SEASON 42, PLAYOFFS
PREVIEWS


 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

GOLD DIVISION

 

PLAYER MUST HAVE PLAYED 2 GAMES TO QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS

WEAR MATCHING JERSEYS. JERSEY TECHS WILL BE CALLED

PAY REF FEES BEFORE THE START OF GAME

 

 

 

(1) Killmonger vs. (8) Entourage
 

Their season began with a match-up against each other as Chino 24 Hour Fitness ballers played for bragging rights. Killmonger struggled from the get-go but the team came together late in the game as Johnny Blaze led all scorers with 23 points, 11 rebounds on 53.3% shooting. The Killmonger All Star dished for 3 assists as Killmonger combined for 11 dimes opposed to Entourage's 8 assists. Despite shooting a better percentage and out-rebounding their opponents, Entourage gave the game away as they shot 33.3% from the charity stripe.

MOMENTUM KILLERS

After taking a season off after an injury riddled Season 40 Season, Killmonger came back with a vengeance winning their first 6 games of the season. Killmonger was rolling but momentum stopped after Game 6 as Killmongers, losers of 2 straight games, faced their biggest hurdle of the season. They came together at 24 Hour Fitness, Chino, but their lack of playing time on the weekdays together was evident on Sundays at Superstar Basketball. Did Killmonger spend enough time together during the holiday weekend or has momentum already stopped for Killmonger?

ALL STARS
Sean Harris, Player of the Week - 14.8 ppg, 1.3 spg, PER 118
Johnny Blaze - 19.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, PER 206

ALL STAR SNUB
Shad Earby - 14.4 ppg, 2.0 spg, 2.9 apg, PER 175
Benjamin Jay - 15.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, PER 174

Were Shad and Benjamin more deserving All Stars than Sean Harris? Their PER says so but after Sean won Player of the Week, his efforts shifted into improving the team's overall defense. He could have tried to pad his stats but it's evident his focus is on team defense and he does the ugly, blue collar work that doesn't show up on the box score. With only 2 All Star slots reserved for Killmonger, was Shad and Benjamin really snubbed?
 

THE CIRCLE GETS SMALLER

The Entourage got smaller as the former Champions returned with 4 members of the Championship Entourage team. Keith Levingston and Keith Levingston, Bryan Gernux, and Jamal Marks all made their return but the new members of the new Entourage regimen were in and out of the roster. Former Entourage GM, Keith Levingston, made his comeback after an Achilles injury sidelined him for a year and he averaged 6.8 ppg on 32.6% shooting.

New All Star Joey Cejudo re-iterated what we already know - the team lacks depth and their biggest weakness is the hole in the middle that eventually opens up once Cejudo and Ryan Miller has to take a breather. If Killmonger continually attacks the middle, it could be an early exit for Entourage.

ALL STARS
Kevin Levingston - 15.1 ppg, 1.9 spg, 3.3 apg, PER 159
Joey Cejudo - 16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, PER 147

ALL STAR SNUB
Ryan Miller - 15.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.0 spg, PER 138

Through 4 games, Ryan Miller led Entourage in scoring and PER. The last 3 games, Joey balled out to edge Ryan Miller for the last All Star spot for Entourage.

INSTAGRAM VOTES
Killmonger beats Entourage, 79%

 

 

(4) Sick Pick Ups vs. (5) Renegades
 

It's the new guard vs. the old regimen as rookie team, Sick Pick Ups, make their Playoff debut against veterans, Renegades. The former Champions, Renegades, have been inconsistent all season but when the games mattered, Renegades turned the switch ON. Will that momentum carry over for the Playoffs?

DOWNER

After a strong 3-0 start, Sick Pick Ups opposing teams scouted and made adjustments to how they played the dynamic duo - All Stars Dell Well and Chad Dennis. The two averaged more than 27 ppg apiece and combined for 57% of the team's scoring. Teams allowed the 2 All Stars to get theirs but the rest of the team struggled to contribute as former MVP, Mike Peters, averaged just 21.8 ppg in 5 games.

ALL STARS
Dell Well, Player of the Week - 28.2 ppg, 2.2 apg, PER 222
Chad Dennis, Player of the Week - 27.4 ppg, 1.7 spg, PER 222

ALL STAR SNUB
NONE
 

LIGHT SWITCH, ON

After a 1-5 start through Week 6, did anyone really expect Renegades to be in the Playoffs? Renegades lost 3 straight and were doomed to miss the Playoffs. A match-up with Killmonger and Monstars should have sent the old guys home early for the Holidays but just like that, the Magics was back (cuz they were Magic retro jerseys, duh). After losing in the 1st Round last season against Monstars, Mike Ratliff has figured out when to take over and when to pass. Posting a team-best, 206 in Player Efficiency Rating, the Renegades go as far as Mike can take them.

ALL STARS
Justian Hamilton - 14.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, PER 168
Mike Ratliff, Player of the Week - 20.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, PER 206

ALL STAR SNUB
Kris Dick - 11.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg, PER 143

We don't play favorites here at Superstar Basketball... but the former MVP had a great season last season we thought it would carry over this season. The long-time Clippers fan would have relished the memory of playing at Staples Center, but his stats just didn't cut it. =(  Someone let him know to enter the 3-point Contest...

