Guess whose back?...Back again?...ETBL's back...tell a friend. Szn 7 is officially underway and we got so much to talk about. We kicked things off in week 1 with a 4 game slate and we will do the same in week 2 this Sunday as we wait for our jerseys to arrive shortly after that. Everyone is ramping up for a great season and this will be our best season yet. Let's not waste any time and find out what happened in week 1.
MAGIC: Well this game went in a completely different direction after the first 8 mins or so as the Heat found themselves stuck 13 (18-5). Anthony was fired up and had his team ready to out the gate. The Heat looked a bit disoriented and new recruit Kailash had a couple travelling calls which stopped them from getting into a rhythm. GM Witness (Nitharshan) made some substitutions and then the game changed from then on. They turned up the intensity on defence and started making plays on offence. They eventually stormed back and tied the game at half-time. Their momentum continued in the 2nd half and a lot of that had to do with Abdi and Zaid who were punishing the Magic on offence. These two guys will be counted on a lot it looks like throughout the season but credit Keerth, Mathusan, and Kailash for chipping in as well and helping the Heat start off the season on a good note. They got a good balance on both sides of the ball which should make them competitive all year but if they could really lock in on the offensive end (passing, chemistry, making plays)...then they could have a big year. The Magic got 30 combined from Anthony and Jordan while Alvin played solid defence but overall they need to do a better job on the glass and getting easier looks on offence. They still got time to sort it out.
Final Score: Heat 60 - 48 Magic Player of the Game - ABDI OMAR 17pts/8rebs/3asts/1stl - 54% Shooting
SIXERS: Yeah, this was easily the game of the night like we all thought it would be. 2 powerhouse teams going at it and the Pistons were able to squeek by in overtime on a clutch shot by Adrian Leclair! A screen set by GM Shaun at the top of the arc to eventually get Big Mike a mismatch on the post and then Mike finds Adrian open for the triple to win the game. Unselfish basketball especially considering Mike had 22 and 19 at this point! Adrian aka John Stockton has one of the smoothest strokes in the league and my only criticism of him would be that he doesn't shoot nearly enough. There was no doubt in my mind that he was going to make that shot and it was money. The Pistons withstood the attacks from Mayo Spencer as he had a game high 31 with 7 rebs and 5 assists plus an incredible 6 steals! He was a problem all game but the Pistons were able to counter that by having 4 guys in double figures and keeping up on the offensive end. Game could have gone either way and both these teams are poised to make some noise this season.
Final Score: Pistons 73 - 70 Sixers Player of the Game - MIKE GRANT 22pts/19rebs/3asts/1stl/1blk
WARRIORS: Okay, this game was very entertaining to say the least. After Stephen A. Kellerman had the Warriors near the bottom of the power rankings...he better now put some respect on their names. The Warriors played with tremendous heart and used their speed to their advantage. They were severely undersized but credit to Sugee, Nenthu and Eric for battling tough inside and making it difficult for the Lakers all game. Stephen A. did mention Kapi had to step up and boy did he ever with a game high 24 points and hit 6 triples!!! Just to put that into context...the Lakers had 0 combined triples! So did the Bucks in the last game of the night. So GM Kapi was hot and almost willed this team to victory. The other guy that had the Lakers a bit worried was Shak who must of broken at least 5 of their ankles (probably just in the first half alone). His ball handling and ability to get into the paint was crazy and he is going to have to be big for this team all season. He also had a good trash talk game and you can tell it had him motivated when the Lakers were giving it back to him. For the Lakeshow it was Shavaughn that made the biggest plays and buckets and his athleticism is going to be a problem for most teams. Tristan made some nifty passes like always and everybody on the Lakers contributed. This team is deep and everyone can play so they should be able to keep up all season. Can they get enough consistent outside shooting? That will be the key in order to elevate them up to true contender status.
Final Score: Lakers 52 - 46 Warriors Player of the Game - SHAVAUGHN REID 15pts/5rebs/1stl/1blk/1to - 50% Shooting
GRIZZLIES: The last game was interesting as the Bucks have a similar team to last year but with a few major changes. They added Jaylen, Akshay and Jerome. Shay who previously played for the Hornets was unavailable and Jerome came late but boy did he make an immediate impact on the game. He was able to make some shots but more importantly locked it down on defence as he was asked to guard the reigning MVP on multiple possessions in the 2nd half. Harrson and Arish combined for 27 as they led the way offensively and this Bucks team gets off to a great start to the season. It wasn't a perfect game by them but they were efficient and caused the Grizz to turn it over multiple times with their defence. GM Sarjun has to be happy with the way things went while still knowing there is lots of room for improvement. The Grizz were out of sorts and couldn't buy a three point bucket. They were missing Cusean who was their main offseason recruit and so we will have to see how this team looks like at full strength. Jesse was once again a beast on the boards and he is definitely the Dennis Rodman of the league. He plays the angles incredibly well and just knows how to position his body to get the rebounds or is able to tip it up to himself or a teammate. They will need him to be a key piece all season if they want to make some noise.
Final Score: Bucks 50 - 40 Grizzlies Player of the Game - HARRSON KANAGASABAI 14pts/3rebs/3asts/2stls/1to