WRITTEN BY: STEPHEN A. KELLERMAN
Okay folks, let's once again start with my overall record after the past week after going 6-4 it is now 43-26 for the season. 9 games on tap tonight and we got some juicy games to say the least. Top 16 make it and it is going to be a helluva ride and some teams are going to be enormously dissapointed. I'll be here to make sure to diss all the brothers that should have made it!
615PM BULLS vs KNICKS
KNICKS + 11 – The Knicks are going to play their brand of basektball by running up and down the court with their up-tempo style. Ryan will look to impose his will on the game and the rest of this deep squad will look to help Ryan secure the win. The combination of youth, athleticism and potential highlight reel plays will make it a tough night for the Bulls. The Bulls have Shang and Davion who can be monsters on any given night but usually the team is never at full strength and that will cost them this game. Bulls have a veteran team that will play with their brand of ball and if they can really slow things down and not get killed by the full court trap then maybe they got a chance. The Bulls as a team play with more basketball IQ than the Knicks but IQ can only go so far if the Bulls have a short, depleted roster. Knicks will be slamming home a victory!
645PM GRIZZLIES vs LAKERS
GRIZZLIES + 17 – After playing several contenders the Grizzlies get a bit of an easier schedule for week 11. Grizzlies are playing a Lakers team that have nothing to play for as their playoff window has been shut for season 6 (well not officially but you know what I mean). The Lakers could rest their star players for the season or look to give the Grizzlies a loss. I talked with the one and only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at his 75th birthday and when talked about this match up, he said the following, “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” The veteran team lead by superstar Ben and GM Jasinthan will prove to be too much to overcome. With nothing to play for (you know what I meannnn) and playing a team that has proven to be one of the top tier teams...I am expecting a blowout.
715PM CLIPPERS vs SPURS
CLIPPERS + 3 – The Clippers are the defending world champions. That alone is a good enough reason to give the nod to the Clips and what should be a bloodbath for both teams. The Spurs have one of the best rosters in the league especially on the defensive end. It will not be an easy task for any team including the champs to beat the Spurs but with that being said, it will come down to chemistry and IQ, which both teams have. GM Randy has done a phenomenal job with his team. For three reasons, I am saying +3 in favor of the Clippers. Firstly, James has been huge and has made an immediate impact with the team in just 2 games. Secondly, the season 5 DPOY (Archu). Thirdly, Javed who is a premier sniper from downtown. This will be a close game regardless and I predict it come down to the wire. Vijay will have to get his squad to be on top of their game in this one.
745PM HAWKS vs RAPTORS
RAPTORS + 5 – A must win for the Raptors if they would like to play in the post season. Akin and Gohulan look to do whatever it takes to ensure they secure a win this Sunday. GM Mithun will look to improve their record to 5 to 3 after Sunday or risk potentially being .500 and also possibly not making the top 16. This will come down to the wire as both teams are looking to improve their standings in ETBL Season 6 but with what this means to GM Gogs team...I got them playing all out from the get-go. If Gogs can win the 1 on 1 matchup against Mithun and Marquise can win the matchup against Aakgash...it should be a fairly easy win as Akin will go to work against a small Hawks squad.
815PM BOBCATS vs ROCKETS
BOBCATS + 8 – After a stunning loss to the Pistons the entire league was reminded that the Bobcats are mortal. A wounded animal is generally more dangerous than their healthier counterpart and I expect the Bobcats to not play around with their food this time. Anonymous sources have reported that the Bobcats are looking to remind the league that they are the team to beat despite dropping last weeks game. This week’s match up unfortunately will be more about if the Bobcats can bounce back after a legitimate loss more so than an intense match up between two great teams. The Rockets will look to make some noise and give the Bobcats their second loss of the season. Both teams know each other very well and have been looking forward to this matchup. Both teams are going to be playing with passion, IQ and physicality. Who is going to guard Roshane and what type of defence are the Cats going to throw at him? Which GM will make the best in game adjustments? Easily a game of the night candidate and let's see if it lives up to the hype.
845PM SONICS vs SUNS
SONICS + 1 - Both teams have their fair share of team issues but both teams are still fighting for a playoff spot and both teams have similar wins/losses (Wins: 3 and Losses: 4). Whoever wants to make the playoffs will win this game and whoever will want to enjoy a trip to Cancun will be packing their bags. Pretty much a must win for both teams but I will be going with the Sonics in a tough nail bitter. The Sonics organization hasn't had the same vibe as the season before as guys have been missing in and out of the lineup. With Zoobee back, the Sonics have a chance to make their season interesting. The Suns in contrast...have had a crazy season thus far but they still are in a position to close it out strong. Zaid will look to bounce back after a rough game and make his mark and I got the SuperSonics in a close one.
915PM THUNDER vs WARRIORS
THUNDER + 20 - After a disappointing start to the season, the Thunder have finally found a groove. They got the 9:15pm timeslot and MR. ESPN (Janath) will look to put on a show against a team he is very familiar with. The Warriors find themselves facing a potential title contender and will need to bring their best game to say the least. I give the Warriors an advantage on the glass but they are going to need to play a slower tempo to stop the fast-rising Thunder from moving up in the standings. The Warriors need to treat this game as a must win situation and maybe take some advice from Magic Johnson and ask themselves, “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates”. If they figure this out, then the Warriors might lose by 15 instead.
945PM HORNETS vs WOLVES
WOLVES + 4 - Both teams have been quite awful this season. The Hornets do not have a chance at the postseason while the Wolves have what you call..."if the fat lady sings" type chance. It’s my job as a reporter to not be about the business of making friends or enemies but just to spit facts. The fact is these teams have both sucked and been trashworthy. I have noticed that the 3 Time GM of the Year (Ray Surujbally) has taken his coaching talents to the Wolves and my god do they ever need it. But even with the type of wizardy Ray can pull off...I just don't see it to be honest. Lack of discipline, committment, clutch shotmaking and intensity is too much to overcome. Due to contractual obligations to ETBL, I am required to pick a team, and so I will go with the Wolves because of Ray.
1015PM KINGS vs PISTONS
PISTONS + 5 - Pistons sent a statement not only to the Bobcats last week (by ending their undefeated streak) but also to the league by establishing that they are actually the team to beat. The Pistons are going up against the Kings. This will be an interesting match up as the Pistons have size, chemistry and play a brand of basketball that is fun to watch. GM Satish is going to have a problem defending all those bigs on the Pistons. GM Shaun is not playing games and his MVP candidate (Big Mike) will look to dominate on Sunday night. Although a lot of credit is generally given to the best player, the Kings better not sleep on Kendell Wilson as he was the player of the game last week. The Kings have the reigning MVP (Duzan) and a stellar supporting cast. Senthu, Nirsan, Nishan and the rest of the Kings are going to have to bring their A games. The Kings have added Gajen who should be making his ETBL debut very soon as he should help against the bigs of the Pistons. Unless Duzan goes into super saiyan mode...I got Motor City with the dub.