Because you can never get enough
With so much going on in the A1 League this season, I thought Iíd get everyone caught up with the major headlines that have come and gone in the past 6 weeks. Some may have escaped your notice, others would have been nearly impossible if youíve ever cruised the website, and as a result are reading this. All of the award categories are extremely crowded at this point in the season, but we will briefly touch on some of those as well. But first, to the Headlines!
Pace Factor Out of Control!
There are a pair of teams that score over 80 points a game, and four others are well into the 70s every Monday night. If O’Cal and the Reihl Deihl hadnít missed a couple games, no doubt there would be 3 teams averaging over 80 a game. It’s the highest scoring league since Iíve joined the gym, and has been a lot of fun to both play in and watch some of these shootouts. It can all be credited to the growth of the league and all the good players that have crossed over from Charlestown, which brings us to,
The Influx of Charlestown Talent
A lot of these guys are going to make a play at Rookie of the Year, since Kahana can’t win it again. Paul Z, Ian Urquhart, the Gallagher Brothers, and Kevin Ostrander all have come over from the temporarily suspended Charlestown League to lend the A1 a boost. All of these guys are at or near the top of the Player Rater this season and a couple may get MVP considerations as well. Hopefully, when the Charlestown League returns next season, some of these guys will add a second league to their schedule and keep the A1 League stocked with a ton of talent.
Last Season’s MVP was no Fluke
Despite grumblings in some corners about Kareem’s MVP worthiness last season, he’s putting up even better numbers this time around. The difference is, this season there are a lot more players with their hat in the ring. GP, Trevor, Al, Deihl , Supe, and the JaySar/Wolverine combo will all have something to say about the MVP race before the season is over. As I said, itís a very crowded field. Someone may even emerge as a front-runner from Drunk in the Trunk, but as of now, theyíre too balanced to have a legit candidate. With all the competition, the MVP may not be decided, or even have a legit leading man until the last game has been played.
As of this posting, the top 8 teams all stand within a game and a half of each other. Absolutely anyone could step up over the next 5 weeks and grab the #1 playoff seed. Or, someone could tumble all the way from the top to the bottom of the standings in a matter of a couple weeks. Despite the closeness of the top teams, if Gang Green or the Ruffians can find a way to come together and win out the rest of their schedule, a playoff seed can still be had.
GM’s Becoming Savvier
With all the teams being so close to each other, a lot of credit has got to go to the GMs who drafted their teams and are making sure the parts fit right. Filosa has made sure he has all the right roles players at the right spots, and may have gotten the top 2 steals of the draft in Jason Gallagher (#19) and Ian Tosti (#42). Ridiculously good research for the draft on his part. Also not to be forgotten is the Good King who stepped up after a disappointing run last season. Even though aspiring GM Tommy K didn’t draft this specific team, he’s taken over as Interim GM and held his team together until he’s promoted in the off-season. Serge too has done a better than expected job. After the beating his team took in the press, heís used that as a rallying cry and has his guys playing great together. Iím convinced most of these guys, even MixTape, could run a number of NBA teams without any poor results.
The other rookies, the guys without the big names and flashy stats, are also having an impact on the League. As more stars fill out the rosters on teams, it often comes down to which squad has the better role players. New guys like Tim Began, Roger Lau, Yavor Nechev, CRip, Matty O and Ethan Chang (Usok) have been key players on their squads. With the different levels of the Rookies this season, we may need to create a new award to make sure we recognize at least one of the guys from the above group at the end of the season.
We Still Play D?
Despite the seeming lack of defense as scores skyrocket, there are a number of candidates for the Defensive Player of the Year. Obviously the frontrunners this season are Erik Brown and Kareem Benjamin. CPW, Supe and Filosa donít get the stats but are tough match-ups down low for any big man. But if youíre looking at the guards, guys like Matty O, OíCal, and Cheese make it tough for guys on the perimeter. Despite the number of guys up for this award, it usually comes down to a big guy in the middle, and this season looks as if it may be no different.
With about 5 weeks left in the season, a lot could change between now and then for awards, and even in the standings, but itís guaranteed to be an exciting ride full of surprises.