How to Watch Week 6 + Game Previews
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn July 22, 2022
ALL 3 OF SATURDAY’S GAMES, AS WELL AS THE BIVOUAC-KILLER 3s GAME ON SUNDAY, WILL BE ON THE BIG3 YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
ON SUNDAY, THE GAMES WILL START AT 1:00 PM EST ON CBS AND PARAMOUNT PLUS WHEN TRI STATE PLAY THE THREE HEADED MONSTERS. AT 2:00 EST, POWER WILL PLAY ALIENS. BIVOUAC WILL PLAY THE KILLER 3’S TO CLOSE OUT THE WEEKEND ON THE BIG3 YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
GAME 1: TRIPLETS VS. GHOST BALLERS
There are two big X-Factors for this game. For the Triplets, it’s whether or not they can continue to make their offense work without Joe Johnson, who is not expected to play on Saturday, in the lineup. While the Triplets have obviously lost a bit of punch without Iso-Joe, Coach Lisa Leslie has done a fantastic job adjusting the Triplets’ offense to revolve around pick-and-roll actions with the Pargo Brothers and Ryan Hollins. The latter has looked like a new man over the past two weeks, and has been having what could more or less be described as a dunk party.
The Ghost Ballers have to find their edge again. Since Trilogy came back from a huge deficit to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against the Ghost Ballers in Week 3, the wind seems to have been taken out of their sails. Chris Johnson and Darnell Jackson are both good shooters for big men, but they’ve been almost exclusively settling for outside shots. At some point, they need to use their size inside.
Mike Taylor plays with as much energy and confidence as any player in the league, so it could make sense to have him more involved. However, after teams figured out that the hyper-quick Taylor almost never ventures to the left side of the floor, they’ve had an easier time containing him.
Both of these teams have the talent to win the whole thing (assuming Johnson returns to the Triplets at some point this season), and both of them are currently at 2-3, so this is a huge game for both clubs.
GAME 2: ENEMIES VS. TRILOGY
The Enemies are another team that just haven’t played with a sense of purpose since Elijah Stewart’s incredible Week 2 performance against Bivouac earned him an invite to the Pelicans’ Summer League squad.
That won’t cut it against Trilogy, who might be the most physical team in the league. Amir Johnson is as unstoppable of a force as any big man in the league, and Isaiah Briscoe is incredibly strong for his size and lives at the rim. If Briscoe can continue to shoot the way he did in Week 5, this game could get ugly fast for Gilbert Arenas’ team.
If nothing else, the matchup between Enemies Coach Gilbert Arenas and Trilogy Coach Stephen Jackson should give us some of the most entertaining banter of the season.
GAME 3: BALL HOGS VS. 3’s COMPANY
This is the story of two teams going in radically different directions. The Ball Hogs (1-4) had a lead on the Aliens in Week 5 before Leandro Barbosa, their Captain and franchise player, left the game with a potentially serious lower leg injury.
Meanwhile, 3’s Company (2-3) had been playing uninspired basketball all season. They somehow found enlightenment between Week 4 and Week 5, and their destruction of the Ghost Ballers was one of the most impressive games any team played all year. They moved the ball, they didn’t settle, and they just completely ran over the Ghost Ballers.
With Barbosa out, I’d give 3’s Company the edge in this game even if they revert to their old “give Michael Beasley the ball and see what he can figure out” ways, but it’ll be interesting to see if Michael Cooper’s team can continue the commitment to ball movement and man movement they showed in Week 5.
GAME 1: TRI STATE VS. 3 HEADED MONSTERS
This should be a good one. Tri State (3-2) looked like the best team in the league coming into Week 5, but their pinpoint outside shooting abandoned them. They went 2-14 from three-point range, and suffered an upset loss to Trilogy. Tri State depends on perimeter shooting more than any team in the league, so they’ll need their shots to fall if they want to beat the 3 Headed Monsters and put themselves back in contention.
3HM (4-1), meanwhile, have been absolutely beasting despite not having Captain Rashard Lewis or Co-Captain Jonathon Simmons in the lineup. Most of the credit for that should go to Kevin Murphy, who currently leads the league in scoring and beat the Triplets by scoring six points on one possession to end the game in Week 5. (Cool stuff happens in FIREBALL3.) If either Lewis or Simmons is ready to return to the lineup, it should make 3HM that much more dangerous. Even if they aren’t, Tri State will need to both hit shots and have some sort of plan to contain Murphy if they want to come away with the W in this one.
GAME 2: POWER VS. ALIENS
Oh, this should be a fun one. The Aliens (4-1) lead the league in assists, and Power (2-3) is second. If you like to see basketballs moving very quickly from person to person, this is the game for you.
The Aliens are more perimeter-oriented than Power. However, they’ve relied more on volume than accuracy from outside so far this season. If they can start knocking their perimeter shots down on a more consistent basis, there might be no stopping them.
Power has also had trouble from outside. TJ Cline is a solid shooter for a big man, but he needs time and space to get his jumper off – I wouldn’t call him a true stretch big. Glen Rice Jr. is a walking bucket, but he’s more of a scorer than a shooter. He seems more comfortable taking a contested shot from midrange than an open one from deep. Consequently, he likes to get inside the arc before he goes about his business.
Finally, get ready for the battle between Royce White and Deshawn Stephens. White is somehow one of the most physically imposing big men in the league who loves to play bully-ball down low and is third in the league in BIG3. Stephens, meanwhile, has been a breakout star for the Aliens. While the Aliens’ three European players have given the rest of the league a new style of offense to deal with, Stephens and his 7’3 wingspan have consistently protected the rim and been able to finish inside. Also, he’s taken to the Aliens’ playstyle like a duck to water, and is as capable as anyone on the team of moving without the ball or rewarding a cutting teammate with a pass for a layup.
GAME 3: BIVOUAC VS. KILLER 3’S
This should be a fun one to finish the weekend. Bivouac (2-3) and the Killer 3’s (3-2) both play with a ton of passion and physicality. Gerald Green and Franklin “Frank Nitty” Session might be the two best athletes in the league. Green’s the better shooter, but Frank Nitty is the more relentless driver and creates more opportunities for his teammates.
This should be a big game for both teams. After losing the first three games of the season by exactly three points apiece, Bivouac have won their last two, and a win on Sunday could keep their playoff hopes alive. The Killer 3’s, meanwhile, could use a win to keep them firmly in contention. When the two CBS games on Sunday are over, do touch that dial, but make sure you tune in to the BIG3 YouTube channel, because this isn’t a game you’re going to want to miss.