. Experience may be on
Foundation's side but Father Time is undefeated and youth
heavily favors their opponents, IHOB.
The rookies are best when they run the floor and it starts with
Jason Shorts (11.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg), the team's
defensive anchor that gets the fast break started. Getting stops
on defense is key for IHOB and when they're on the break,
Adrian Lecesne (15.5 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Josh Booker
(12.5 ppg, 2.7 apg) are either facilitating or driving the lane
to score. With Zach Nece blowing out his knee late in the
season, IHOB replaced Zach with newcomers, Myles Barnet
(15.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Bryan Hillcould (7.0 ppg, 11.5
rpg). Will that be enough to offset Foundation's bigs?
Mark Mercado (team-high, 20.4 ppg, 1.6 apg) has been
Foundation's best player all season and his teammates have
slowly worked on their conditioning as the season progressed.
Center Mike Arceo grabbed 27 rebounds in his Player of
the Week game and he averaged 9.8 ppg, 13.2 rpg this season.
Adrian Eddington has been a "Regulator" in the post and he
averaged 16.8 ppg, 11.4 rpg while GM Jonathan Wynn
averaged 14.4 ppg, 4.6 apg. The team's basketball IQ and their
success playing in other Championship teams should give them the
edge over IHOB but they must control the tempo if they're
looking to advance to the next round.