WRITTEN BY: PROFESSOR X
Week 10 in the books. Regular season will end March 5th and we shall see who the top 12 playoff teams will be. It has been an incredible journey in ETBL Elite. Incredible competition across the board and it seems like things are heating up even more. Let's get down to it.
WARRIORS: Big time win for the Grizz who are knocking on the door of a playoff spot. They still got 5 games left including a doubleheader on Feb 26th. They were able to grind this one out even though Shakeil Pinder did his best to put the team on his back with a game high 33 points! He was a problem all game but the Grizz managed to get a more complete team effort and hold on for the victory. Jesse did a a little bit of everything while Cusean led the team in points with 19. Ben was off with his shot but grabbed a game high 16 boards. We shall see if they can continue the momentum in February.
Final Score: Grizzlies 58 - 53 Warriors Player of the Game: JESSE SMITH 14pts/13rebs/7asts
PISTONS: Two top teams clash here as the Thunder face off against the Pistons. OKC comes out strong on offense racking up a double digit lead early. Then the Pistons collect themselves and come back to make it close. This high scoring affair was right in Janath’s wheelhouse as he played great all game. He dished out a game high 7 assists to propel OKC ahead. The new Piston Anthony 'Kobe' Meggo fit in perfectly and provided an electric presence on both sides of the ball. He is exactly what the doctor ordered for this older squad. They have some quality bigs and solid wings but an electric guard is something they were missing. The Pistons fought hard and pulled themselves out of some deficits but ultimately OKC took this one to continue their flawless season. Total team effort and the Thunder just had too many weapons in this one. Hashi led the way with 20 but Jarvis was big off the bench with 13 and Nabil is slowly getting back his rhythm. They remain the team to beat in ETBL.
Final Score: Thunder 71 - 61 Pistons Player of the Game: JANATH KUMAR 15pts/8reb/7ast/1stl - 62.5% Shooting - 2 Triples
BUCKS: Bucks did all they could to stay in it for the first half. Jerome and Arish showed up late to the party but it did not matter as the Rockets pulled away in the 2nd half. 6 guys scored at least 7 points and the Rockets did it as a team. They are hoping for big things when it comes to playoff time and we shall see if they can fire on all cylinders at that time. The Bucks have been in a freefall and need to stop the bleeding soon. They played one good half and fell apart in the other. Let's see if GM Sarjun can rally his troops and bounce back in the next one.
Final Score: Rockets 56 - 43 Bucks Player of the Game: SHANG SINNATHURAI 10pts/4rebs/5asts/2stls - 50% Shooting
PACERS vs BOBCATS: What a game to watch. The thin roster of the Bobcats who had only 5 players taking the court to fend off Duzan and the Pacers. Within the first 5 minutes, Pacer’s Nidun and Bobcat’s Christian got to trash talking early making for some laughs...but as the game went on it progressed into some hard fought possessions and an intensity unmatched by the other games on the docket. Nidun and Duzan worked as a dynamic duo running the Pacers offense which was countered by Kalsang and Matthew for the Bobcats. The Bobcats starting 5 (and only 5) got their 10000 steps in and some taking the W pretty easily and in the process evening their record up to .500. They showed a lot of heart and endurance in this one especially with a couple older guys on the squad. One of them being Camby who was relentless and ended up hitting 5 big triples in this one to lead his team. The Pacers were dissapointed but they still are in good shape in the standings.
Final Score: Bobcats 58 - 43 Pacers Player of the Game: MATTHEW CAMPBELL 17pts/6reb/6ast - 5 Triples
MAGIC: This matchup had the Magic going toe to toe with the Cavs. The Magic offense was driving through Anthony and Jordan and they combined for 27 points. While Alvin pulled down a game high 13 rebounds! But after 42 minutes, the Cavs closed it out on top recording both a higher field goal and free throw percentages (Michael Mines 9/9 FT). Just a grind out victory from the Cavs which shows a lot about their maturity. They didn't have Abeku but still did the small things to try and battle against a team hungry for a win. They have put themselves in a position to get a bye in the first round which might have been unthinkable when the season started. What a ride it has been for GM Bavi and Coach Ryan.
Final Score: Cavs 48 - 43 Magic Player of the Game: MICHAEL MINES 19pts/8rebs/4asts
RAPTORS: Wow. Simply Wow. I do not have any words. I will try my best however and give a ton of credit to the Hawks. Firstly, Mr. Yanick Hannibal went crazy and I have been waiting for that all season. He clearly has the strength, size and skill to really do some damage in the league and he put it on display in this one. Next, the role players for the Hawks really stepped up including Stallone, Omar and Frankie. On top of that, the rest of the Hawks guys were cheering the whole time and really encouraging their guys and that was beautiful to see. They really got a family atmosphere over there and could not be happier for them. They have certainly played a lot better in the new year and this was the culmination of persistence and patience! The Raptors on the other hand are loaded with talent and had a 16 point lead in this one and ultimately flame out like they have all season. Could they have missed a couple calls or gotten a couple...sure. But in the end they have noone to blame but themselves for letting an opportunity slip. Going to be a long offseason for the Raps.
Final Score: Hawks 59 - 55 Raptors Player of the Game: YANICK HANNIBAL - 20pts/5rebs/2asts/1blk - 71% Shooting
NETS: The Clips went off in the 2nd half and destroyed the Nets to halt their winning streak at 2. They did not have Ajahmo but Jahlove stepped up and showed us what he can do on a basketball court. Season high 20 and he did it with ease in this one. Jah, Kris and Javed combined for 50 and that was more than what the Nets scored as a team. Clippers are loaded with scorers and even with one missing...they were able to distribute those shots elsewhere and find a rhythm. Scary team to face in the playoffs when they are rolling like this. Nets will have to regroup fast if they want to try and make a playoff push.
Final Score: Clippers 72 - 42 Nets Player of the Game: JAHLOVE LYNCH - 20pts/8rebs/2asts/0to - 69% Shooting