Week 3 Saturday: Results and Recap
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn July 2, 2022
Saturday was one heck of a day for hoops in the BIG3. Let’s take a look at what went down in Dallas:
GAME 1: ENEMIES DEFEAT POWER, 50-39
It was the same story for Power in Week 3 than it was in Week 2. The team comes well-prepared, they play with intelligence and effort, they move the ball well, and they have serious size. Unfortunately, for the second week in a row, Coach Nancy Lieberman’s team simply didn’t have the shot-making to get the job done.
The team only made three shots from 3-point range on Saturday, with all of those makes coming from TJ Cline, who led the team with 17 points and a spectacular 15 rebounds. They didn’t just struggle from the outside, either – the team had a number of great looks at the rim that they simply failed to convert.
Royce White finished with a respectable 10 points, Glen Rice Jr. had the first rough game of his BIG3 career with a six-point performance, Cuttino Mobley added another six, and Nikoloz Tskitisvili was held scoreless. This is a team built on solid principles, the frontline combination of Cline and White is a joy to watch, and Rice is always a threat to fill it up. However, over the last two weeks the team just hasn’t had enough firepower to get the job done, particularly from the perimeter.
On the Enemies’ side of things, a few throwback performances led the way. In Week 2, Nick Young had three points, and Jordan Crawford wasn’t in the BIG3. (Crawford is filling in for Elijah Stewart, who was called up to the Pelicans’ Summer League squad after his Player of the Week performance in Week 2.) In Week 3, Young scored 17 points, with four makes from beyond the arc. He was also fouled on a three-point attempt, and made the resulting “three-throw.”
Crawford came to play from the opening whistle, and scored 11 points with a made three of his own. The Enemies made seven three-point shots to Power’s three, which was likely the deciding factor in the game.
The game-winner came from Sek Henry, who drove, up-faked his man while keeping his pivot foot down, and made a beautiful little turnaround layup to finish the game.
FIREWATCH: Gilbert Arenas challenged a foul by Isaiah Austin on Glen Rice Jr. – Austin got the stop.
2022 Records: Enemies 2-1, Power 1-2
GAME 2: TRI STATE DEFEAT KILLER 3’S, 50-38
This was honestly a fairly light afternoon of work for Tri State. The Killer 3’s showed the effort that’s become one of the team’s hallmarks, and Franklin “Frank Nitty” Session continued to show why he’s pound-for-pound the best player in the league at creating extra possessions for his team.
However, the matchups were in Tri State’s favor, and Captain Jason Richardson and the rest of the team all had their shots working. After going just 1-5 from beyond the arc in Week 2, Richardson’s three-point touch returned in Week 3. He made four shots from three-point range in Week 3, including the game-winner. He finished with 18 points.
DaJuan Summers finished with 18 points of his own, and he essentially scored from wherever he felt like it. He splashed two threes home, knocked down mid-range jumpers when he got space, and took it to the rack when the defense tried to play up on him.
Justin Dentmon finished with 12 points, including one of his signature one-footed three-pointers from the right corner that was almost certainly the most impressive shot of the day.
Frank Nitty and Donte Greene both finished with 11 points and each had some nice plays. On top of that, the team fought until the end, and were in the midst of making a run to make the game competitive when Richardson hit the game-winner. But ultimately, when it was all said and done, it was clear this just wasn’t the day for the Killer 3’s.
The Killer 3’s challenged a foul by Dominique Johnson on Justin Dentmon. Johnson got the stop, no basket.
Later, Tri State challenged a foul by Larry Sanders on Donte Greene. Sanders got the stop, no basket.
2022 Records: Tri State 2-1, Killer 3’s 1-2
GAME 3: BALL HOGS DEFEAT TRIPLETS, 50-48
There were two ways to look at this game. One way would have been that it was a matchup between one of the two undefeated teams through the first two weeks against one of the two winless teams through the first two weeks. The other way to look at it was that it would be a battle between Joe Johnson, who led the BIG3 in scoring in 2021, and Leandro Barbosa, who was the second-highest scorer in the league last season. Fortunately, we got the latter.
This was a flat-out slugfest between two of the best players in the BIG3. In Week 2, the Triplets were able to get the win despite a rare off game from Iso-Joe thanks to a pair of fantastic performances from the Pargo brothers, who finished with a combined 35 points.
In Week 3, the Pargo brothers finished with a combined six points, all of which came from Jeremy. Fortunately for Lisa Leslie’s squad, Iso-Joe was more than ready to pick up the slack.
Johnson didn’t make a single shot from beyond the arc on Saturday. He didn’t need to. In the first half, Coach Leslie did a wonderful job of running actions that gave “Iso-Joe” a mismatch with a guard in the paint, which he turned into a basket nearly every time.
In the second half, the Ball Hogs went with a small lineup of Leandro Barbosa, Jodie Meeks, and the 6’6, 244-pound Stacy Davis, and Johnson decided he didn’t even need a mismatch anymore. He consistently went at Davis in the paint, and consistently was able to score on him using his unique combination of strength, footwork, savvy, and touch. He finished the game with his second 30-point game of the season.
Coach Leslie also got a great contribution off the bench from Alonzo Gee, who provided the team with size on the wing, energy, and both of the three-pointers the Triplets made Saturday afternoon.
Fortunately for Rick Barry’s team, team Captain Leandro Barbosa gave as good as he got. Johnson went through everyone that tried to guard him on Saturday afternoon, while “The Brazilian Blur” just went around them. Barbosa missed Week 1 due to his responsibilities as a player development coach with the Warriors (next year, he’ll be coaching for former Warriors Assistant Coach and current Kings Head Coach Mike Brown) and was still getting his sea legs under him in Week 2, but it sure looks like he’s all the way back.
Everyone on Triplets, and everyone in the arena, knew that Barbosa was looking to drive right all game, but that didn’t allow them to stop him from getting to the basket at will. He also seems to have his three-point touch back, and he flicked in two shots from beyond the arc. He finished with 24 points, including the game-winning scoop shot when the score was 48-48.
Sharpshooter Jodie Meeks was also in prime form. When he was left open, he swished it, and finished the game with four made threes. The rest of his 18 points came when the defense sold out on the three and Meeks intelligently went to the rim for an easy basket or free throw opportunity.
This was a fantastic game between two of the best players and most passionate coaches in the league, and it feels fitting that it came down to the wire.
FIREWATCH: No challenges.
2022 Records: Ball Hogs 1-2, Triplets 2-1