B2 East 4v4 Awards & Playoff Preview – Spring 2011

For those of you without a message board account

Why don’t you have a message board account? Why are you reading this on the blogs section? Don’t you know if you’re on the message baords you see weekly lines of each and every game (that I cover, usually) and can vote in polls and talk smack to Matt Kaplan!? What’s wrong with you people? Sign-up!

Once again, the B2 East never failed to disappoint me this season. Tons of great teams, characters and subplots to go around as the season progressed. It’s great that so many of the teams come back season after season and it helps build the rivalries, back stories and intrigue. With that being said, it’s time to start thinking about next season as we look back at what went down in the Spring 2011 season! if you want to play in the Fall here’s the link (Fall 2011 Info). Send an email to CACBasketball@gmail.com to save your spot!

Let’s get on with the awards, shall we?!

B2 East Spring 2011 Awards

MVP: Alex Mirabito, Player’s Ball – We can all agree on this one, right? I like to think of the MVP as not necessarily the best player in the league (Alex certainly has a case for that as well) but as the guy whose team would be completely different without him. Coming into the season I had Player’s Ball (nee Cleary Club) as the #7 team in the league. That was before they added Alex. By adding the player that went on to becoming the league’s scoring leader and a tenacious defender, Player’s Ball claimed the #3 seed and is a contender for the league title. Not many guys that score 30 points per game also dish out 5 dimes, relentlessly encourage their teammates and stick around for hours after their game to scout upcoming opponents. Alex was the complete package this season.

RoY: AJ Cufone, Cha-Ching – He was campaigning for the award since week 3 and played great down the stretch to nudge out Bouvier (and obviously Alex, I don’t give major awards to the same player). Sure Cha-Ching would have been good with just Ryan, but AJ brings their play to an entirely different level and gives them a chance to win the league. He’s hectic but under control, he’s going 100 miles per hour but is in complete control of his body. If Cha-Ching is going to win B2, they need AJ playing his best.

All Rookie Team – These noobs had a great first run at Wall Ball Arena and I hope to continue to see them back here

1st Team
AJ, Bouvier, Alex Mirabito, Connor Boyle

2nd Team
Noonan, McAveeney, Eliav, Weinkler

Offensive PoY: Chris Burke, Super JaMario – Ok, so it wasn’t quite the follow-up disaster to his MVP campaign that I made it out to be, but Super J did take a step back this season, so no MVP consideration for him! He still found a way to lead the league in PR and assists, while finishing in the top 6 of rebounds, 3s (per game and %) and rebounds. There’s nothing he couldn’t do on offense. God I need to stop with the compliments. Ok, he wasn’t always focused (50% of the time, it’s tough when I heckle from the balcony) and his team is going to miss him terribly in round 1. Now I feel better.

All Chuckers Team – The chucking was much refrained this season, and I blame the absence of guys like Kap (captaining his own team), Watson, Kahana and their ilk. Hell the best 3 point shooter in the league only average 6 attempts a game! What’s with all the good shot taking I saw this season?
Acosta, Drama, BFred, Tibbs

Defensive PoY: Matt Bouvier, Warrior Country – Tough field to pick from this season as it seems like offense was rampant and blowouts were the ‘it’ thing this year. Tough to really gauge who’s locking down who on D. Bouvier, though, came off the bench for WC and played as hard as he could on every single possession. That often meant boxing out entire teams, jumping over his own teammates to get blocks and diving head first for loose balls. You can’t back this kid down in the paint, and god I hate in shape 20 something year olds still in college (see also: Mirabito, Alex). We’re going to wrap the 5th Man of the Season award into this one as well and call it a day. WC is about to start hauling in the hardware.

All Defensive Team – Good luck scoring on this squad of guys!
Bouvier, Josh B, Haven, Rocco

GM of the Year: Matt Rollinson, Player’s Ball – Not only did he survive the downfall of Cleary Club, but he scouted the pick-up runs hard and came up out of them with the league MVP. Oh and stepped his game up with the departure of Watty and Captain Ken. All in all a solid season for Roly and his power dribble J.
Runner Up: BFred,

Most Improved PoY: North Stars
 – Usually I give this to one player that’s stepped his game up from the previous season or from the start of the season to the end, but this season, it goes to the entire North Stars team. After winning their first game of the season, they had a rude awakening, getting blown out for a couple weeks after. They rallied though, and scared the bejesus out of a few teams down the stretch. It’s tough getting comfortable at Wall Ball Arena, but these guys made the best of it week in and week out.

Most Regressed: Dills, Warrior Country – After winning most improved last season, he follows up his efforts with, that?! Come on man, step your game up in the playoffs if you want to get a championship!

