It’s Bananas – B-A-N-A-N-A-S
What is it with the East this season? Seriously, 14 teams?!? I am PUMPED UP for this league, not just because I’m playing in it, but because of the awesome precedence set last season for trash talk on the message boards. Seriously, the guys that are coming back all did a great job talking up the league, making sure everyone heard about it, whether they wanted to or not. And the great thing is, as good as the league was, competitively, last season, we really took it up a notch this time around. So don’t feel slighted if you’re ranked lower than you are, this is a monsterous league, and I have my biases first and foremost to take care of, so talk to me after you’ve won a few games, until then, I don’t want to hear it! Head to the message boards (http://www.crfcbasketball.com/phpBB2/index.php) to vote on who you think should be #1 and give me a piece of your mind!
The Long Shots
These are the teams that are going to need a lot of help to make the playoffs, or make some mid-season adds, or just hope that they drew an easy schedule.
14. Straight Cash Homie – This team is completely new, I don’t know anything about them, or their ballers. So no offense fellas, but you’ve got to be ranked last to start the season. Welcome to C.A.C.! As you’re about to find out, I’m wrong a lot.
13. Super JaMario – Chas better roll really deep this season. He’s already pissed Fuego Fuego off by stealing a player or two, and according to them, the actual Chas isn’t going to be enough to get it done in this league. So what other surpised do you have for us Matty? You’re at the very, very bottom of this totem poll. Good luck making your way to the top.
12. Joel’s Boys – Another completely new team, but they wanted to sign up for A2, so they’ve got to be decent, right? Plus I just wanted to piss Matty off a bit by ranking a complete unknown ahead of his team. He better get used to being sh!t on this season. Oh yea, welcome to the leagues fellas!
11. WTF – The free agent team comes in full of question marks. Who’s actually commited to it, are they going to play any defense, do they have any size?? With the outside shooting of Pretty Ricky and Mario Casal, they should be able to stay in games, but after that, everything is a big questions mark. Like really big, bigger than Gerrity big.
10. Champagne Supernova – Speak of the devil. Did you like that lead-in? I’m sick of talking about teams where I don’t have any idea about what they’re bringing to the table. That isn’t the case with Champagne Supernova. I know that Gerrity’s ratio of smack talk to contributions is going to be lopsided, again, DZ is going to bomb 3s, and the X-Man is going to be a whirling dirvish on his way to the hole. With those three parts, I don’t see this squad contending. But Five Hard Fouls knows what it takes to get it done in the East, so I’m expecting his two new guys to be a couple ringers. They better be, or else Champagne Supernova is going to be on ice all season long.
Teams on the cusp of something special, but will need either some fortunate bounces or an easy sched to really make it happen. But then again, you can’t hide behind ‘weak’ teams in the playoffs!
9. Scalopini – Wow, these guys were the 3 seed last season, I was pulling for them, and now I do this to them? Yikes, that # 9 spot means I think they’re going to be the last team out of the playoffs when all is said and done. *edit* Apparently I only had to do half a preview for Scalopini. But needless to say I don’t think their luck will hold up this season. Yea they’ve got the veteran calm and no how to still sneak out wins, but the league got brutally tough, TWat is going to really have to step his game up!!
8. Sullivan’s Tap – Or are we really the 8 spot? Am I trying to lull you all to sleep while the Sweeney brothers grind their axes for another season, The Shepard tears up another B1 league after a disappointing A1 career (hey look, the guards are his size in this league!) and I gear up for a regular season run followed by utter disappointment in the playoffs. Yea, Sully’s Tap (with our own t-shirts!) will be ready to roll this season. After leading the league in PR in the WEst last season, which I’ll remind you all of, no matter how much I suck on Wednesdays, we’re full of confidence. It’s nice to get a lefty lean back on the floor. Glumac, bring the Orange Slices!!
7. 6 Foot 7 Rangas – BMul knows what it takes to win the B1 leagues, and on a team full of Mulhollland’s I’m sure they’re going to be contenders right from the get go. But until I see it all put together on the floor, I can’t have them any higher than the teams that I know are going to play well and challenge in this league. I just can’t believe you weren’t able to pull Lawson away from the Genzyme 5v5 team, he was miserable there last season, and loves Wall Ball Arena, what are you thinking?? If you’re missing just one piece this season, it’s on you!
