Trade deadline is over and we had a flurry of deals. We will elaborate on that on a new post sometime during this holiday break. We will also have a top 10 player ranking post soon as well. We will return January 5th and prepare for the home stretch. These were the last 7 games of 2019 and some of them were really good. Huge shout-out to Jasinthan and Ray for helping me out at the scorer's table! Now let's get right to it.
SONICS: The green machine has taken another hit and they are slowly coming back down to Earth. Started off 4-0 and feelin real good about themselves...even started requesting teams at the top they wanted to face...but now things have gone south and they are back down to .500 at 4-4. Competitive first half against the Kings in this one but Duzan decided to kick it into 5th gear late in the first half and absolutely destroyed the Sonics in the 2nd half. He was tremendous on defence as well especially when switched on to Zaid and Zoobee and was unstoppable on offence. Just way too slick at getting to the basket with his speed and dribble moves and then great body control to make tough layups. A season high 34 for Duzzy and he looks like he is closer to 100% after his shoulder injury which is scary news for the rest of the league. His brother Senthu was tremendous with the help defence and had 2 steals and 3 blocks and a bunch of other shots that he altered. Aswath led the team with 4 swipes as this defensive trio is tough on teams in the halfcourt. Back to the drawing board for the Sonics but they can use the holiday break to come back refreshed and refocused.
Final Score: Kings 52 - 43 Sonics Player of the Game - DUZAN INDRASITHU 34pts/10rebs/1ast/2stls/1blk - 60% Shooting
LAKERS: The Lakers should have gotten blown off the court in this one as they were missing Ragu and Christian and only had 5 to play with. It was suppose to be a big battle between Ali and Chris but unfortunately Christian was out of town and we were getting prepared for the Lakeshow to get slaughtered. But they showed a tremendous amount of heart in this one as they battled right from the start and Nakkeeran had a big time game with 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting while Somi and Ara combined for 20 points to give themselves a chance. Ara was great on the boards and made some nifty passes as well which led to easy baskets for the Lakers. Thanush also had his best game with 6pts/13rebs/4asts and a block! The kids really put in the work in this one and they almost pulled out the upset. They led by 2 points after a clutch basket by Somi (51-49) and all they had to do was play solid defence on the last possession for the Pacers. Somi ends up fouling Ali and he goes to the line and makes the first to cut it to one. Ali misses the second however and that should have done it essentially but Jamal comes up with a huge offensive rebound and gets fouled by Thanush who already had 4 fouls on him. This would mean a 2 freethrow penalty (Pacers get to choose who shoots them) and also possession for the Pacers. Ali calmly knocks them down to take a 1pt lead and then Kevin further ices it with 2 more clutch freethrows. One missed box out costs the Lakers a chance at a huge win...heartbreaker.
Final Score: Pacers 54 - 52 Lakers Player of the Game - KEVIN CLERIGO 23pts/3rebs/4asts/7stls/0to - 2 Triples
SIXERS: GM Flash sat courtside for this one as he was dealing with an injury. The Sixers were also missing Sarwar and Ram so that left them with 5 players and the Heat took it to them in this one from the jump. There was trash talk and some subtle shots taken at each other but in the end the Heat proved to be too much as they clamped down on defence and made timely shots on the other end. Can't read too much into this one without full squads but it was a good win for the Heat going into the break. They have had a great season thus far and sit in 2nd place in the ETBL standings. The Sixers haven't had their full complement of players all the time and so it is tough to judge them but if they are healthy they will be a challenge for any team. Rahul was great on defence for the Sixers as he had 5 steals and a block and a whole lotta trash talk to boot. Milton had a double double and also a whole lotta trash talk as well as he gears up for a run at the Trophy in the new year.
