We had 8 games on the slate for Sunday (technically 7; more on that below) and we were treated to a lot of drama (sometimes too much drama; more on that below). Trade deadline is this Friday December 13th @ midnight and all eyes are on one particular team but there could be some random suprises as well. The recaps will be kept fairly short this week and next as it is the busy holiday season but are looking to get out various content in the next couple weeks so stay tuned. Now, let's get right to it.
SIXERS: The time was 2pm and there was no Sixer in sight at the gym...the Magic were warmed up and ready...the refs were waiting...but unfortunately the Sixers decided to no show...no phone call, no text, no explanation (even to this day). We could have saved the Magic from wasting their time coming to the gym and the Refs could have been notified as well. Just a shitty situation that has prompted me to look into fines for future occurrences! Forfeits are rare in ETBL as I cannot think of another time it has legitimately happened in the 5 seasons thus far. The Magic will take the 25 to 0 victory and move back to .500 and this was an important game for them as this probably secures a playoff spot for the squad.
Final Score: Magic 25 - 0 Sixers Player of the Game - EVERYONE ON THE MAGIC THAT SHOWED UP!!!
JAZZ: The Jazz decided not to opt for the bye week and play the Lakers shorthanded without Louie and Suman...yikes. With the margin of error being so small for the Jazz as they are winless on the season...I believe this was a miscalculated move and it may have sunk their season. They will need to rattle off the final 4 games to give themselves a legit shot at the playoffs and they should have a full squad in January but things will have to go right for them. They played a solid first half like they usually do but mistakes and bad shot selections cost them in the 2nd half. Lakers crashed the boards as they were the bigger team and dominated on the inside. Christian was great again as he did a little bit of everything and he will have to continue to do so if the Lakers wanna push for the playoffs. Great win for them and they will get the Pacers this Sunday where Ali awaits them.
Final Score: Lakers 49 - 47 Jazz Player of the Game - CHRISTIAN ALICPALA 19pts/10rebs/4asts/2stls/1to - 2 Triples
PACERS: The Kings finally got Duzan back...even though it looked like he was playing with one arm out there...he was still terrific. He is probably still better than half the league with only one arm which shows you the amount of talent he has. He was still able to use his other arm to block shots make nifty layups lol. This team was always going to be about the brothers (Duzan & Senthu) who had 16 and 18 respectively but the x-factor is always going to be Aswath who went off in this one with a season high 22 points!! He was 6 for 10 from long range as the Pacers decided to leave him open in the corners and boy was that a mistake. Senthu and Duzan did a great job finding him wide open and he let it fly. He was 4 for 18 previously from long range and so he fully broke out in this one and buried the Pacers. The Kings had 19 assists on 23 made field goals!! Senthu almost had a triple double with 18/9/9 as the hyped battle with Ali wasn't really a contest in this one. Jamal was a bright spot for the Pacers with 16 and 7 plus 3 blocks! He has really given them another weapon on offence but the rest of the squad couldn't contribute enough and the Pacers get dominated.
Final Score: Kings 65 - 51 Pacers Player of the Game - ASWATH SHANMUGATHAS 22pts/5rebs/2asts/2stls/1to - 66.6% Shooting - 6 Triples
TIMBERWOLVES: The Twolves are imploding right before our eyes and it has not been fun to watch. Still lots of screaming and yelling...terrible shots...no encouragements...just a bad culture/environment to be around. During one of the time-outs in the second half...Arun comes up to midcourt and yells at the scorer's table that he wants a trade and he no longer wants to be apart of this mess...the drama has reached its boiling point (or maybe well past it) and GM Suthan is now on the hot seat. The Pistons crushed them in this one and the game was over by half-time. Gohulan Asim and Gopal combined for 46 and that alone was more than enough in this one. Sanjoo and Cam had 9 a piece as we almost had 5 guys in double figures for Motor City. They are 4-0 when they have their full squad and 0-3 when they do not so let's hope they can continue to have a full complement of guys going forward (especially in the playoffs). Trade deadline is Friday at Midnight and we have yet to see any moves by the Twolves...time is ticking on this bomb.
