Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:00 PM | CBN
By: Liam Blutman
Super exciting times in BIG3 as we’ve made it to week 9 of the third season. It’s the final week before the postseason begins and these matchups were intense! We saw six games take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas and each game was more insane than the next.
The six-game slate got started with Bivouac and Ball Hogs. Bivouac worked really hard these last few weeks to create a playoff opportunity for themselves and unfortunately an opportunity that might have just slipped away. Bivouac was sitting at 4-3 and a win over the 0-7 Ball Hogs would lock in a playoff spot. Wait what? You managed to lose? That’s right, a tremendous effort from Ball Hogs likely just ended Bivouac’s season. BIG3 ball is like any other sport, you can’t take your foot off the gas and coast against a bad team and rely on your talent to win. Will Bynum was electric as always, 18 points and 5 boards for the BIG3 rookie. Bynum might just be my dark horse MVP pick for season four of the BIG3! Josh Smith added 14 points, 4 boards, and 3 dimes. Two good performances that just weren’t enough. For Ball Hogs, you won 50-48 and avoided a winless season. Clearly, it’s not a memorable season for this crew by any means but to win in the finale and avoided major embarrassment is a huge win in my books. Xavier Silas exploded for 22 and 7 rebounds hitting a three and a four as well. Will McDonald continued to be super consistent and keep course as an underrated stud in this league with 17 points and 4 boards for the big man. DeShawn Stevenson cashed out from three thrice and has now hit 20 threes this season and is currently first in most threes made this season, Brandon Rush of Aliens was tied with D-Steve entering today at 17. All eyes are on B-Rush to see if he can match or overtake Stevenson’s record, if he fails to match, D-Steve will be the 3-point champ for the third straight season! The scene after the Ball Hogs won thanks to a game-winning three by Stevenson was so cool as the Ball Hogs were filled with pure elation. Ice Cube was smiling and congratulating the players, D-Steve did it in the city where he won a championship with the Mavericks so the Dallas fans were HYPED. Incredible! Bivouac ends at 4-4, Ball Hogs improves to 1-7!
Game two was a really big game as the Triplets squared off against the Ghost Ballers. A win for Triplets and they clinched the #1 overall seed while a win for Ghost Ballers and they sneak into the playoffs. Triplets won this one 51-38 and Joe Johnson was yet again the star. Joe drained three 3’s as he scored 19 whilst grabbing 5 rebounds and tossing out 4 dimes. That’s an MVP performance from the soon to be announced MVP! The difference in this game was simple, Triplets hit from three and Ghost didn’t. Triplets made 8 threes and actually added a four while Ghost Ballers didn’t make a three or four. So, Triplets scored 24 points from three, and the four makes it 28 points from deep. Ghost loses by 13 and the only reason being is the unconscious shooting of Triplets. Ricky Davis dropped 20 and 6, Chris Johnson scores 16 and had 6 rebounds. Great games from this duo but their season is likely over. Triplets secure the 1 seed with a 7-1 record, an insane debut season for Lisa Leslie and her squad. Ghost Ballers end at 4-4, a season of ups and downs from this gritty bunch. After two games the playoff picture is still WIDE open!
This third game was unreal! 3 Headed Monsters shock Power, 52-46 in an absolutely insane game. Mario Chalmers scored 19 and made three trey balls as well as one four. Reggie Evans officially clinched his rebounding title and actually broke his own record from season one for most rebounds in a season! Reggie accumulated 88 rebounds this season as he snagged 8 today and now has been crowned the rebounding champ in all three seasons! The loss for Power was evident due to a lack of scoring from much of the team. Corey Maggette scored 20, made three 3’s, and got 7 rebounds. Jeremy Pargo added 16 so there’s 36 of your teams 46 points. The remaining 10 came from Quentin Richardson’s four, Big Baby’s four, and Julian Wright’s two. You went out and signed Carlos Boozer and all he did was get 2 rebounds while Cuttino Mobley and Chris Andersen didn’t play. Things are looking tough for Nancy Lieberman’s team right now and there’s a lot of question marks due to the teams health as they really haven’t been well since early last season. These injuries are starting to stockpile and make life difficult as new players have had to come in and contribute as well as they can, but it might be taking them awhile to learn the system or they just don’t put forth max effort when learning the Lieberman Power system. The loss slides Power to 5-3 and we’ll see if they stick as the 2 seed. For 3 Headed Monsters this win sticks them at 4-4 and has them right in the thick of things and it’ll be interesting to see where they finish in the standings. I told y’all three weeks ago, if any team could go on a three-game winning streak against the leagues best to end the season, it was 3HM. They fell to Triplets 50-48, collapsing late and blowing a double-digit lead, they thrashed Enemies, they beat Power. They go 2-1 in that gauntlet but 3-0 would’ve had them in the playoffs at 5-3 and clearly that Triplets loss will haunt them for months to come.
