Sunday, July 7, 2019 4:52 PM | CBN
By: Liam Blutman
It’s week 3 of the BIG3 which means two more cities were treated to some big-time 3 on 3 basketball. Birmingham, Alabama got the Saturday games and Atlanta while Georgia played host to the final set of games on Sunday. I’ll break down what happened in this weekends six games.
The first game of the weekend took place between 3’s Company and Tri-State. Both teams walked into the Legacy Arena at BJCC with 0-2 records which for teams with high expectations they have been quite underwhelming thus far. Tri-State was without Julius Erving today so assistant coach Steve Mix ran the team today. This wasn’t the prettiest display of basketball as there were plenty of basic miscues. For example, neither team could hit free throws, leaving many points at the charity stripe. Tri-State led 25-22 at half thanks to Amar’e Stoudemire and his 14 points. It’s been said that a multitude of NBA teams are looking at Stoudemire closely and considering giving him a contract. Amar’e definitely improved his chances with tonight’s game as he was dominant yet again and carried Tri-State to their first victory of the season. Stat totaled 22 points and 9 rebounds in the 50-44 win and I for one am super eager to see if Amar’e earns the NBA contract he deserves in the coming days. That’s what the BIG3 is about, giving these guys a second chance to get back to the NBA. Ice Cube is out here resurrecting dude's careers! As for 3’s Company, I just have to keep things honest. Their 3-point shooting is abysmal... I’d be looking at that free agent pool and be checking for a 3-point sniper. Andre Emmett was the lone bright spot, killing it with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Will 3’s Company have a new player when they take on Ball Hogs next week? Will Tri-State still have Stoudemire when they play the Triplets next week? Make sure to watch next weeks games on CBS to find out!
The next contest featured two more winless teams as Aliens took on the Ball Hogs. The first half was really interesting as Aliens worked hard towards a 25-17 halftime lead. They’ve now led at the half in all three of their games. We were witness to a rivalry brewing between Brian Scalabrine and Greg Oden... who could’ve seen this coming? Scalabrine locked up Oden in the post, forced an airball, and then hit a fade-away jumper. Oden responded with 6 straight points and forced three fouls on Scal. Greg was so good in the first half with 14 points, an absolute force in the paint. Brian responded with an emphatic, “I have to be BETTER!” rant during his halftime interview. Well, we did not get to see Scal better as he didn’t get a chance to play in the 2nd half. Aliens ended up winning this game 51-39 and finally reached the win column! Greg Oden was super fun to watch today and was extremely impactful as he scored 18, was a force in the paint, and led his team to their first win. Brandon Rush added 13 points and 12 rebounds. On the other side, Ball Hogs fall to 0-3. It’s the same old story as they just keep sliding like the previous two years. The lone bright spot came from DeShawn Stevenson, who put up 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Despite his team getting destroyed, D-Steve was working hard all game and did his best to lead his team back as he sunk four 3’s. Stevenson and the Ball Hogs look to bounce back next week as they play 3’s Company. The Aliens will try and keep their momentum going forward as they’ll play the Enemies.
The final game in Birmingham was a highly anticipated matchup as Enemies and Ghost Ballers faced off. The first half was pretty fun to watch. Mike Taylor came off the bench early and cooked up some nifty dribble moves en route to four points. Following Taylor’s quick four, the Enemies went on a 7-0 run and ultimately ended the half on a 13-2 run. Craig Smith led the way with 14 and 5 at half. The 2nd half was pretty much all Enemies as they took off on a 13-0 run to crack open a 20 point lead. Mike Taylor answered back with a pair of 4-point bombs to give his Ghost Ballers a ray of hope. But it was the Enemies who prevailed thanks to Gilbert Arenas and his back to back 3’s to seal the deal. Gilbert finished the day with four 3’s as Enemies won 51-35. Craig Smith had yet another elite game, scoring 23 and adding 8 rebounds. Don’t sleep on Craig Smith for MVP! Enemies are now 2-1 and play Aliens next week. We’ll also see the Ghost Ballers face the defending champs, Power.