Final Score: Pistons 69 - 36 Timberwolves Player of the Game - GOHULAN SIVAKUMAR 16pts/12rebs/6asts/2stls - 54% Shooting
HEAT: The battle of the undefeated so one team had to take their first L...and GM Ray made sure his team was well prepared and mentally strong for this one as they secure a huge win. They raced out to a 10 to 1 lead early on and never really looked back...the Heat were too busy worrying about foul calls while the Nuggets just played their game extremely well. The Heat essentially complained about every call that went againt them...even though those were fouls (everyone in the stands agreed) but with that being said...they still went to the line 8 more times than the Nuggets! The real culprit was the 13 turnovers and going 2 for 22 from long range...that was pretty much the game. The Nuggets move to 6-0 and GM Ray adds another statement game to his season thus far and is well on his way to locking up his 3rd GM of the Year Award.
Final Score: Nuggets 47 - 40 Heat Player of the Game - NIRSAN KUNARATNAM 13pts/7rebs/4asts/1stl - 66.6% Shooting - 3 Triples
KNICKS: We had the return of the Bullets after a long layoff...the team also looks completely different with the additions of Seran and Luxshan (replacing Zayn and Mathan). It did not take long for them to build up some chemistry and the 'Box and 1' they played on Jay was tremendous. It certainly helps when you have a guy like Venush (who is vying for the defensive player of the year) that can flat out lock you down on defence. He was tasked with chasing around Jay and making life difficult while the zone behind him would back him up whenever he got by. Jay resorted to shooting 3s and made 4 of them...plus was a monster on defence with 4 steals and 3 blocks but limiting him in the paint was a good strategy and you will live with the outside shots. Everyone contributed for the Bullets and Luxshan came out firing and hit 3 triples which were huge in this one...even Nidun gave him the stink face after his last clutch three! Bullets team looks solid and this was a big win againts a quality opponent.
Final Score: Bullets 51 - 45 Knicks Player of the Game - VENUSH SRI 12pts/7rebs/3asts/3stls/1to
PELICANS: Big game for both squads as they were looking to finally get into the playoff picture. Pelicans started off amazing and took a 9 point lead into halftime. Ben struggled early on but just like Duzan earlier...it looked like he was on one leg and couldn't push off with his normal explosiveness. He decided though that he was going to launch from deep and hit a few triples to make a push in the second half. He was grimacing in pain for most of the game but he showed a ton of heart as he finished with 20 points 9 rebounds 2 steals and 2 blocks!! Huge performance and the Grizz needed every bit of it. Abdul did the rest as he was a tough guard for the Pelicans with his mobility and outside shooting. He made some timely shots to keep the Pelicans at bay. However, it was Jso with the biggest play of the game as he poked the ball loose from Vijay in the dying moments. He has known him for a long time and knew what move he was going to go to in the crunch and masterfully picked his pocket when they were up 2 with less than 10 seconds to go. Big time victory for the Grizz.
Final Score: Grizzlies 55 - 53 Pelicans Player of the Game - ABDUL WAHEDI 16pts/11rebs/2asts/1stl - 2 Triples
HORNETS: This was suppose to be an interesting game as the Blazers did not have NJ but the Blazers were just too big for the Hornets and their chemistry was on point throughout the whole game. They pounded the Hornets in the first half and it was a wrap after that. Annojh dropping dimes as he was the main facilitator and did a great job all game controlling who should get the shots and where. Chris D was blocking 3pt attempts by the Hornets and beating them up inside on offence. Vijith raining triples as he had 4 of em in this one and it was one of the easier victories for the Blazers this season. Hornets lost Bavi for the season and have replaced him with Roy and they were already small to begin with. Can GM Satish get some help before the deadline? They got a ton of guards and talent and it will be interesting to see what happens with them.
Final Score: Blazers 59 - 44 Hornets Player of the Game - CHRIS D'SOUZA 19pts/8rebs/4asts/1stl/4blks - 78% Shooting- 2 Triples