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Fearless Predictions: Week 5

By Ray Johnson, 01/09/18, 8:00AM CST

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Crowd Pleasers take on All4One in the Game of the Week.


Mahlon Thomas (left) and the Crowd Pleasers take on Kevin Thompson and All4One in the Game of the Week.

HEADLINES

D.O.A. (3-1) vs. Rock Pile (3-1)

In one of the most entertaining and highflying games of the year D.O.A. came up short, falling to All4One 72-62. Yes, the game was fun to watch from a fan’s perspective. However, from a team standpoint it has to be frustrating for D.O.A. They are one of the most athletic teams in the league, they have quality shooters and still they scored just 62 points. The ball stopped moving often, as guys were out to prove themselves. Shooting 5 of 24 from three-point range didn’t help the cause, either. Maybe Roosevelt Scott and Akeem Cubie got caught up in the game within the game against All4One’s Kevin Thompson. A mental lapse could have occurred. That’s something Thompson is known for doing to his opponents. With that being said, D.O.A is far from panic mode and will look to bounce back this week.

Holy smokes! The Rock Pile rolled over previous undefeated Birdie’s Revenge by 27 points, capped by a 21-point run in the middle of the second half. The Pile showed guts, heart and determination as they stayed poised and stepped on their opponent’s neck. The box score can be a tricky thing at times. The Pile was outrebounded 36-19, committed more fouls and shot 11 less shots. All this and they managed to roll. That can attest to their 50 percent (12-for-24) three-point shooting and their team assists (15) total. Once this team gets going they’re going to be tough to stop.

This is one of the 7 p.m. start games that you want to get there early for. Until D.O.A. learns to trust DeAnthony Taylor in the offense more and stop going one-on-one, they’re going to have trouble with a pass-first teams like The Rock Pile.

Rock Pile by 6


Savages (1-3) vs. Green Wave (0-4)

The Savages are one of those really good teams that have traditionally struggled early on in seasons. Last week against Omar’s Tires they outrebounded, out-assisted, out-blocked and shot more free throws only to lose. They couldn’t lock in on Paris Kyle’s, who scored a Triple Double season-high 45 points. I believe the Savages will put it all together. They had five guys in double figures, with two others scoring 6+. It’s only a matter of time for these Savages to peak.

The Green Wave is still searching for an identity. They played fairly well against Hybrid Nation (1-3) until the closing minutes of the game, in which they blew a four-point lead off two costly turnovers. The lack of a true ball handler and leader will haunt them all season until they find their guy. I believe this team has talent and individually their guys are good. But they’re just mere complimentary pieces to a star; go-to-guy type of player. They need to do some soul searching.

This is just the game the Savages need to get back on track.

Savages by 10


Crowd Pleasers (1-3) vs. All4One (3-1)

The Crowd Pleasers are a cohesive bunch with size, shooting and athleticism. They just have to find a way to finish games. This was a game they needed to have in the closing minutes and failed to make the necessary stops. They’re also weak defensively as they allowed Dierre Martin and guys to come through the lane untouched on too many occasions. Mahlon Thomas is arguably the best big in the league and he only had three rebounds and one block. He will have to assert himself early on. I hear Caleb Willis is a beast and while his numbers are good, his leadership has been lacking. These guys have to find their grove fast.

Kevin Thompson took on two of the league’s premier forwards and trash talkers! The end result was him coming out on top and doing it with flare. He wasn’t alone by any means. All4One put on one of the best defensive clinics I’ve seen with my own two eyes this season. They ran their 2-3 zone with perfection and didn’t allow a single easy bucket all game. Captain Freddie Burton (15 points), Derrick Smith and Marquis Walker (12 apiece) all chipped in with scoring load, as well.

All4One just got a signature win and their confidence should be sky high.

All4One by 7


Omar’s Tires (2-2) vs. Self Made (3-1)

Omar’s Tires were able to beat a good Savages team behind Paris Kyles’ 45 points. The win improved their record to 2-2 on the year. That’s the good news; they won the game and their star was hot. However, they can’t expect to win like that every game. Where was the rest of the offense? Kyle’s was 19-for-27 from the floor and the other guys were 13-for-36. That can’t be the formula too often. But hey, they made it work and they are one of the most talented units in the league at full strength.

Self Made is in a similar situation. In a sense. Dierre Martin is clearly the engine that gets this team going. He’s one of the best players in the league and an early M.V.P. candidate. As he moves, Self Made moves. So him getting frustrated at the end of games when he doesn’t get the ball is understandable. But you can’t give up. He almost did, but quickly came back to his senses with the game on the line. This team plays hard and gritty. They aren’t the most talented, but they get the job done. They have a talented big man in Lee Gaines, who finished with 26 points to announce his presence in the league. He had been quiet before then.

This game can go either way depending on which team can control the pace of play. Ultimately, Kyles may be too much.

Omar’s Tires by 2


Falcons (0-4) vs. Hybrid Nation (1-3)

The Falcons have been a huge disappointment in the early season. Although, they did play the undefeated Scrubs tough until the final minutes last week. Their core is set and they have the talent to be successful. They know who they are. They know they want to shoot a bunch threes and have they’re big (Jacob Peterson) clog up the paint. It just hasn’t translated into victories yet.

Hybrid Nation squeaked out their first win of the season against the Green Wave last week. They played super hybrid and got up and down the floor how they like to play. The game was slipping away in the last minute, but they found a way to cause two turnovers and come away with a much needed win. The backcourt of D’starr Turner and Deonte Compton is averaging a combined 41 points per game.

The Falcons are much bigger and deeper and this is the game where they’re probably going to put it all together.

Falcons by 5


Birdie’s Revenge (3-1) vs. Mpls. Scrubs (4-0)

I’ve been talking so high and mighty about how deep and tough Birdie’s Revenge is all season and they made me look bad by taking a 27-point bruising last week. The game got out of hand quick as The Rock Pile literally piled it on them with a 21-point run mid second half. I have nothing else to say about these guys until they prove that game was fluke. I’m still in disbelief.

How the rich get richer! The Scrubs pulled off the first trade of the year, snatching an unhappy Cory Luckett from Self Made for the rights to the Scrubs’ vacant roster spot. That’s a huge pick up for the Scrubs, as Jameel Staten doesn’t have to worry about guarding centers anymore and can do what he does on offense. This team’s starting five is at the top of the league and they’re as good as their undefeated record shows.

The Scrubs would have lost this game a week ago without the addition of Luckett. With Luckett fulfilling the Scrubs missing piece and considering Birdie’s Revenge’s terrible output last week, I’d be a fool to pick BR.

Scrubs by 1