Week 1 Saturday: Results and Recap
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn June 19, 2022
ON SUNDAY, THE THREE REMAINING WEEK 1 GAMES WILL START AT 3:00 PM EST. YOU CAN WATCH THEM ON VYRE OR DAZN, TWO STREAMING SERVICES THAT HAVE PARTNERED WITH THE BIG3.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM HERE:
GAME 1: TRIPLETS DEFEAT TRILOGY
In the first game of the 2022 BIG3 Season, the 2019 Champions were able to get the win over the defending champs. The game plan on Triplets is the definition of “easier said than done”: If you can stop reigning 2-time MVP Joe Johnson, you’ve got a great chance of getting the win.
Suffice it to say that Trilogy did not succeed at slowing down Joe Johnson. “Iso-Joe” finished with 30 points on 12-25 shooting from the field, and managed to pull down eight rebounds for good measure. To their credit, former BIG3 defensive player of the year and his Trilogy teammates did an admirable job of making Johnson work for his points, and he went just 5-17 on shots from outside the paint.
When Johnson did decide to take it to the rim, Trilogy really had no answer. He made seven of the 8 shots he took inside the paint, including the game-winner. He finished with 30 points. Jeremy Pargo, who finished with 16 points, did nearly all the rest of the scoring for the Triplets.
2022 Record: Triplets 1-0, Trilogy 0-1
GAME 2: 3’S COMPANY DEFEAT BIVOUAC
The BIG3 has a new pair of superstars. Michael Beasley came into the opening weekend as one of the most hyped rookies in the history of the BIG3, and to say he did not disappoint would be an understatement. In his first half of FIREBALL3, Beasley had 21 points on just seven shots. He made two shots in the paint, two shots from midrange, made a three, and calmly drained the first two four-point shots of his career. If you had put a ball of sand in Beasley’s left hand during halftime, it likely would have turned to glass.
When asked about his play at halftime by new sideline reporter Brian Scalabrine, Beasley, in classic fashion, said “it was easy.” Bivouac were able to slow Beasley down the second half by contesting his mid-range shots and forcing him to drive right. After his huge first half, Beasley managed just five points in the second half. Beasley still contributed the whole way through, and his block of a Corey Brewer dunk attempt was likely the play of the game. Put simply, this was one of the better debuts in BIG3 history.
For his part, Bivouac rookie Captain Gerald Green gave as good as he got, matching Beasley with a 26-point performance of his own. Green was known for his prodigious leaping ability and buttery-smooth stroke during his 12-year NBA career, and he seems to have figured out how to make those talents work for him in the FIREBALL3 format. Green used his ability to quickly and smoothly get a long way off the floor to create separation for his mid-range jumper, and once he had that separation, you could practically count the basket when the ball left his hand. He also drained four shots from three-point range, and hung in the air to convert a beautiful double-clutch layup that BIG3 color commentator Avery Johnson admitted “brought him out of his seat.”
Sadly, only one of the BIG3’s two new stars could be victorious in their debut. On Saturday, Beasley and 3’s Company took home the win on a game-winning jumper by team Captain Mario Chalmers.
2022 Record: 3’s Company 1-0, Bivouac 0-1
GAME 3: GHOST BALLERS DEFEAT 3-HEADED MONSTERS
After the first two games were largely dominated by standout performances, the final game of the 2022 season’s first day was more of a balanced affair, particularly from the Ghost Ballers. Darnell Jackson – all 253 pounds of him – started the game off by showing off a truly nice outside stroke. Mike Taylor was absolutely everywhere on both ends of the court. Jermaine Taylor was nearly automatic from outside.
Chris Johnson didn’t end up with the gaudiest statline of the day, but he showed as much pure talent as anybody in the league. He started his game by swishing an open three. He was able to get into the lane, rise up over everyone, and softly drop the ball home on a number of occasions. It’s hard to even say what was his most impressive play of the day. Those who like shows of pure physical prowess will probably go with him appearing from out of nowhere to throw down a thunderous tip-dunk. On the other hand, purists might choose the play where he got the ball near the free-throw line, used a double-crossover to create some space, and then hit a turnaround Nowitzki-style fadeaway – it was as Dreamy a shake as you’ll find in any league.
The Three-Headed Monsters played well in their first contest with new Coach Reggie Theus on the sidelines. Rashard Lewis was able to sink a few of his patented catapult-style jumpers en route to a smooth 18 points, and Kevin Murphy led all scorers with 28. The game ended with the most exciting final sequence of the day. With the Ghost Ballers up 49-46, Murphy pulled straight up from the center four-point circle and gave the Three-Headed Monsters a 50-49 lead. Ghost Ballers were able to score to get the score to 51-49, and the game ended when the one and only Chris Johnson made a spectacular block on a Murphy layup attempt, the ball fell into the lap of Darnell Jackson, and “D-Block” made the gimme layup to give Ghost Ballers a 53-49 win.
2022 Record: Ghost Ballers 1-0, 3-Headed Monsters 0-1