Now here’s a game that was really going to impact the playoff picture no matter who won. Killer 3’s needed a win to clinch while an Enemies win and chaos ensues! Welp, it wasn’t all that close as Killer 3’s dominated in a 50-36 beatdown of Enemies. The most popular team in the league won’t be dancing in the playoffs this season and Enemies will look to bounce back next year. There were plenty of good performances in this one as multiple players stuffed the stat sheet. C.J. Watson totaled 13 points and 7 rebounds and he even drained three 3’s. Donte Greene had 12 to go with 6 boards and 3 assists. Stephen Jackson was solid as well with12 points and 7 boards! Really good performances from this Killer 3’s trio to clinch a playoff berth. The Enemies had a rough go in this one as star Craig Smith was only able to muster up 4 points. If Craig isn’t going this Enemies team isn’t going, he’s that important to them. Gilbert Arenas had 9 but Frank Robinson led the team in scoring with 13. While this first season was disappointing for the Enemies on the court, it was amazing off the court. This team changed the BIG3 game for the better as they were the first BIG3 team to start a social media account much like a professional team does. They gave out free Enemies shirts at games, are the only BIG3 team with a mascot and Gilbert Arenas did a live podcast during a game. The Enemies were making waves whether they were winning on the court or not so heck of a season for this organization. Killer 3’s jumps to 5-3 and is tied with Power for the #2 team in the league while Enemies drop to 3-5.
Once again, another pivotal game for this chaotic playoff picture as 3’s Company goes toe to toe with Trilogy. A Trilogy win and the playoff picture is clear as we would know all four teams and know each matchup. Sure, that’d be easy, but this league isn’t about easy so it’s only fitting that 3’s Company ran Trilogy off the court in a 50-28 shellacking. Trilogy only managed to score 8 points in the 2nd half! Andre Emmett paved the way for 3C as he scored 16. The squad lived up to their team name as they hit four 3’s, the area of the game they struggled with most of the season. Dermarr Johnson was able to make three 3’s in this one and helped lift 3’s Company to victory. It’s a super disappointing loss for Trilogy as they playoffs might have just slipped from their grasp. I’d like to know for sure, but we don’t actually know the tiebreakers... So, yeah... My guess would be point differential is the main tiebreaker. James White scored 14 and was the only member of Trilogy to score double digits. 3’s Company has jumped to 4-4 while Trilogy drops to 4-4. With one game remaining in this season, five teams are tied for 4th place at 4-4. The final game is between Aliens and Tri-State, the winner becomes 4-4. Chaos. Absolute, chaos.
Going into the final game we know six(!) teams will be tied for 4th place with a record of 4-4. Assuming that point differential is the main tiebreaker, 3 Headed Monsters boasts a differential of +19. Aliens and Tri-State match up in this final game with Aliens holding a differential of +13,so, if they want to make the playoffs they have to win by 7 or more. If not, the playoff field is set and 3 Headed Monsters will sneak in! The first half of this game was pretty good to say the least. Aliens went on an 8-0 run to jump out to a 19-10 lead. Tri-State fought back and claimed a 25-23 halftime lead, tough for the Aliens as they held a 9 point lead, the lead necessary for them to make the playoffs. Jason Richardson was out here taking flight! A nasty reverse dunk off the alley-oop to get the crowd hyped! This game has been insane as Nate “Tiny” Archibald got ejected for complaining with the officials. It looked like he was complaining about the calls down low, as Aliens were on the wrong side of numerous calls and rightfully so. They were hacking Tri-State all game, and the calls were truthfully correct. In the end, Tri-State won 51-44 and the playoff picture is officially set and I’ll get to that in a bit. For Aliens, Brandon Rush made three 3’s which actually ties the number of three’s DeShawn Stevenson made this season. B-Rush and D-Steve are 3-point co-champs with 20, congrats guys! Both Andre Owens and Greg Oden had good games as well but they just couldn’t overcome the technical fouls, Archibald’s ejection were free points handed to Tri-State. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 17 and grabbed 8 rebounds, Nate Robinson dropped a cool 10 to go with 5 boards, and Jason Richardson scored 15. Tri-State finishes the season at 4-4, Aliens finish at 3-5.
Before I get to the playoff bracket, I’d like to give some props to Nate Robinson and Brian Scalabrine for each commentating a game today. Nate did the Bivouac/Ball Hogs game and did a phenomenal job calling the DeShawn Stevenson game-winner. Scal called the Aliens/Tri-State game and gave phenomenal analysis all game long. Just another innovative feature of the BIG3 game, players stepping away from the court to put on a headset and share their basketball knowledge with the world.
Okay. Playoff time! 1 seeded Triplets come in at 7-1 and face the 4 seed in the 4-4, 3 Headed Monsters. This is a really great game as 3HM have all the talent to take down Triplets as they nearly defeated this powerhouse a few weeks back but collapsed late and blew a double digit lead. The other semi-final will feature the 2 seeded 5-3 Killer 3’s and the 3 seeded 5-3 Power. Another fantastic game that should be an instant classic. My picks are as follows... I’m taking the 3 Headed Monsters in a colossal upset! As y’all know I predicted 3HM to beat Triplets, Enemies, and Power to end their season. Why not beat Enemies, Power, and Triplets in that order? They can do it. I’m taking Power in the other semi-final as I just think this team is too talented and well coached. I believe they were coasting the last few weeks and saving their energy for the playoffs. This team prepares like no other and they’ll be ready for the playoffs. And in the championship, I’ll take Power to secure the Chip once again as they defeat 3 Headed Monsters. This would be a cool championship game but as a fan of basketball, Triplets and Power would be better for the game as two female head coaches would be fighting for the championship trophy and in my mind they have the two best teams! Who do you have winning it all?
The energy was intense and it was a super fun day of basketball in Dallas, Texas! The basketball fans of Texas showed out yet again as we had another fantastic crowd in Dallas, great job fans! See y’all next week in New Orleans for the playoffs!