INSTAGRAM VOTES
Renegades beats Sick Pick Ups, 58%

 

 

(2) Relics vs. (7) Prodigy

It's a re-match of Last season's Playoffs as 19x Champions, Relics, take on Prodigy. The team from Hacienda Heights gave Relics their only loss last season and the Semis gave Relics their most competitive match-up in Season 41's Playoffs. Can they finally take out Relics from post-season or will this be a repeat of last season's results?

RESILIENT RELICS

This was supposed to be the season Relics went down. Bobby Kovach had a strong showing on Week 2 posting 34.0 ppg, 5.0 apg. Bobby, the Reigning Defensive Player of the Season could have been on his way to Staples Center but a second Achilles injury knocked him down, starting a domino effect with the Relics. James Acevedo was diagnosed with torn ACLs on both knees and Hall of Famer Andrew Knox (leg injury) and Alphonso White (knee) both quietly sat out  shortly thereafter.

OLD GUNNAZ

The core of Young Gunnaz, Kenny Ali and Lasalle Thomas, held it down for Relics doing all the intangibles as Lasalle Thomas showed an improved jumper to keep the Relics afloat. The league's most decorated franchise slowly added new pieces to the roster and what could have been a disastrous season turned into a division-tie as Relics and Killmonger both finished with a 6-2 record.

ALL STARS
James Acevedo, Team Captain
Cisco Acevedo, Player of the Week - 22.6 ppg, 45 three-pointers, PER 225
Yayo Yaisreal - 17.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, PER 199

ALL STAR SNUB
Roderick Evans - 23.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, PER 111

In 3 games, Roderick has posted stats worthy of All Star contention. He was worthy of Player of the Week status and because of the All Star snub, Roderick has gone on record to say FINALS MVP is HIS!

Terrence Martin, Superstar Basketball cover boy knew of Staples Center on Week 2. The former Most Improved Player is going to prove how clutch the former MVP is by clinching an All Star spot via 3-point Contest. Snub? We don't think so...

NEW AGE OUTLAWZ

There was a team a decade ago reminiscent of Prodigy Plug as Outlawz, one of the best teams to suit it up in East LA, dominated the Regular Season. Come Playoff time, the team fizzled but their resume in other leagues showed Championships. Is Prodigy destined down the same path? Throughout the season, Prodigy would come in fatigued after playing 3-4 games in other leagues but this week, with Superstar their only game this week, Prodigy should be locked in, ready for an upset.

ALL STARS
Isaiah Watson - 22.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, PER 217
Marcus Carter - 10.5 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 2.8 bpg, PER 135

ALL STAR SNUB
Only 2 players posted triple digits in Player Efficieny Rating and both Isaiah and Marcus are already in the All Star gala.

INSTAGRAM VOTES
Relics beat Prodigy, 75%

 

(3) Try Hards vs. (6) The Rock

Both teams have been overlooked this season and both teams have responded with winning records. Try Hards, a rookie team with a likely future MVP on their roster, finished their interim season with a 5-3 record, winning their last 2 games of the season. The Rock, appearing to move to Bronze Division because of lackluster play to start the season, upset Killmonger and handed them their 2nd loss of the season.

THEY REALLY DO TRY HARD

An Instagram troll asked about the rest of the team after we posted Ryan Carter's stat of 45 ppg and we responded with - "they play team basketball, stats are deceiving, you gotta watch it and witness it for yourself."

This team isn't the 2006 Lakers when other players stood around and Kobe padded his stats scoring a career-high, 30 ppg. This Try Hard team is more 2010 Lakers with a 2006 Kobe. Renegades found out the hard way on Week 5 after Try Hards defeated Renegades, 65-56, without Ryan Carter (Chicago).

ALL STARS
Ryan Carter, Player of the Week - 45 ppg, 5.0 rpg, PER 252
Fernando Ramos - 15.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 apg - PER 158

ALL STAR SNUB
Manny Morales -7.6 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg, PER 137

The lack of size in the West means they could have used Manny Morales. The energetic PF has moves Tim Duncan would be proud of and his tenacity on the boards anchor Try Hards running offense.
 

ACTION JACKSON

The Rock was falling to the bottom of the standings before "Action" Jackson made his long awaited return to Superstar. The Rock bounced back and their huge Week 8 double-header win against Prodigy (forfeit) and Killmonger had the team qualify for post-season action. It was important for The Rock to sweep their Week 8 win and Monstars could have probably knock them off from the post-season, via tie-breaker. Despite the clutch ascend to end Season 42, the rest of the league isn't convinced, evident with 86% voting for Try Hards to beat The Rock. Action Jackson plays better when he's upset and he's gone on record to say, "Imma have o bust ass, I feel disrespected...all these bums getting pub. Thanks for the motivation, I needed it."

ALL STARS
Kenny Jackson, Player of the Week - 22.8 ppg, 1.3 spg, PER 108

ALL STAR SNUB
Kassah Kantiok - 10.2 rpg, 7.6 ppg, PER 85

The heart and soul of The Rock would have been 1 of 2 players not to have a PER of over 100. The long time vet, former official means a lot to The Rock, but stats wise, his numbers weren't All Star worthy. He could return as an official to the All Star Game, so stay tuned...

