BIG3 2023 Week 5 Recaps
By BIG3 July 25, 2023
Here’s what happened in Week 5:
GAME 1: ENEMIES (3-2) DEFEATED KILLER 3’S (3-2)
There were a few things at play in this game. First of all, Elijah Stewart had a fantastic game for the Enemies, finishing with a game-high 21 points on 8-13 shooting from the field. Stewart did a fantastic job of keeping the floor spaced for Jordan Crawford, who was able to use his passing in a way he didn’t during the first half of the season. After tallying just four total assists in the first four games of the season, Crawford had five assists against the Killer 3’s.
Crawford also remained a scoring threat, finishing with 16 points and hitting four of the five threes he took – the way he can consistently make shots with such a high degree of difficulty is just mind-boggling. Even if he’s fading away or has a hand in his face, he finds a way to put the ball through the rim.
On the other end of the floor, the Enemies sagged off of Franklin “Frank Nitty” Session and dared him to beat them with jumpers. Session was unable to take advantage, and shot just 4-16 from the floor and 1-6 from three-point range. With Donte Greene unable to take advantage of size mismatches against Crawford and Stewart, the Killer 3’s struggled to find consistent offense.
Frank Nitty committed several cheap fouls on Stewart down the stretch, and the final one sent Stewart to the line for the game-winning free throw, which he sank to give the Enemies the win by a final score of 50-41.
GAME 2: POWER (4-1) DEFEATED GHOST BALLERS (3-2)
The Ghost Ballers got off to a good start in this game, taking advantage of a few huge defensive plays at the rim by Chris Johnson to get easy baskets. The game really changed when Royce White took out his do-it-yourself kit and bullied Johnson, backing him under the rim with powerful dribble-drives and flipping in some layups. After that, the Ghost Ballers had trouble asserting themselves on either end of the floor, with Power controlling the paint on both ends.
Glen Rice Jr. was able to slither into the paint a few times, and hit both a three-point shot and a four-pointer for good measure. The latter was particularly useful, as it erased an early 8-4 lead for the Ghost Ballers and took away a lot of the momentum they gained from their stellar play to start the game.
As the game went on, Power was consistently able to use pick-and-roll play to get looks at the rim. There’s nothing particularly complex about how they do it – they have big men who dive hard to the rim, passers who put the ball where only the bigs can get it, and the bigs do a great job of sealing their defender and finishing with contact. After a hot start to the second half spurred on by some great shot-making from Cuttino Mobley, the game was never really in doubt for Power.
Mike Taylor had a great game for the second week in a row, finishing with a game-high 17 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor, but it wasn’t enough for the Ghost Ballers. The game-winner came when Glen Rice hit TJ Cline with a nice pass under the basket, which Cline then shoveled to White for a layup that ended the game by the final score of 51-43.
GAME 3: 3’S COMPANY (2-3) DEFEATED BIVOUAC (2-3)
A great return to Miami for former Heat players Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley. Chalmers was able to get into the paint, set up his teammates, and hit threes, while Beasley was able to get cooking from all over the court after hitting some easy baskets early. Chalmers finished with 12 points and a game-high seven assists, while Beasley finished with 25 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor. 3’s Company needed this game, and they played like it.
Bivouac didn’t play a bad game, but 3’s Company showed just how dangerous they can be when they play a focused and patient brand of basketball. The game ended when Michael Beasley shook his man with a jab-step on the perimeter and put home a finger roll to give 3’s Company the 51-42 win.
GAME 4: BALL HOGS (3-2) DEFEATED 3 HEADED MONSTERS (1-4)
3HM actually got off to a great start in this game, with Artur Labinowicz and Brandon Moss getting to the rim at will as Ball Hogs struggled to get the looks they wanted. They did a great job of keeping themselves from getting buried from beyond the arc – the Ball Hogs shot just 6-22 from deep as a team, and Jodie Meeks shot just 1-6 from three-point range.
As the game went on, Meeks was able to use his relentless movement to impact the game – he was able to finish with a game-high 20 points and six assists even though his shot wasn’t falling. DaJuan Summers was crucial off the bench – during one stretch, he hit three straight long jumpers to give the Ball Hogs a 43-40 lead. Meanwhile, 3HM’s offense sputtered as Brandon Moss’ touch abandoned him, with several chippies around the rim failing to find their mark after a nice move from Moss.
The game ended when Artur Labinowicz was forced to foul Jodie Meeks to stop an open layup. Meeks hit the resulting free throw, giving Ball Hogs a much-needed 51-42 win.
GAME 5: TRILOGY (3-2) DEFEATED TRI STATE (2-3)
The legend of Hezi God continues to grow. Isaiah Briscoe missed this game for Trilogy, and Earl Clark shot just 8-24 from the floor and 1-8 from three-point range. Hezi God was there to save the day for the defending champs, as he finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-15 shooting from the floor. With each passing week, he looks more and more like a bona fide star in this league.
Tri State have been struggling recently because they haven’t been able to find their outside shot or get anything going in the paint, and both of those trends continued against Trilogy. Tri State shot just 3-13 from three point range and missed both of their four-point attempts, and big man DeShawn Stephens finished with 5 points on 1-2 shooting from the field as his disappointing season continued.
GAME 6: TRIPLETS (4-1) DEFEATED ALIENS (0-5)
No surprises here. Aliens were actually able to take a 25-20 lead into the half, but were outscored 31-12 in the second half of a 51-37 win for the Triplets. Jeremy Pargo struggled a bit, shooting just 3-11 from the floor, but Iso-Joe had a vintage performance, scoring a game-high 23 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor.
That was enough for the Triplets, as no player was able to score more than 10 points for the Aliens, who are officially mathematically eliminated from this year’s playoffs.