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Fearless Predictions: Week 8

By Ray Johnson, 01/30/18, 8:30AM CST

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Crowd Pleasers play Green Wave in the Game of the Week and a fight to stay alive in the playoff mix.


Caleb Willis (left) and the Crowd Pleasers take on Igor Cikiriz and the Green Wave in the Game of the Week.

HEADLINES

Crowd Pleasers (2-5) vs. Green Wave (1-6)

The Crowd Pleasers struggle to close out games continued last week after falling to the Rock Pile by three points in a 70-67 loss. The Pleasers commit too many turnovers and don’t feed their big men in the post enough. We’re going to have to play a lot smarter down the stretch if we want to reach the playoffs.

The Green Wave played tough against the Falcons before giving them their first win of the year in a one-point loss. Captain Origin Spencer is still playing lights out as he recorded another 20-point game. However, This team just doesn’t have enough talent to stay consistent and put wins together.

This seems like the perfect game for the Crowd Pleasers to get back on track.

Crowd Pleasers by 6


Rock Pile (5-2) vs. Hybrid Nation (2-5)

The Rock Pile move the ball better than any team in the league. Most of their shots are high percentage coming off an extra pass. That’s why they’re in the top half the league in assist and field goal percentage. Big man Joel Armstrong has been playing at an All-TD level and could be the difference in putting this first-year franchise over the top.

Hybrid Nation had some ups and downs in last week’s loss to All4One. The tough part was losing big man Armani Scott with a knee injury. He’s probably done for the season. On the bright side, they added former Golden Gopher and ex-pro Rodney Williams, who replaces A.J. Wilson. It was interesting to see that the game still wasn’t close even with Williams on the squad as they fell 76-62. That says a lot about how far this team still has to go to start competing regularly with the league’s elite.

The Rock Pile plays too tough to lose a game of this magnitude.

Rock Pile by 9


Self Made (4-3) vs. Savages (2-5)

I finally picked Self Made to win a contest and they completely embarrassed me by getting scrubbed by Birdie’s Revenge 94-68. The game was never close and seemed to be a mismatch from jump. Partly because newly acquired big man Brandon Frelix was unavailable on the night, but with Birdie’s Revenge playing that well I don’t even know if he would have mattered much. Still, Self Made is a solid middle-of-the-pack team and should respond to this loss well.

The Savages finally looked like the dominant team we thought we would see from them this season. They struggled early, but eventually snuck out with a double-digit win over a highly touted D.O.A. squad. If last week’s performance is any indicator of how they’re going to perform moving forward, the league should be on notice.

The Savages impressed me with the way they handled D.O.A. convincingly. I like them to build on that success.

Savages by 5


Birdie's Revenge (6-1) vs. Omar's Tires (5-2)

Birdie’s Revenge pays attention to what’s been said about them and they showed it, as I pegged them as one-point underdogs against Self Made last week. They eventually destroyed the spread as they took a 26-point win to the locker room. It took a 21-point run by the Rock Pile in Week 5 to get this team off their square and they haven’t looked back since. It’s safe to say they’re back to their dominant ways.

Omar’s Tires  has won five in a row to creep up to four-way tie for second in the standings following a 18-point dismantle of the previously top ranked Scrubs. This team is led by Paris Kyles, who dropped 31 points and did pretty much what he wanted all game long. This is even more impressive when you think about how Omar’s Tires started the season 0-2. This may be a reoccurring theme as they started off 0-5 a season ago before going on to win a title.

This is one of the toughest games to edge out. It’s hard to pick against Kyles, as he’s been unstoppable since Week 3. On the other hand, Birdie’s Revenge made me pay big time for going against them a week ago.

Birdie’s Revenge by 2


D.O.A. (4-3) vs. MPLS. Scrubs (5-2)

D.O.A. isn’t a really good team. They have two really good players that take turns going one-on-one while everybody else stands back and watches. That formula worked in the beginning when everybody didn’t know just how good Roosevelt Scott was. The league is figuring him out. They’re going to have to find a true point guard to fill in for DeAnthony Taylor, or trust the few teammates they have to make a play.

The Scrubs got ahead of themselves. Yes, everybody is well aware how talented and experienced you guys are. That doesn’t mean teams are going to lie down. I mean, they have gone from a muscle-you and lock-you-up team to a run-and-gun style. Even though Kevin Henderson and Jameel Staten are top tier shooters from beyond the arc, there’s no reason they should be settling for threes that often. They’re two of the strongest guys in the league. This team needs to get their identity back.

Either team can get blown out if they’re not careful early. I think the Scrubs will respond this week, though.

Scrubs by 6


Falcons (1-6) vs. All4One (5-2)

The Falcons finally came out on the winning end of a game after escaping with a one-point win against a struggling Green Wave bunch last week. Newcomer and former pro Jordairre Jett led the way with 25 points. This team is not going to wow you with their style, but there is still hope to turn things around mid way through the season. They’re just missing that one last franchise guy to really make things interesting.

All4One is showing the league they are for real. Rodney Williams played with Hbrid Nation and had some pretty good highlight dunks, but that was about it. They proved they were the far more superior team and they were not going to fold over for no one. This team isn’t the Kevin Thompson solo act like we saw in the past; they’re actually a solid cohesive bunch.

The Falcons will need more than a few bounces go their way to come out on top in this one.

All4One by 8