Week 3 Sunday: Results and Recap
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn July 4, 2022
A fantastic Sunday of basketball wrapped up the BIG3’s weekend in Dallas. The games were exciting, and Brian Scalabrine and Coach Nancy Lieberman, who both have a whole lot of basketball knowledge and red hair, did a wonderful job on commentary. Here’s what went down:
GAME 1: 3 HEADED MONSTERS DEFEAT 3’S COMPANY, 51-48
The 2022 3’s Company squad is essentially built around Michael Beasley, and Sunday’s game made that fairly easy to see. Beasley started off the game in the Twilight Zone, and 3’s Company quickly found themselves behind. To his credit, Beasley was aggressive, and did a good job of playing downhill. Unfortunately, he couldn’t convert on his drives, and missed all eight of the field goals he took in the first half. Team Captain Mario Chalmers missed both of his shots from the field in the first half as well, and 3’s Company went into the half staring at the wrong end of a 26-16 deficit.
In the second half, Beasley came alive, and 3’s Company made it a game. He scored 10 straight points for 3’s Company to cut 3HM’s lead to 37-36. Later, when 3HM looked like they were on the verge of cruising to a victory, Beasley made two four-point shots in a row to cut 3HM’s lead to 47-46. Unfortunately, Beasley left the game with a (hopefully minor) ankle injury with the score at 49-46 3HM. A short while later, Jonathon Simmons drained the game-winning free throw to give the 3 Headed Monsters a 51-48 victory.
With team Captain Rashard Lewis out due to personal reasons, Kevin Murphy was the point of the spear for 3HM, constantly charging into the heart of the defense and finishing with 30 points. (N.B. – as of this writing, Murphy currently leads the BIG3 in scoring) Simmons added 13, and new acquisitions Sammy Monroe and Quincy Miller each splashed in a three and combined for eight points.
3 Headed Monsters Coach Reggie Theus challenged a foul by Sammy Monroe on Mario Chalmers. Monroe got the stop, No Basket.
3’s Company Coach Michael Cooper challenged a foul by Alex Scales on Quincy Miller. Scales got the stop, No Basket.
Cooper used his 2nd half challenge on a foul by Michael Beasley on Jonathon Simmons. Simmons swished a one-dribble pull-up, but the rules of FIREBALL3 dictate that the offensive player must take at least two dribbles in a Bring the Fire situation. No basket.
2022 Records: 3 Headed Monsters 2-1, 3’s Company 1-2
GAME 2: ALIENS DEFEAT BIVOUAC, 51-48
The Aliens were finally at full strength in Week 3, and the FIBA 3×3-trained trio of Captain Dusan Bulut and Co-Captains Karlis Lasmanis and Tomislav Ivosev did not disappoint.
Not only do the Aliens play beautiful team basketball, constantly moving, screening, passing, and cutting, but they’ve got some serious individual talent as well. In fact, the Aliens’ best player on Sunday was the American-born Deshawn Stephens. He finished the game with a team-high 17 points and 12 rebounds, and even showed off his range when he stepped outside the arc and hit a three.
Having said that, what makes the Aliens unique is their movement, and there was plenty of that on display. With Bulut and Lasmanis spacing the floor and passing to each other and Ivosev showing some serious skill down low, Bivouac just couldn’t keep up. Making matters even worse for Bivouac was that Gerald Green had an off game by his high standards, finishing with “only” 17 points and being held to 2-9 shooting from the field in the first half.
Bivouac did make it competitive late, and made a 15-0 run to get themselves a 44-40 lead in the second half. However, the Aliens got the lead back and fittingly polished off the game with a beautiful set, as Stephens set a ball-screen for Lasmanis, got a back-screen from Bulut and made a sort of inverted (as it was the guard screening for the big) version of the the “UCLA cut,” and then got the ball from Lasmanis, who had drawn Stephens’ man to him, for a wide-open layup to end the game at 51-48.
It’s a bummer that Bivouac lost yet another close game, but I gotta say I love these Aliens.
BULUT-STEPHENS LOB WATCH: I’ve noticed through the first three weeks that Dusan Bulut absolutely loves throwing lobs to Deshawn Stephens, so I’m making this a feature for Aliens games. On Sunday, Bulut threw two lobs to Stephens, the first of which forced the defense to foul Stephens as he was in the air and the second of which was a missed connection that led to a turnover.
FIREWATCH: Aliens coach Rick Mahorn challenged a foul by Karlis Lasmanis on Gerald Green. Lasmanis got the stop, No Basket.
2022 Records: Aliens 2-1, Bivouac 0-3
GAME 3: TRILOGY DEFEAT GHOST BALLERS, 50-47
The 2022 Trilogy squad got the win on Sunday. That means the 2017 Trilogy team, who went undefeated on their way to a Championship, can crack open the champagne, because there are no undefeated teams remaining in the BIG3 this season.
This was an extremely gutty performance from the defending champs. The Ghost Ballers were cruising early, with the ever-energetic Mike Taylor consistently punishing Trilogy with his speed and shot-making. At the half, it was 25-12 Ghost Ballers, and the second half seemed to be little more than a formality.
Clearly, Trilogy had different plans. Big man Earl Clark continued to show fantastic range for a man his size, draining three shots from beyond the arc en route to a 21 point performance.
Perhaps more importantly, Isaiah Briscoe was something of a revelation. He’s been impressive all season because of his skill with the ball, speed, and shot-making ability, but on Sunday he showed that he might be the pound-for-pound strongest player in the league. He constantly got into the paint, and when he did he shoved around bodies it looked like he had no business shoving around until he made himself space for a layup.
After their catastrophic first half, Trilogy went on a 20-2 run in the second half to turn the game on its head and lead the game 45-40. The Ghost Ballers made a final surge when Chris Johnson made a three-point shot and a four-point shot on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 47, but Trilogy wrapped the weekend up on the next possession when Amir Johnson set a beautiful flare screen for Earl Clark, who calmly knocked down the game-winning three.
Ghost Ballers coach George Gervin challenged a foul by Mike Taylor on Isaiah Briscoe. Briscoe scored, Basket Good.
Trilogy coach Stephen Jackson challenged a foul by David Hawkins on Mike Taylor. Taylor scored, Basket Good.
Ghost Ballers Coach George Gervin challenged a foul by Chris Johnson on Earl Clark. Clark scored, Basket Good.
2022 Records: Trilogy 2-1, Ghost Ballers 2-1