6. Count It – The Sunday team is ranked a bit lower than I would like, but attendance has been a problem for them in the past. Well not attendance so much as not always getting their best players to the game at the same time. So yea, attendance. Fritz and Baum are going to carry the offensive load for this squad, but I was disappointed not to see Aziz back in action. Ever since he busted up his hand (yes, at C.A.C.) he wasn’t quite the same. Ah well, they have a deep roster with 7 guys, so they’ll compete on a weekly basis. There are no holes here, no weaknesses to exploit and the bench is just as good as the starters. You better hope you all catch them on an off week.
5. CAC-N-Ballers – Ouch, talk about a fall from grace. You lose a guy that average 30 ppg and all of a sudden you’re middle of the road?? Yes, even with the returning MVP, CAC-N-Ballers have a long, tough road to climb this season. So Mike Lamb, he of the 8ppg in the C league, has HUGE shoes to fill if he wants to help CNB continue to contend in this league. At least it’s a little more size next to Big Country so teams just won’t be able to double him. But Lamb has to adjust quickly to Wall Ball Arena, everyone will be out to knock off the team that went 12-1 overall last season. Making the playoffs certainly isn’t going to be easy.
The teams with the best chance of Winning the East this season are listed below. If they’re not in the final mix, something will have gone horribly wrong.
4. Bone Crushers – What you don’t believe me? Bobby C, Cadman, Money Train Tang, Tibbs’ Lil Bro (Ryan Kelley, no relation, and he’s much better than I am) are all poised to come back and make a splash in the B1 East this season. Oh and that Matt guy, yea he flashed some game last season in the A2. Hopefully he brings that back down with him. Attendance issues aside, if this squad can get their act together (don’t they live around the corner?) they’ll challenge for a top playoff seed. I know the guys that were in the East last season think they’re the end all and be all of the league, but there was life before F2 joined, 3 of Us came back, and Cha-Gina was born. They’ll remind them of that on a weekly basis.
3. Fuego Fugeo – DIAMOND!! DIAMOND!! If you didn’t like it last season, you’re not going to like it this season either. But until you prove you can beat that thing on a consistant basis, they’re going to keep trotting it out there. Wario shoots from halfcourt, for those that don’t know, and Snow is still the biggest brute on the block, so F2 should improve on that 6-4 regular season record from last season. And that’s before they trimmed some of the fat with Matty ‘Chas’ going to form his own team. They’ll have a beatdown in store for week 4, I can assure you that. With a shorter rotataion, and guys like Sarro getting more touches, this team becomes even more dangerous, and potentially louder…
2. Four Gentiles and a Jew – Yea that’s right, despite a lot of new faces to the league, the team formerly known as 3 of Us is still favored to be a tough out. They made a huge off-season acquisition by picking up Vinny DiMento. They needed to make some sort of move, as the Great Dane was attacked by a case of the munchies and couldn’t return this season. But will he be happy coming off the bench, or will Marty Murphy, who played great down the stretch and in the playoffs with timely threes, step aside to massage the DiMento ego? Should be interesting to see how Mr. Kaplan handles the situation, but no matter what happens, these guys won the East last season and are coming back even strong. When will teams learn to close out on the 3 and kill that pathetic 2-2 zone?!!?
1. Off In Your Face – They won the B1 with this team two seasons ago, with the exact same squad, so why wouldn’t they again? Rugga is bringing back the same squad that took out all comers last time around, and former B1 MVP Jeff Hall is in top form after banging bodies in the A2 for a season. Sure the guards on this team impress absolutely no one and I get to sh!t on them all season in the press, but they’ll be the ones killing you all on the court. Toss in Greg Polin, Chris Cunningham, and those are some solid bigs. Despite Rugga being involved (secretly one of those Evil Empire guys) this squad is ranked at the top for better or worse, good luck taking them out this season.