The tour traveled to Atlanta for games four, five, and six. The first bout at State Farm Arena was between the 2-0 Triplets and the 1-0 Bivouac. Josh Smith was cooking early and scored the first 17 for his squad! He had 19 points and 6 boards to lift Bivouac to a 25-14 halftime lead. In Smith’s return to Atlanta he posted 22 points, 8 rebounds, and drained three 3’s. But it was a different former Hawk that brought the house down... ISO Joe. After scoring just two points in the first half and seeing his team trail 39-29 late. Joe put the team on his back as he scored 26, corralled 7 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists. Joe sunk three 3’s as well. Triplets needed somebody to step up in the 2nd half and Joe took control. That’s what a leader does and that’s what makes this Triplets team so dangerous. Things were looking really bleak against a pretty good and well coach Bivouac team, Lisa Leslie made her adjustments on the fly, role players pitched in everything they could, and Joe willed them to victory. There’s a reason people are choosing Triplets as their season three champs! We also saw Alan Anderson pitch in a very important 11 points to help his team complete the comeback. Next week we’ll see the 3-0 Triplets play Tri-State while the 1-2 Bivouac look to bounce back against the mighty 3 Headed Monsters.
Game two was a highly anticipated matchup between two undefeated teams in 3 Headed Monsters and Killer 3’s. The Killer 3’s have rebranded themselves, no longer a team with the enemy persona, no longer a team that lacked effort. The new look Killer 3’s led this game at half 25-21 with Stephen Jackson pouring in 11 points early. Rashard Lewis was kept off the board in the 1st, so we’ll see what Gary Payton and his squad do to get Rashard some easy buckets and take control of this game. Well, Killer 3’s held on and won the game 51-48. Rashard Lewis did score 16 including a late four to make it a 49-48 game, but 3 Headed Monsters lacked a good overall team performance. So here we are three weeks in, 3HM sits at 2-1 and they’ve yet to play a complete game, yet to reach their potential. You could make the argument that this loss will benefit 3HM in the long run as expect Gary Payton to rip his team and demand better effort, production and heart. That team is just too talented to go through the motions and lack contributions from multiple players each and every game. As for the winning team, the revamped Killer 3’s continue to impress. Stephen Jackson ended the game with 22 and hit the game winning shot. But I want to talk about Franklin Session, The Drew League Killer! The man who has won three consecutive Drew League MVP’s has seen his success translate to the BIG3 with ease. I loved the crafty guards performance today as he totaled 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. It’s rare for a BIG3 player to be on the verge of a triple-double, I expect Session to challenge this feat multiple times before the summer ends. This is a really good win for Killer 3’s and for 3HM it’s a rare loss that can benefit them in the long run. 3HM will play Bivouac next week and the Killer 3’s will play Trilogy.
The final game of the weekend took place between the season one champs, Trilogy and the season two champs, Power. Trilogy are not near the powerhouse they were in season one where as the Power are just as good as they were last year. Trilogy started the game on an 11-2 run... A surprise to everybody! Nancy Lieberman emphasized the importance of her team needing to attack the basket instead of settling for jumpers. Despite the fact that Power obeyed their coaches orders, they really couldn’t make much whilst driving. Trilogy led 25-14 at half thanks to Patrick O’Bryant who put up 12 points and 5 boards. But the highlight of the half belonged to Glen Davis. Big Baby got ejected after two techs, proceeded to enter the stands to a standing ovation, then ripped his jersey off and chucked it to a lucky fan. That’ll be going viral for sure! This was the first game I’ve seen Power’s emotions get the best of them. They have a very emotional team, yes, but today you had Big Baby get ejected after voicing his frustration and Cuttino Mobley even refused to come out of the game after he injured his lower leg. I’m sure that Coach Lieberman is disappointed in her teams actions today, but she’ll get them back on the right track in the coming weeks for sure. But in this game... Trilogy pulled off the upset with a score of 50-43! Power cut back into the lead multiple times but they weren’t able to overcome the absences of Corey Maggette, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Gomes, Cuttino Mobley, and Glen Davis. I admire the effort of Mychel Thompson, Chris Andersen, and Julian Wright as they fought hard and nearly won the game but in the end their tired legs got the best of them. This is a heck of a win for Trilogy. They got really good games out of David Hawkins, James White, and Patrick O’Bryant. Hawk scored 21 and showed us why he was a MVP candidate last season as he hit two 3’s and sunk a four-pointer as well. James White scored 11 and had 8 rebounds while O’Bryant made his presence felt with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Power moves to 2-1 and plays Ghost Ballers next week. I am not worried about Power at all, they just need to get healthy and they’ll stay elite. For Trilogy, they improve to 1-2 and they’ll see Killer 3’s next week. I’m proud of Trilogy for not giving up early this year and shocking the world, job well done by Kenyon Martin!
This was a pretty fun week three, next week the BIG3 will move to Providence, Rhode Island and Brooklyn, New York! See y’all next week.