Week 5 Power Rankings
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn July 22, 2022
1 – 3 Headed Monsters (4-1)
The 3 Headed Monsters and the Aliens are the only 4-1 teams in the league, and they actually have the exact same point differential. The reason I’m putting 3HM ahead of the Aliens is that they’ve been able to win without Captain Rashard Lewis and Co-Captain Jonathon Simmons.
If and/or when one or both of those players return to the lineup, you have to think 3HM is only going to get better. Will this be the year that 3HM finally breaks through and wins the whole thing? As of right now, I certainly don’t mind their chances. (The 3 Headed Monsters were ranked #3 last week.)
2 – Aliens (4-1)
What I like about the Aliens is they’ve shown over the past two weeks they can win ugly. The team definitely has a good amount of European flair, thanks to Captain Dusan Bulut and Co-Captains Karlis Lasmanis and Tomislav Ivosev.
However, the further we get into the season the more it looks like big man Deshawn Stephens is the X Factor. Stephens’ quick-jump ability and 7’3 wingspan make him one of the most adaptable bigs on both ends of the floor, and he’s even showing the ability to step out and make shots from beyond the arc.
If the Aliens (who haven’t lost a game with Karlis Lasmanis in the lineup) can combine the freewheeling offense they showed early in the season with the smashmouth basketball they’ve shown in recent weeks, there may be no stopping this team. (The Aliens were ranked #2 last week.)
3 – Tri State (3-2)
I still really like this team’s chances. They had a disappointing loss to Trilogy in Week 5, but the best outside shooting team in the league isn’t going to go 2-14 from three point range every week. Also, a team as solid as Tri State isn’t going to give up many leads like they did against Trilogy, when they managed to let the game slip through their fingers after leading 42-27. (Tri State was ranked #1 last week.)
4 – Killer 3’s (3-2)
This team has been playing with a serious edge to it, and the combination of that edge with their outside shooting is a dangerous one. In fact, they actually lead all teams in the BIG3 in point differential, having outscored their opponents by 20 points through Week 5. With the energy they bring and their ability to knock down perimeter shots, this is not a team anyone is going to want to see in the playoffs. (The Killer 3’s were ranked #8 last week.)
5 – Trilogy (3-2)
I’m going to make the inverse of the points I made about Tri State. I don’t think Isaiah Briscoe, who has struggled with his outside shot all season, putting up 27 points on 4-7 shooting from the three point line and 3-3 shooting from the free throw line is sustainable. Likewise, I don’t think letting opponents get out to a gigantic lead and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a particularly sound long-term strategy.
Still, Earl Clark’s jumper was off, Amir Johnson only had six points, and Trilogy still managed to pull off the upset against Tri State, so writing off the defending Champs probably isn’t the best idea at this time. (Trilogy was ranked #7 last week.)
6 – Triplets (2-3)
It’s time for every team with a 2-3 to get busy if they want to make the playoffs. I’m putting the Triplets ahead of every other 2-3 team for a pretty simple reason: Joe Johnson, the reigning 2-time MVP and likely the best player in the history of the league, has missed the last two games. If/when Iso-Joe gets back, it’s fairly safe to say this team is going to get much better very quickly. (The Triplets were ranked #6 last week.)
7 – 3’s Company (2-3)
Sometimes we must admit that the only thing we can know is that we know nothing. This team was at the bottom of my Power Rankings last week, and I was convinced the “stand around and watch Beasley” experiment had proven to be a flop. Then in Week 5, the team comes out cutting, sharing the ball, and having maybe the most impressive game any team has played all year. I have no idea if they can keep up that level of play, but I’m very intrigued to find out. (3’s Company was ranked #12 last week.)
8 – Bivouac (2-3)
A nice win in a very chippy game against Power in Week 5, and this is your weekly reminder that Bivouac lost all three of their games this season by exactly three points. Gerald Green is going to be the best player on the floor in almost every game they play, and they’re starting to show a lot more cohesion and edge than they had earlier in the year. Also, they haven’t lost since they acquired Gerald’s brother Garlon – never underestimate the power of family. (Bivouac was ranked #11 last week.)
9 – Power (2-3)
I still love Power’s approach to the game, and their foundation of Glen Rice Jr., Royce White, and TJ Cline is rock-solid. However, it’s become apparent they’re seriously lacking in firepower, and Glen Rice Jr. might be a bit of a defensive liability. As a silver lining, Nikoloz Tskitishvili did finally show some aggression and edge against Bivouac, although he’s still yet to make his first three-point shot of the year. (Power was ranked #5 last week.)
10 – Ghost Ballers (2-3)
Man, I don’t know what happened to this team. It’s like they broke mentally after letting their huge lead against Trilogy in Week 3 slip away. Mike Taylor isn’t getting the ball enough. Chris Johnson is disturbingly willing to settle for outside shots. There seems to be a malaise hanging over this team. There’s still plenty of talent, but the time for Coach George Gervin’s team to figure things out is now. (The Ghost Ballers were ranked #4 last week.)
11 – Enemies
Maybe it was the loss of Elijah Stewart to the Pelicans after his epic Week 2 performance against Bivouac, but this team seems to be going through the motions. They settle for outside shots, they don’t compete on defense, and they’re not getting what they can out of hyper-talented big Isaiah Austin, who should be getting plays drawn up for him and being put in positions to succeed instead of getting the ball at the 3-point line or in isolation and being asked to do his best. (The Enemies were ranked #9 last week.)
12 – Ball Hogs
Not only are they the only 1-4 team in the league, but Leandro Barbosa, whom the team is built around, left Week 5’s game with a lower leg injury that initial reports suggest could be serious.
Hopefully he’ll be back in the lineup soon, but it’s hard to imagine the Ball Hogs, who were victims of some extremely tough luck this season, being able to make their first playoff run in franchise history this year. (The Ball Hogs were ranked #10 last week.)