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BBAL Week 3 Preview (Javion's Edition)

Two weeks of BBAL has already been played! Time is flying as games are getting more exciting week by week! The boys put on a show and made fans' time worth with quality BBAL basketball! Let’s dive into the highly anticipated week three matchups!

First up, two quite tenacious teams in the Titans and Huskies despite Titans being the one of the two to come out on top, the Huskies are no team to mess with. Titans, coming off an impressive win against the CherryPickers, took care of business indeed. Although the CherryPickers had an NBA player, Titans led by Chase Yarberough showed no fear. Chase for the second week in a row, proved to make Johnny’s drafting ability look great. Ant Pinkkard did Ant things, shutting down Montrezl Harrel most of the game and making a statement offensively. These are just a few things that Titans will need to execute to come out on top against the Huskies this week. There aren't many flaws in Titan basketball because they are very deep and if one is struggling, they have the ability to execute the next man up mentality with guys like Bam and Rob who have proven themselves. Captain and Commissioner Johnny Besecker himself told me “I didn’t play very well.” He came up when it mattered in clutch time and that's what he'll need to continue to do with the load being taken off of him like previous years. The Huskies, coming off a frustrating loss to the Bullies played solid but, I noticed several issues that led to their loss and they’re going to have to clean up quick if they want to stay afloat in this matchup. They ran a very fast, intense offense which in certain points of the game threw the Bullies off. They were killing the Bullies with off-ball screens allowing for open threes for the majority of the game. Late-game defense was their issue and they failed to make role players beat them as Kobe Gantz put his team on his back dropping 36. Offensively, they didn’t do enough to keep up with Kobe and his guys. Elijah Washington late game, I noticed complained to the refs a ton which hurt their confidence. They’ve got to stay calm until the clock hits triple zero and execute every play like the last. Despite winning the rebound battle, the Bullies snagged the ones that counted to end the game. Staying mentally intact and executing should be their focus if they want any shot at the Titans this week.

Next, we have the Gremlins up against the Dragons. Captain Alex Cruz vs Tony Cruz, both looking for their first taste of the win-column. Both teams shot themselves in the foot last week and look to clean up mistakes and execute better. Gremlins, who suffered a loss to the WoodPeckers that they definitely could have won. Playing catch-up is certainly not a good recipe for them as they were most of the game because of the constant back and forth buckets. They needed more than Nassir McFadden’s 26 point game and him taking 23 shots is not ideal. They started off great which will have to be an occurring theme against the Dragons. By far, the most defensive game we saw this week and the Gremlins couldn’t get the job done defensively as opposed to the Peckers. Defensive execution and avoiding playing from behind has to be their main focus to take care of business on Sunday. Dragons, who quite frankly shot themselves in the foot last week are looking for a bounce back to try and stay competitive. So far, the Dragons have done nothing to make me look good and only my good buddy Tobey Prime has looked up to par with his predictions of these struggling results courtesy of the Dragons. The Dragons were without Elijah Terry for a second week in a row last week, however you hope to see him on the court this week in a very winnable game. The Dragons in the first half looked very solid and I expected them to carry the momentum into the second half and secure the game. However, they had other plans. Jacking threes, forcing shots, allowing the Tropics to get to the charity stripe with ease was all occurring in the second half meltdown by the Dragons. Even Ricky Cruz proved me wrong in the first half with him being pretty reliable to start but couldn't carry over the momentum in the second half. Their focus to come out on top against the Dragons should be limiting bad shots, playing defense without fouling, and hopefully Elijah Terry and others will be back to action!

8 Balls and WoodPeckers are scheduled to start our evening games at 6 o’clock. 8 Balls looking to continue rolling and become one of many teams that can stay undefeated this week. WoodPeckers look to pull off an upset and peck their way over .500. 8 Balls displayed a quite dominant performance without Jason Kuntzelman despite the score saying otherwise. However, the Peckers didn’t necessarily look dominant, they showed clutch genes and stepped up when it mattered most. No matter how you look at it, anything can happen. Teams can have bad days and upsets will happen in this league. The 8 Balls could definitely use Jase back considering he allows their offense to flow better and he can control the game. The only real flaw was their late-game defense. They should be fine without Jase as they proved their legitimacy last week. The Peckers played solid but, they certainly didn’t play how they’re going to have to against the 8 Balls. It was a defensive heavy game which made the Peckers prove themselves defensively and showed potential on how they can play against other teams. They are simply going to have to be more efficient to compete with the 8 Balls and contain Jase, Julian, and even Ross. Ultimately, it’s going to be a tough out with the amount of weapons the 8 Balls have for the WoodPeckers to compete against.

The highlight of the night! Bullies vs Lanc Show. Bullies have pulled some impressive wins without Marquel. Although his injury timetable is still listed as out, the Bullies have proven they can really compete without him at least until playoffs. Lanc Show lost a tough one last week that could’ve been considered an upset against the 8 Balls. It was down to the wire but they couldn’t come up big when it mattered. Bullies are seeking 3-0 which no matter their record will be tough playing a team like Lanc Show. What makes the Lanc Show so tough is their intensity and their ability to take a game over with ease. Despite the Bullies rising star Kobe Gantz scoring 36 pts, they will need to implement other guys in the offense and find a way to defend off-ball screens if they want to score efficiently on a team of the Lanc Shows capability. Lanc Show will undoubtedly adjust if Kobe turns it up a notch so they will need to be prepared with a second scoring option. On the other hand, Lanc Show will need to keep their foot on the gas pedal defensively. They should throw different looks at Kobe Gantz and maybe mix in zones to confuse his court vision. Their main priority should be to outshoot the Bullies with their perimeter weapons and defensively do what their best at, which is intensity and getting under other teams skin.

To end our star-studded night of BBAL basketball, we have the CherryPickers and the Tropics facing off. The CherryPickers, who are still looking for their first win, it doesn’t get much easier playing the Tropics who shocked the BBAL world last week with no bench. CherryPickers even having an NBA player last week struggled. Their performances the last two weeks have proved little to no promise in a championship recap. They’ve proved that losing Devonne Pinkkard really tormented their team chemistry. For the CherryPickers to come out on top, they need their main scorers like John-John, Matt Mccleary and others to avoid inefficiency. Earlier in the week, there was a reported rumor that Matt and John-John had requested a trade so we’ll see if that affects them and if anything comes to fruition. Defensively, they haven’t been able to stop opposing stars and if Montrezl still plays, hopefully he can spark some winning mentality into this locker room. The Tropics, as I’ve mentioned before, are coming off a very impressive win against the Dragons with no bench. This showed how capable their starting 5 is but allows questions to float about their bench and if they are motivated in this franchise. Some of the Tropics' flaws are three point efficiency and foul trouble. If they want to be victorious on Sunday, they need to find weaknesses earlier in the game and create offense without the opportunity of foul calls. They started off in the first half beyond the arc shooting less than 20% last week so if they see shots aren’t dropping, they need to attack the hoop like they did last game. It should be sooner than later before the CherryPickers realize their shots aren’t dropping before the Tropics do.

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