The time has finally arrived upon us. We had a great session down in Charlestown at the Boys & Girl Club every Thursday night. Somehow, January became April and the regular season has somehow ended. Thankfully, we have the playoffs coming up very soon (this Thursday, starting at 8 pm). However, now is the time to reflect upon on some fantastic basketball. We had five quality squads that went through the ringer with each other multiple times. As a result of familarity, we got some great hoops as a result. And the fact that our top two teams each have three losses screams of the high-quality play and equality among teams.
There are some great memories for the scrapbook here, not to mention all the times I’ve ripped on people for being old, out-of-shape, high as a kite or myself for not having a basic ability to count numbers sometimes. We’ve also had a couple key outings at Tommy Doyle’s in Kendall Square where karaoke has been sung and good times have been poured over a pitcher of Blue Moon or maybe even a special outing at the Warren Tavern in the middle of a freakin’ monsoon.
But enough of that, here’s the real important stuff:
League MVP: James Spidle (Nominees: Ben Max, Billy Durbrow) Easy award to give, really. Spidle was the man and he took this award away from Max in the last three weeks with outstanding play. This division’s leading scorer (an impressive 21.4 to go with 5.5 rpg) really stepped up his game late in the season as his team grabbed the #1 seed with two uber-impressive wins over the Big Tickets. In those two games, Spidle averaged 24.0 PPG along with being the man at the free throw line that closed the game out each time. Spidle went from a guy that averaged in the high teens early in the season to consistently putting out 20-plus efforts once the LITB squad figured out their roles (more on this later…). Congratulations to James Spidle for winning the MVP of the B1 5v5 West division at CAC.
Rookie O’ The Sesh: Rob Scarpato (Nominees: Ryan O’Keefe, Jeff Corey) This was probably the toughest award to give out. We had some great newcomers into the league this year, none better exhibited by the Rookie of the Season, Rob Scarpato. Rob was Magnum’s ultra-big center, that will be remembered for throwing down some awesome dunks (especially in the grill of a ginger-haired Genzyme employee. His name will not be mentioned.) The impact of Scarpato on both ends of the floor was tough to match for most opponents. He played like a true big and he possessed a smooth silky J, on top of being clutch from the charity stripe. Kudos to Rob for an outstanding effort. Keep it coming, man.
Defensive POY: Scott Mulholland Scott was the only man to average double-digit rebounds per game in this league. He also led the league in blocks by a far and away margin (3.44 BPG) that he nearly doubled up the competition in this field. Aside from the numbers, Scott clearly shows a passion for rebounding and shotblocking that is unparallel to anyone else in the league (maybe at the whole CAC). His timing is impeccable when it comes to grabbing boards. And he always finds a way to be where he should be. Hands down, SMul is your DPOY. He’s proved that he can take care of business on the 5v5 level as well as excelling at the 4v4 level. Hopefully, he’s an A1 pick in the first round now.
GM: Shane O’Donnell aka OD Hell has frozen over, officially. (If it exists, it’s probably located somewhere like the Jersey Shore or Route 1 in Saugus. It all makes sense now.) Saugus’ resident evil genius has done it. OD definitely deserves this award. Initially, his team struggled out of the gates as chemistry looked like a major issue. However, in Week 3, things started to turn around when the team focused on playing defense, smart ball-control offense, taking it to the rack, and controlling the glass. Spidle became the focus of the offense. Kerr’s scoring predicated a lot of their success. Poulos found a nice niche of instant offense. Jumpman became a significant contributor, avergaing double-digits scoring. Guys like BFrat (when he wasn’t looking like the drunk mayor from Back to the Future) and Cheese ran the show and worked the ball around. And even an old man had his day in the sun on the court (see below).
To rebound from 0-2 and to finish with a 6-3 record says it all. Lotion in The Basket has the best team at the moment. And they are the favorites to win the West division. Credit goes to OD for making it happen and leading by example on-the-court.
Alas, enough of that flowery crap. On with the all-team awards for the division. Pretty clear-cut in my book.
James Spidle, Mr. MVP, see above
Ben Max, CAC’s J-Kidd posted usual monster stats, unquestioned team leader
Billy Durbrow, when he imposes his will, 20-10-5 is a given
Rob Scarpato, new guy is a beast, scores and boards with ease
Tim O’Keefe, the best shooter in the gym with all these teams
Ryan O’Keefe, great slasher/shooter, one of 3 to average 20 ppg
Chris Kerr , puts up 14-8 with ease, jump hook unguardable
Mike Koziol , before Jigga Madness, possible 1st teamer here
Jeff Corey , made 59% from 3, outside assassin
Brian Cline, unselfish scorer, jack of all trades for Tickets
Sure, the ten guys above played the best for the season. But after watching all the games, it’s quickly realized that there are guys that allow others to succeed. Certain players have a tendency to make teammates better and raise the game of their team collectively. These are the guys that I came up with in this regard. It doesn’t make you an All-Star, but guys like these are guys you want on your team, unquestionably.
The Wiser Time Team (it’s named after a song, not my crappy B1 East squad):
Scott Mulholland , DPOY. constant hustle, keen rebounding awareness
Dan MacGregor, makes big shots on top of running the Genzyme show. playmaker.
Phil Henry, super high hoops IQ, does everything on both ends
Mike Bavuso, defensive force, savvy shot-blocking post presence
Shane O’Donnell, top 5 in boards?!? old man’s a crafty, wily vet.
I know, I know. It’s really serious. So that’s what it is for right now. These are the awards for the regular-season for the B1 5v5 West. I hope you all enjoyed the season so far. And of course, best of luck to all the teams that are in the playoffs. May the best team win and then kick the crap out of the team in East when it’s time to play for a banner.