WRITTEN BY: STEPHEN A. KELLERMAN
Oh man, we are in the thick of it now. The picture is getting a bit more clear but the Rockets shook up the ETBL world by adding a former D1 player (Dinjiyl Walker) and now have become the new villains of the league. They look to have leapfrogged to the top where they will battle it out with the Thunder for power ranking status. There was another debut which will make some noise as well. I will keep it short, sweet and blunt. There are 4 games posted to youtube (@ETBL2k) so go and check them out! Click on higher picture quality under settings to get some beautiful 4k footage. Now let's get to it.
LAKERS: This game was awful.Two teams who couldn't throw a ball into the ocean. The Pacers ended up being less awful than the Lakers but man was it tough to watch. I have been more entertained standing in traffic...they are similar squads in the sense that they are not true championship contenders but should make the playoffs and maybe win a round. But that's it. They can get their golf clubs ready in march.
Final Score: Pacers 43 - 40 Lakers Player of the Game: VMAN VINAY 6pts/10rebs/5ast/1stl
BUCKS: Bucks lose their first game of the season. I mean they had it coming. They were able to steal a couple games earlier but not anymore. No more reindeer games. Learn from the mistakes and commit to getting better or end up slowly falling down the standings. The choice is theirs. Thunder got hit with some bad news as Nabil is injured and could not play. They still can cruise to a top 4 seed but they will need Nabil for that championship run. Looks like he will be back by then which is bad news for the rest of the league. Camren and Hashi were dynamic in this one combining for 35 points and 23 rebs, 5 asts, 3stls and 4 blocks! Thunder are rolling.
Final Score: Thunder 59 - 37 Bucks Player of the Game: ABDULLAHI HASHI 20pts/13rebs/1asts/1stl/3blks - 53% Shooting - 4 Triples
HAWKS: The Magic needed it and they got it easily. Taking care of business against the lowly Hawks. Magic have a chance to make some noise but they will be in tough against the Rockets this weekend. If they can somehow steal that game...it will give them a ton of momentum. Anthony, Jordan, Alvin and Jayon played great and gave this team the lift it needed. Hawks are in trouble and just playing out the string at this point. Hopefully they focus and improve slowly the next couple games and finish the season strong.
Final Score: Magic 66 - 45 Hawks Player of the Game: JAYON HALL 14pts/6rebs/4ast/4stls/2blks - 60% Shooting
BOBCATS: The Rockets did it. They have officially shocked the league. They recruited Dinjiyl Walker and now they look to be the team to beat. They worked backwards almost and got all the role players and starters and then finished the roster with a bang. Mr. Walker struggled in the first half but boy did he light it up in the 2nd half. Just launching from long range and hitting 6 bombs under duress and finishing with a 30 piece. The Bobcats refused to double him and he made them pay time and time again in the 2nd half. Allan did all he could for the Bobcats dropping 22 on 13 shots but the rest of the team could not get him enough help. Rockets are ready for lift off.
Final Score: Rockets 66 - 54 Bobcats Player of the Game: DINJIYL WALKER 30pts/5rebs/3asts/1stl/1blk/1to - 63% Shooting - 6 Triples
RAPTORS: This was a great game by the Sixers. They balled out in the first half and dropped 52 points!! Ryan was lethal and he kept getting open shot after open shot. Kareem was a beast and finally put his stamp on a game. Mayo was Mayo and now the Sixers have some momentum. They get the Bobcats in what should be a hell of a game on Sunday. Raptors showed up with 5 guys and that means they are going to get cooked. It's been the theme for them all season. Mustafa was great with 25 and 8! He did it from the inside and outside and showed us what he is all about. Raps need to get it together quick.
Final Score: Sixers 76 - 60 Raptors Player of the Game: KAREEM JACKSON 21pts/17rebs/4asts/2stls - 73% Shooting
KINGS: The Michael Mines show is in effect. Dude came back to the league and casually dropped 28 n 6 and just legit controlled the entire game. Abeku and Rose were great too combining for 42 points on 66.7% shooting but M&M had this team composed early on. Just knowing when to speed it up and when to slow it down...when to be a facilitator and when to be aggressive...he is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Cavs. They are now a dangerous team to play and are only going to get better as the season goes. Kings just didn't have enough answers. David was great and Mithun/Craig were solid. They are going to have to buckle down and get a big win soon.
Final Score: Cavaliers 74 - 65 Kings Player of the Game: MICHAEL MINES 28pts/6rebs/2ast/1stl - 71% Shooting - 2 Triples