INSTAGRAM VOTES

Try Hards beat The Rock, 86%

 

 

BRONZE DIVISION

 

(1) Chicle vs. (4) Bullets

Does Chicle's run at the top stop at 1? Will Bullets finally win 1? Defending Champions, Chicle, defeated Bullets, 72-56 on Week 5 despite All Star Jorge Parrales' 28 points. Will Bullets avenge defeat against a Bullets team motivated to win their 2nd Championship?

LAST HURRAH

It's no secret that GM Chis Duran is coaching his last season for Chicle. It was a short-lived run for the team's founder and this could be history, repeating itself.

Back in Winter 2010, there was an entrepreneur by the name of Ernest Pablo, who started the Relics in Winter 2007. Once he did the recruiting and setting the foundation for the Relics, Pablo retired and the rest was history for 19x Champions, Relics. Ernest passed the legacy to Andrew Knox and he passed it on to James Acevedo. Chicle, often comparing themselves to the league's most decorated franchise, has put together an exception record in their Season 2 and Season 3 and could be on their way to be the Bronze Division's most dominant team. The Bronze Relics has their next leader in tow, Louie Venegas, but the franchise needs to win Year 3 to make this vision of a dynasty into a reality.

ALL STARS
Chris Duran - Team Captain
CJ Pang, Player of the Week - 14.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, PER 197
Jay Tapang, Player of the Week - 19.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 spg, PER 210
Mike Trout, Player of the Week - 12.4 ppg, 15 three's, PER 128

ALL STAR SNUB
Danny V - 20.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, PER 129

It's crazy to think that Chicle, the team with the most All Stars at 4, has an All Star snub but their leading ppg scorer, Danny V, is sitting out. The Genie grants many wishes, but what happens when he wants his own wish answered?
 

LAST HURRAH, MAYBE...

The timing of All Star G Jorge Parrales' retirement post was unforeseen as the All Star posted team-highs of 27.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.4 apg. He says he can't recover as fast anymore and it's time to walk away from the game. Should Bullets win it all, would that entice Jorge to hold off on retirement? Is this Bullets' last hurrah as well? They have too much talent to just walk away, but if Jorge is retiring at the top, then Bullets could very well retire as well.

ALL STARS
Jorge Parrales, Player of the Week - 27.3 ppg, 1.0 spg, 3.4 apg, PER 227

ALL STAR SNUB
Rick Gutierrez - 16.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, PER 199

If you thought Gold Division's Shad Earby was snubbed, take a look at Rick Gutierrez's numbers. 16.7 ppg still doesn't get you to the All Star Game? Chicle has 3 All Stars, technically 4 with the GM... you know Rick wants revenge for not being an All Star and the rookie should put up big numbers against the defending Champions. Gary Beaird had the last All Star bid and he had PER of 200. Between three 5-3 teams, Gary was the right choice for the All Star spot.

INSTAGRAM VOTES

Chicle defeats Bullets, 54%

 

 

 

(2) Fire Squad vs (3) Hoopers
 

Rookie team, Fire Squad, forfeited their Week 8 match-up against former Champions, Hoopers. With their Playoff lives on the line, expect a must-win performance from both teams as they prepare

HATERS ARE FANS TOO

Out of the All Stars selected to play, Otto Guillermo had the most hate mail with 2. Yes, 2 people actually took the time to say Otto Guillermo "sucks".

20 points per game, 30 points for Player of the Week, 32% from 3-point range means a player...sucks?

Fire Squad has a deep roster and the team had a strong start, strong enough where the Champions, Chicle, took notice. Will Otto prove he's an All Star by trying to out-shoot Hoopers or will he get his teammates involved?

ALL STARS
Otto Guillermo, Player of the Week - 20 ppg, 25 three-pointers, PER 173

ALL STAR SNUB
Nephi Tofiga - 9.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg PER 109

Nephi's a great player but his PER of 109 doesn't trump Gary Beaird's PER of 200.
 

WIDE OPEN

The 1 vs 4 match-up had voters picking Chicle to win by 54% and this match-up is 52% in favor of Hoopers.

This Bronze Division Playoffs is wide open but let's give credit to the former ref, Shadon Knight, who made Hoopers competitive this season. Hoopers dropped from Gold to Bronze and they started with a 1-2 record, ranked #6. Shadon filled up his stats and got Gary Beiard more open shots, transforming Hoopers into a Gold Division Playoff team.

ALL STARS
Shadon Knight, Player of the Week - 21.5 ppg, 5.3 apg, PER 154
Gary Beaird - 21.6 ppg, 25 three-pointers, PER 200

ALL STAR SNUB
Jason Fielder - 10.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg, PER 125

Jason's defensive numbers were solid but Hoopers, who had the same record as Bullets and Fire Squad, had 2 All Stars and a 3rd All Star would have unjustifiable. 
 

INSTAGRAM VOTES

Hoopers beat Fire Squad, 52%