Jamel Staten (left) and the Scrubs take on Tim Lott and the Savages in the Game of the Week.
The Family finally showed a whole lot of guts as they dropped last week’s game against Flight Squad by a mere 15 points with only four players. Captain Earnest Frazier poured in a career high of 36 points and star guard DeAnthony Taylor finished with the second highest scoring output of the season with 48. Sure, they did surrender the first highest scoring output as guard Demetrius Martin rained in a whomping 67 points for Flight Squad. Still, it makes you think what could have been if they played this hard with five guys suited up.
Three weeks ago the Rams were sitting at 5-3 and looking like an elite bunch. The big man trio of Raheem Tyner, Shane Bosek, and Brian Hoffman was starting to gel. Point guard Walter Power was showing heart and giving the team the attitude they needed. They even took out the Falcons convincingly. Since then, they've dropped three games in a row and have fallen to 5-6. Their offensive flow has faded, Their bigs seem uninterested in dominating the paint, and their shots just haven't been high percentage. The Rams must find a way to turn the tide quickly or risk missing the playoffs.
The Family will give the Rams their all and will actually have a chance to win if Aaron Delaney comes back, and they play as hard as they did last week. Still, I can't trust them.
Rams by 8
In the battle of the grey uniform squads, All4One flexed their muscle and blew out the once No. 1-ranked Outlawz 74-54. The acquisition of big man Eric Coleman wasn't as effective as everyone anticipated. He went scoreless and grabbed just three rebounds. Hardly an exciting debut, but you can expect much more production going forward. Maybe he's the missing piece to the puzzle that is All4One.
The Flight Squad almost lost a game to The Family, who suited up just four players. They played down to the competition and wasn’t highly motivated. Martin, on the other hand, wasn't going to let an easy opportunity slip away as he poured in a Triple Double season high 67 points, including 14 of 22 from three-point range. Martin has been one of the best players in the league all season and solidified himself as a possible MVP candidate.
Flight Squad won their first game against All4One in Week 4 in a thriller. Look, for Kevin Thompson and company to bounce back and even up the score.
All4One by 5
Finally, the Falcons got center Carl Hipp into the offensive flow, as he finished with a season high 17 points. We all know their shooters will win them games and Jonny Ball is a technician from midrange. But come playoff time the Falcons want to get those easy buckets down low. The win puts them in a three-way tie for first place.
All4One is the final team to play a doubleheader. They'd love to go 2-0 and improve to just one game out of first place.
All4One is playing good basketball right now and added a talented big man that can match up with Carl Hipp. However, it's tough to beat the Falcons on the wrong end of a back-to-back.
Falcons by 7
The Scrubs bounced back from that loss to Flight Squad with a 95-64 beating of the Rams. The win came without star forward Vincent Grier, who was suspended for getting ejected the previous game. Three-point bomber Dominique Martin - the youngest brother of Romain Martin and Dierre Martin; two former TD All Stars - came up big going 7-for-8 from three-point range and finishing with 25 points. If he can keep up that kind of production, the Scrubs may have found the guy they needed to put them over the top.
The Savages bounced back after losing to the Heat a week prior, with a complete dismantle of the Outlawz, 89-69. The win came without defensive anchor Cory Luckett, who was also serving a one-game suspension for violating the league’s code of conduct. However, these guys didn't lose a beat. They had nearly six guys finish in double figures (Meech Williams had 8) and the game was never in doubt. The Savages have put together the best stretch of basketball as of late and are the favorite to win it all.
The first game between these two teams offered a big of everything! There was a large crowd, big plays, trash talk, and a close finish. The Savages won that game. The Scrubs will be looking to avenge that loss. It's going to be hard to beat this team twice in one season.
Scrubs by 9
Just when we thought the Heat was catching some stride after ending the Savages seven-game winning streak, they run into a red hot Omar’s Tires team and got thumped! Their two stars Roc Rogers and Grant Hargett combined for just 10 of 31 from the field. Sharpshooter Sonny Young-Graves cooled off and finished with just three points. Yeah, I don’t understand how Omar’s Tires is a team that is on fire right now, but they're not going away. You still have to beat them; they're in the way of the trophy. The Heat has to win at least two of their final three games if they want to make the playoffs.
IAD ran into the Falcons and only suited up five players. That's was a big reason they lost 101-79. This is a critical part of the season and you're going to have to get everybody at the game and ready to play to realistically make the playoffs. They've lost three of their last four games and are starting to lose the momentum they were gaining a month ago. They'll almost need to win their final three games to solidify a playoff spot.
Just a few weeks ago, IAD put the flex on the Heat and ran away with a win. I think the Heat will be ready this time while they're thirsty for a win.
Heat by 8
Omar’s Tires is coming, and they're coming hard! They’re winners of five of their last six games, and they all came in convincing fashion. The scariest thing is how they've started to gel and move the ball around well. Reigning scoring champ Akeem Cubie had only 11 and 13 points in his last two games and he was comfortable with it. You can credit that to the leadership of captain guard Omar Omar and Minnesota great Khalid El-Amin.
A few weeks ago I went on record by saying the Outlawz are the No. 1 team, but the consensus around the league didn't feel the same. They were 6-0 and the last remaining undefeated team, but many teams still weren’t scared of them. Now, we are starting to see why some players were saying those things. The Outlawz have lost three straight games and four out of their last five, including a 20-point thumping by the Savages last week. The Outlawz have to find a way to right the ship and finish strong or they may fall to the 4TH or 5TH seed and end up having to play Omar's Tires in the first round. Ironically, the team they're playing tonight.
This game is a tale of two teams headed in different directions. The Outlawz are falling off and Omar's Tires are showing signs of dominance. I do believe the Outlawz can win, but don't think they will.
Omar's Tires by 12
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