Week 2 Sunday: Results and Recap
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn June 27, 2022
Sunday was the BIG3’s second day of its second (and final) week in the Windy City, and there was some fantastic basketball to be seen.
GAME 1: 3 HEADED MONSTERS DEFEAT POWER, 50-44
This was a scrappy game. The two teams combined for a total of one three-pointer throughout the game. The baskets came from the post, the free-throw line, or on heavily contested shots by 3HM’s Kevin Murphy or Power’s Glen Rice Jr., both of whom are flat-out professional scorers.
The 3 Headed Monsters were able to get the better of some mismatches early, and Power really had no answer for Rashard Lewis in the post. Lewis finished with 17 points and six rebounds on 7-10 shooting from the floor.
Outside of Rice making tough shots, Power’s most consistent source of offense came from the combination of Royce White and TJ Cline. They’re two of the best passing big men in the league, and they found each other cutting for an easy layup or dunk on several occasions. Cline continues to show a natural feel for FIREBALL3 – he doesn’t bring the ball below his head on offensive rebounds, he understands spacing, and he has a sixth sense for attacking on “no-clear” situations (when the opposing team turns the ball over or misses the rim), which most BIG3 rookies take some time to acquire. White also turned up the aggression as the game went on, and was able to get a few baskets by bullying his man down low.
At the end of the day, this game was essentially decided at the free-throw line. 3HM went 9-10 from the line (as a reminder, every free throw on two-point shots in FIREBALL3 counts for 2 points), while Power went 3-7 from the stripe. That means 3HM got 18 points on 10 shots compared to Power getting six points on seven shots. That was simply too much to overcome for Power. Fittingly, the game-winner came on a free throw by Kevin Murphy, who went 7-7 from the line on the day.
FIREWATCH: Coach Nancy Lieberman challenged a foul by TJ Cline on Jonathon Simmons, Cline got the stop.
2022 Records: 3 Headed Monsters 1-1, Power 1-1
GAME 2: ENEMIES DEFEAT BIVOUAC, 52-49
Well, this was a study in contrast. After Game 1 was decided in the trenches, Bivouac and the Enemies put on an absolute show in the second game of the day. The shot-making from both teams was impeccable, and defense was little more than a rumor for much of the game. The 3 Headed Monsters vs. Power game featured one made three. The Enemies-Bivouac contest featured 14 combined threes, as well as two four-point shots.
Gerald Green looks like the best scorer in the league through the first two weeks. Against Enemies, he finished with 25 points on 9-16 shooting from the floor and 5-9 shooting from deep, and he grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for good measure. The combination of Green’s picture-perfect stroke and sheer amplitude might be too much for any individual defender in the league to handle.
The Enemies didn’t have much trouble scoring either. Elijah Stewart finished the first half with 12 points on 4-4 shooting from the field, 3-3 shooting from beyond the arc, and 1-1 shooting from the line. Little did we know the best was yet to come.
Stewart made an incredible series of plays down the stretch – a four-pointer, a stunning block on Corey Brewer in a Bring the Fire Challenge, the dunk of the weekend on Jeff Ayres, and another four-pointer that brought the score from 49-46 Bivouac to 50-49 Enemies, taking the game to overtime. A few plays later, Isaiah Austin dunked the ball home to end the game 52-49. It’s only been two weeks, but it’ll be tough to top this when it comes time to decide the Game of the Year.
FIREWATCH: It was an interesting game for Bring the Fire. In the first half, Keith Benson was fouled by Gerald Green but missed his free throw. Enemies Coach Gilbert Arenas used his Bring The Fire Challenge to “retract” the foul and give Benson a second chance to get two points by going one-on-one with Green. Green made the stop, and subsequently shared some thoughts with Agent Zero about his decision to attempt to expose him in a one-on-one situation.
In the second half, Arenas used his Bring the Fire Challenge on a foul called on Elijah Stewart on a Corey Brewer shot. (He made it clear that he was using Bivouac’s challenge to do so – as if this game wasn’t bonkers enough, Bivouac coach Gary Payton was out for the week for personal reasons. Theoretically, Arenas may have had another second-half challenge.) As mentioned above, Stewart made a spectacular block to get the stop.
2022 Records: Enemies 1-1, Bivouac 0-2
GAME 3: TRILOGY DEFEATS KILLER 3’s, 51-48
The Enemies-Bivouac game provided more than enough thrilling basketball for an entire day (or month), but that didn’t stop the defending Champions from putting on a good show against a very game Killer 3’s squad.
In the first half, the Killer 3’s had no answer for the size of Amir Johnson or the speed and agility of Isaiah Briscoe. The former had 12 points on 6-6 shooting from the field, while the latter had 12 of his own on 5-7 shooting from the field and 2-3 shooting from deep.
In the second half, the Killer 3’s refused to go away, with Franklin “Frank Nitty” Session making up for a 5-14 shooting performance by dishing out seven assists and somehow grabbing 12 rebounds and Donte Greene making some timely baskets. Trilogy Captain, 2-time BIG3 Champion, and generally hyper-reliable scorer James “Flight” White had an uncharacteristically rough game, finishing with 0 points on 0-7 shooting from the floor.
Fortunately for Trilogy, Earl Clark came to play in the second half. After finishing the first half with 0 points, the 6’10 forward showed some serious shotmaking in the second half, finishing with a team-high 17 points on 7-12 shooting from the floor and 3-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Amir Johnson finished the weekend with a running hook in the lane for the game-winner, making him 8-8 from the field for the day and Trilogy 1-1 for the season.
FIREWATCH: Stephen Jackson challenged a foul by Isaiah Briscoe on Dominique Johnson, Briscoe got the stop for Trilogy
2022 Records: Trilogy 1-1, Killer 3’s 1-1