How to Watch Week 5 + Game Previews
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn July 16, 2022
THIS WEEK, ALL SIX BIG3 GAMES WILL BE PLAYED ON SUNDAY, JULY 17. THE FIRST THREE GAMES WILL BE BROADCAST ON CBS AND PARAMOUNT PLUS, AND THE LATTER THREE GAMES WILL BE STREAMED ON DAZN, VYRE, AND THE BIG3 YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
AT 3:00 EST ON CBS, TRILOGY WILL TAKE ON TRI STATE. AFTER THAT, THE BALL HOGS WILL FACE ALIENS. THE THIRD GAME OF THE DAY WILL BE A SHOWDOWN BETWEEN THE GHOST BALLERS AND 3’S COMPANY.
STARTING 6:00 EST, THE GAMES WILL BE BROADCAST ON STREAMING PLATFORMS. THE ENEMIES WILL PLAY THE KILLER 3’S, THEN 3 HEADED MONSTERS WILL HAVE A GAME AGAINST TRIPLETS, AND THE DAY WILL END WITH A SHOWDOWN BETWEEN POWER AND BIVOUAC.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD VYRE AND DAZN, TWO STREAMING SERVICES THAT HAVE PARTNERED WITH THE BIG3, HERE:
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH ALL 3 OF THE STREAMING GAMES ON THE BIG3 YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
GAME 1: TRI STATE VS. TRILOGY
I’m excited for this one. Both of these teams have versatility and aren’t afraid to mix it up, and both execute well. I think the game will be decided by outside shooting. Tri State has Jason Richardson, DaJuan Summers, and Justin Dentmon who can all fill it up from the outside without giving up easy shots at the basket. If rim protection becomes an issue, Coach Dr. J has shot-blocker extraordinaire Larry Sanders on his bench.
Meanwhile, Trilogy (2-2) has really struggled to hit shots from the perimeter. Earl Clark has a nice stroke for a big man and actually leads the league in 3-point percentage, but he’s not a high-volume shooter from deep, and Team Captain James White has been mired in an uncharacteristic shooting slump since Week 1. If Trilogy can’t find a way to get more points from outside the paint, I’d expect Tri State to come away with this one.
GAME 2: ALIENS VS. BALL HOGS
The Aliens (3-1) are coming off a hard-fought win against Trilogy. The Aliens stood out early in the season because of their free-flowing, European-inspired offense, but it’s become clear that Deshawn Stephens’ ability to control the paint on both sides of the floor may be just as important for them.
As for the Ball Hogs (1-3), they really have been better than their 1-3 record would indicate. The team is built around Captain Leandro Barbosa, who missed Week 1 and wasn’t at 100% in Week 2. When the team lost in Week 4, Co-Captain Jodie Meeks, who spaces the floor for Barbosa and is a key part of the Ball Hogs’ game plan, was not present. He is expected to be in the lineup this week, so expect this to be a much closer game than the teams’ respective records would suggest.
GAME 3: GHOST BALLERS VS. 3’S COMPANY
This is an important game for both teams, albeit for different reasons. The Ghost Ballers (2-2) have all the talent necessary to win a BIG3 championship, but let their game against Trilogy in Week 3 slip through their fingers and suffered a tough loss to the Killer 3’s last week. This game will be a good litmus test for whether the Ghost Ballers have enough discipline to make it to the promised land.
As for 3’s Company (1-3), they desperately need some good news. After a great game in Week 1, Michael Beasley has struggled, and the plan still seems to give him the ball and have him take contested shots. If 3’s Company wants to salvage their season, they need to get more contributions from the rest of the team and make the game easier for Beasley.
GAME 4: ENEMIES VS. KILLER 3’S
I was really impressed by the Killer 3’s (2-2) in Week 4, when they essentially out-hustled the Ghost Ballers for a win. Meanwhile, the Enemies (2-2) have shown little interest in playing defense all season, instead relying on their plethora of shot-makers.
The key to this game might be if Elijah Stewart, who was invited to join the New Orleans Pelicans’ Summer League team after his Player of the Week performance in Week 2, will be on the court for the Enemies – as of this writing, his status for Sunday’s game is unclear.
If Stewart doesn’t return, I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Nitty’s squad gets the win through sheer effort, but it’s impossible to count out a team that can put up points in bunches the way the Enemies can.
GAME 5: 3 HEADED MONSTERS VS. TRIPLETS
3HM (3-1), led by Kevin Murphy, has done a fantastic job winning their past two games without the services of Team Captain Rashard Lewis. Currently, Lewis is expected to play on Sunday, but Jonathon Simmons will be out with an ankle injury. On the other side of things, Joe Johnson will be out for the Triplets (2-2), so each team will be without their Captains.
This will be Jamario Moon’s first game with 3HM this season, as the team brought him in to fill the roster spot vacated by Sammy Monroe. It will be interesting to see what Moon, a former Globetrotter and 5-year NBA veteran with a nice 3-point stroke and serious hops, will be able to bring to the team. Moon won the BIG3 Championship as a member of Triplets, so he’s no stranger to FIREBALL3. Quincy Miller, who joined 3HM in Week 3 as a replacement player, will return after putting up 20 points in his second game with the team.
With both teams missing key players, this is a tough one to call, but I’d give the edge to 3HM here because Kevin Murphy should be the best player on the floor.
GAME 6: POWER VS. BIVOUAC
At the risk of repeating the point I made about the Tri State vs. Trilogy game, the key to this one will be if Power (2-2) can find points from the perimeter. Their combination of size and skill is unmatched, and Glen Rice Jr. is capable of carrying the offense due to his ability to make shots from any spot on the floor.
However, Team Captain Cuttino Mobley is just 1-6 from three point range so far this season, and Royce White and Nikoloz Tskitishvili are a combined 0-7 from three-point range. Rice is more of a scorer than a pure shooter, and while Cline is capable of stepping beyond the arc and hitting the open three, he’s much more comfortable when he’s cutting to the basket or passing. There’s only so much Coach Nancy Lieberman can do from a schematic standpoint if the ball refuses to go in the basket.
Still, Power’s strength, which is their combination of strength and finesse from the front-line duo of Royce White and TJ Cline, matches up well with Bivouac’s (1-3) weakness, which is a lack of dynamic interior players. The biggest player in Bivouac’s starting lineup is Corey Brewer, who stands at 6’9 and 185 pounds. Jeff Ayres is the team’s only true big, and he can both throw his weight around inside and step out and hit the three, but stopping Power’s ability to get looks at the rim through timely cuts and passes is a lot to ask of him.
However, Bivouac always competes and have Gerald Green and his gorgeous jumper on their roster, so it’s never a good idea to count them out.
Make yourself some snacks, order a pizza, and clear your schedule this Sunday, because this should be a wonderful marathon of FIREBALL3.