Final Score: Heat 47 - 34 Sixers Player of the Game - MILTON LAIDLEY 13pts/10rebs/2asts/1stl - 66.6% Shooting
WARRIORS: The Nuggets torched the Warriors in this one as they played without Junior for once but it did not matter as they keep their undefeated season alive. Nirsan was the go to man in this one and he put on a show for the Logos fans as he dropped a season high 29 points on only 19 shots! He was drilling triples and taking it ot the rim with authority. When he has that outside game going it isn't much you can do to stop him. He played within the offence and did not veer too far out of GM Ray's ball movement strategy and that must be a great sight for the 2 time GM of the Year winner. Javan was also great with a season high 19points and chipped in 3 boards and 4 assists in his best game. Warriors looked out of sync and trying to incorporate 2 new players (Jelton and Jameel) is not easy against a top team like the Nuggets. Jelton struggled early on and forced a few passes and shots but he should be better going forward. Gobie was fantastic with 19 points and more than doubled his previous season high of 8 points! This is the Gobie we have been wanting to see as he showed off his smooth shooting stroke and looked to be aggressive all game. The Warriors will need to find that chemistry asap before time runs out on their season.
Final Score: Nuggets 66 - 38 Warriors Player of the Game - NIRSAN KUNARATNAM 29pts/10rebs/4asts/4stls/1to - 58% Shooting - 5 Triples
BULLETS: The Pels finally get a big win and move up the standings to 18th and sit a half game back of a playoff spot. They have dissapointed for most of the season but they got tons of talent and still enough time to make a run. One of those talented players is Vman who put on a passing clinic in this one and finished with a triple double! His drive and dump offs were wicked in this one as he commands so much attention when he attacks the basket. He literally guided his teammates to so many easy buckets and not having Nidun there on defence to help allowed him to dominate the inside. Tharsan also benefitted from the extra attention Vman garnered as he cashed in on a career high 18 points including 4 triples! Casper made his debut with the Bullets after a dramatic trade made at the last minute of trade deadline. GM Ruben got his former teammates and friends onto the team (Anthony and Suren) and hopes the chemistry they have with Nidun will lead them to a chip. Nidun was not available for this one so we cannot read too much into it but we shall soon see if Ruben played his cards right.
Final Score: Pelicans 56 - 40 Bullets Player of the Game - VMAN VINAY 10pts/13rebs/10asts/3stls- 60% Shooting
BLAZERS: The Pistons win a thriller against a tough Blazers squad. Gohulan with the dribble dump off in the lane to an open Asim who lays it up for the game winner with .5 seconds left. This is the next step in Gohulan's evolution where he has to be able to make big time plays in the clutch and he did exactly that. Asim was terrific as he hit a couple long range shots and was a force inside to keep the Blazers off balance. The Blazers did draw up a beautiful play at the end to get Rogith a wide open alley-oop layup that he was just unable to make as he caught the ball right under the hoop. He set the screen for NJ at the freethrow line and cut straight to the basket and the inbounder (Annojh) threw it up for him to go get as the Pistons all converged on NJ leaving Rogith wide open for a chance to tie it. Great game and a big win for the Pistons who were without Vinoth. Cameron stepped up on the defensive end with 5 steals and a block as he is relishing the opportunity to guard some of the best players in the league. Blazers will look to bounce back in the new year.
Final Score: Pistons 51 - 49 Blazers Player of the Game - ASIM MIRZA 16pts/5rebs/2asts/1stl/1blk - 50% Shooting - 2 Triples
GRIZZLIES: Signature win for the Magic as they overcame an early 18 point deficit (28 to 12) to absolutely shock the Grizzlies in the last game of 2019. Matheos was transitioning spin moves into long range bombs and showed off his full range of dribble moves as he also dissected the interior of the Grizz defence. Naren and Manish meanwhile feasted from the outside as they hit clutch triple after triple to bury the Grizz...Waqar was stellar on defence and got his hand on everything...Obaid kept so many possessions alive on offence...just a big time team effort to show the ETBL universe that they are not to be taken lightly. This is why you have to play a full 38 minutes and cannot keep your foot off the gas pedal as the Grizz unfortunately did. Ben and Zanoon were very good as they combined for 39 points but it was not enough. Ben is still not fully healthy and this team will need him to rest up over the holidays. The Magic sit number 7 in the standings...all the doubters need to take notice as the Magic are rounding into form. The Grizz are clinging to the last playoff spot.
Final Score: Magic 65 - 55 Grizzlies Player of the Game - MANISH PITRODA 9pts/4rebs/5asts/1stl/1to - 75% Shooting - 3 Triples