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Fearless Predictions: Week 3

By Ray Johnson, 12/26/17, 8:45AM CST

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Green Wave (0-2) vs. The Rock Pile (1-1)

The Green Wave is still trying to find their identity through two weeks. They're big, but they aren't a post up team. The bigs can't finish in the paint and they're not physical enough. Their guards are solid, but they aren't shot creators. They need a solid point guard to put them in position. That responsibility should rely on captain Origin Spencer, who is averaging a career high 18 ppg, but he's been a solid role player his whole Triple Double career and it's clear he's enjoying scoring the ball instead. The one bright spot is forward Damien Lolar’s ability to score. However, he doesn't make guys better, he just get buckets for himself. This team needs to find a true identity or will find themselves at the bottom of the standings all season.

The Rock Pile were missing big men Joel Armstrong and Brian Hoffman, but still managed to stay competitive against a talented All4One team. This squad at full strength is scary. Rico Gunn and Pino Smith make for a solid backcourt. Alex Oman and Mark Torell can flat out shoot the ball and put it on the floor when they need to. Not to mention their big guys Hoffman and Armstrong can really get physical down low. This team has to show up and take no games off or lightly if they want to put it all together and make a championship push.

The Green Wave hasn't showed any chemistry or ability to compete at a high level yet. The Rock Pile stayed competitive without two of their best players. It's safe to say I'm going with the Pile.

Rock Pile by 12


Crowd Pleasers (1-1) vs. Birdie’s Revenge (2-0)

Wow. Just, wow! Last week, I called out the Crowd Pleasers after they blew a 16-point lead in the final 10 minutes to lose in overtime to the Scrubs. I said they needed to finish games and have mental toughness to compete in TD at a high level. Well, this past Tuesday they responded big time! The Crowd Pleasers trailed by as many as 22 points, before roaring back to win a four-point game against a very talented Omar’s Tires team. Caleb Willis flirted with a triple double, registering 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. This team showed great chemistry, racking up 24 assists. Mahlon Thomas and Kurt Koenig each scored 20-plus points. Things clicked in the second half and this team looked like a cohesive bunch to reckon with.

I don't know who Birdie is or why they need revenge for him, but it's pretty clear they plan on getting it. This team rolled over the Savages for a 22-point win last week with ease. Aaron Delaney and Roc Rogers each scored 23 points, while three others - Denzel Shaw, Rio Moore, and Lee Moore - scored in double figures. This team doesn't care who scores or who's the star. They know they have a deep team that can get buckets from anybody. However, they also know Rogers and Lee Moore are their best two players. They'll have the ball at the end of the game. As long as this talented bunch knows that they'll be just fine.

Crowd Pleasers impressed me last week but Birdie’s Revenge is a different beast.

Birdie’s Revenge by 7


Self Made (2-0) vs. MPLS Scrubs (2-0)

Self Made continued their hot start with a 80-76 win against the Falcons last week. A start nobody saw coming, especially me. I went on record saying they had the worst team in the league coming into the season and they aren't shy about reminding me of it. As long as they win and stay competitive I don't mind the heckle. I deserve it. This team is better than I thought. Dierre Martin has came back into the league hungry and ready to establish himself as a M.V.P. candidate once again. Big man Lee Gaines went 6-for-6 from the field and showed some great athleticism flushing down a couple dunks. These guys are rolling and the league needs to be on notice.

The Scrubs are just doing what they do. Scrub teams! Their third wheel Kevin Henderson joined the party last week after missing the first game. He scored 15 points in a 79-59 win over the Green Wave. The big three is complete with Henderson, Jameel Staten and DeAndre Townsend. The only question for this team is the depth outside those guys. They don't have a true big. Yes, Staten is big and can defend any center in the league, but I question how interested he's in of doing that every night. Nevertheless, this team of experienced guys will find a way to compete every night.

I hate to pick against Self Made. They burned me twice. If this was any other team I'll bank on them, but it's the Scrubs.

Scrubs by 8


Falcons (0-2) vs D.O.A. (2-0)

I don't remember a Falcons team that has started 0-2 in quite some time, but this year’s team managed to do so. There shouldn't be any alarms ringing just yet. They still have time to right the ship. They just need to move the ball around and feed the post to big man Jacob Peterson. This formula is tough without a true point guard. Something the Falcons lack. Still, I'm interested in seeing how team co-captain  Dan Andersen orchestrates the team rotation this week. They can't fall to 0-3 on the season and he knows it.

Roosevelt Scott and Akeem Cubie combined for 52 points as D.O.A made quick work of Hybrid Nation in a 84-69 win. These two form the best backcourt in the league. They're big, quick and very athletic. Captain DeAnthony Taylor made his debut last week and added 12 points in his own right. Big man Mike Franklin is one of the best utility players in the league. Matt Thayer and Spencer Puckett are solid shooters that can stretch the floor.  This team is very poised, cohesive and should be fighting for a top seed.

D.O.A. is just a better team right now and the Falcons are still figuring it out. Sorry Falcons.

D.O.A. by 7


Hybrid Nation (0-2) vs Omar's Tires (0-2)

Hybrid Nation got their big man A.J. Wilson to return and it didn't matter. They got handled easily by D.O.A. The biggest thing that stands out on the stat sheet is their shooting. They shot 12-for-44 from three-point range versus 16 of 20 inside the arc. It's clear to me that this team needs to feed Wilson in the post and attack the basket more. You guys aren't the Houston rockets. If you were, who's James Harden? D’starr Turner? He's a great player that doesn't play defense, so you may have a point.

Omar's Tires did their best Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl impression by blowing a 22-point lead to the Crowd Pleasers last week. Okay, it wasn't that bad and it's just a regular season game so I'll give them a break. It is concerning, though. This team ran out of gas in the second half. That happens when you only play with five guys. It doesn't matter how good Paris Kyles and Brensley Haywood are, if you don't have a complete team it's going to be hard to compete. Captain Omar Omar is going to have to adjust his roster.

This is definitely the toughest game to predict this week. However, I just think Kyles will find a way to prevent a 0-3 start.

Omar's Tires by 4

 


All4ONE (1-1) vs. Savages (1-1)

Kevin Thompson finally got the help he needed. Derrick Smith returned and scored 16 points. Marquis Walker contributed with 18 points, while Khalef Ahmed recorded 14 in his own right. Thompson still led the way with 25 points and 16 rebounds. They rolled over a short-handed Rock Pile team. If this team keeps up the scoring as a unit and move the ball around they will be competitive all season.

The Savages were without captain Meech Williams and franchise point guard Darnell Adams against Birdie’s Revenge and got handled by 21 points. This left them with all their big guys and no point guard and they couldn't get any stable offense orchestrated. When this team is complete they have one of the best rosters in the league. When they don't they will struggle. I hope their point guards show up this Tuesday.

This is the second toughest game to predict. I'm leaning toward the Savages banking on a complete team, but All4One is playing great basketball. I'll just shut my eyes and say the Savages will win.

Savages by 2