Bridesmaid of the B2 East: Mike Greer, Warrior Country – I stole this from O’Cal last season and plan to keep using the award. The dude just can’t win, he puts up great stats, occasionally hustles, but has loaded his team so much that he barely gets the recognition he ‘deserves’. This is to make sure you know I’m paying attention man!

Where’s Waldo Award – I’m definitely making this a regular feature in the B2 East. This award is still going to recognize the high profile game that seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Do you know where he is?! The list of ‘Where’s Waldo’ receipients is growing in stature, as we’ve had Sparkles and BMul win the first two, and joining them this season is,

Matt Kaplan, Manute Bollas – Dude’s not even ‘really’ in the league, but jumped on as a sub for the Bollas when BMul went down with his seasonal vaginal flare-up. But the Kap that the Bollas got is not the KAP that we’re used to seeing on the floor. He was shy taking 3s, barely yelled ‘assist’ loud enough for me to hear on the balcony and didn’t ruin team chemistry like he’s capable of doing. Here’s hoping for a return of the REAL Kap next season.

All Attendance Team
Sure these guys don’t get the most publicity, or hardly any at all, but the show up every week and bust their hump for their team. And literally, the show up EVERY WEEK!

Mike Parcella – worked his @$$ off on the boards and D
Calvin Tsai – There are Joes that show up each and every week?!
Brian Barrett – Though he gets knocked down twice a week, he always gets back up, Alex’s favorite player in the league, if you didn’t know
Pete McCoubrey – Through the ‘LAYUP’ catcalls, insults on twitter and mockery of his popcorn muscles (wait I haven’t done that yet?) Coubs shows up through it all to contribute to a championship contender

Tibbs Award – So a few of my scribes have gotten into the habit of naming an award after themselves. They base it on how they play the game, and honestly, I kind of like it. So, if you’re a tall dude who should be in the post crashing the boards and finishing around the cup, but instead are drifting around, shooting 3s and not boxing out, you’ll be in contention for this award! Previous winners are Fred Bermont and Noah Spaulding

ME, Law Blog – 6 rebounds per game vs 4 3 point attempts per game? I’m pretty sure that’s not the ratio BFred had in mind when he signed me mid-season. Ah well, at least I get to give myself this nod!

All-Star Squads – Once again, my criteria to make an all-star squad is tough. You’ve got to show, a lot. None of this four game minimum bull sh!t. If you only come to 2/3rds of your team’s games (6 of 9) it’s nearly impossible to make this squad, as you’ll see below. Gotta commit boys! We had a great season and if you’re on the top two teams, you’ll be taking on the B2 South in the East vs South All Star Game! Stay tuned for details!

I’m not going to lie, I had half these players picked out before the week 9 games, I’m pretty sure you can figure out who they are. The last 6 spots were much tougher, I had a total of 17 guys I thought deserved a spot. Vote on who you think is the biggest SNUB on the message boards!

1st Team
Greer, Alex, Rocco, Ryan
2nd Team
JMul, Burke, Bouvier, Josh B
Honorable Mention
AJ, Noonan, Conor, McAveeney

Playoff Preview!

Boards have been quiet the past couple weeks, but I’m PUMPED for the playoffs! We all know that this is Warrior Country’s to lose, right? You’ve all accepted that I hope. I know Alex hasn’t but he doesn’t count (delusional rookie).

Here’s how the teams breakdown heading into the playoffs

#8 – Average Joes
Strengths – Veteran team with (occasionally) good 3 point shooting. Spaeth, when aggressive and Drama when giving it his all on D
Weaknesses – Attendance, living up to expectations, 3 point shooting
Not for Nothing – They’ve won B2 from the #6 seed in the past, can winning it as the #8 seed be that much harder?
Prediction – Give WC a heart attack in the first half but collapse in the second behind 3-18 shooting in the 2nd half as a team.

#7 – Wildcat
Strengths – They play like the most cohesive team in the league week in and week out no matter who they have. 3 point shooting can carry them for long stretches of a game.
Weaknesses – Injuries have killed them and Dowd, you know, playing against A level guys on Tuesday nights. They seem to have a different roster every week.
Not for Nothing – Matty Bells LOVES these guys and that should count for something, right?
Prediction – Put up a fight against Cha-Ching in the first half tonight, but fall by 20.

#6 – Manute Bollas 
Strengths – BMul used to be the best player in B2 history, Hurley is an animal, JMul is the most clutch player in B2 East this season and Roach can get HOT (KT is underrated, he wants you all to know that too).
Weaknesses – Sundell. The up and down offense that can be waaay too reliant on 3 point shooting. BMul is a SHELL of his former self
Not for Nothing – Kap is ready to SUIT UP!
Prediction – Only major upset of the night, as B&J (Mul) lead the Bollas to a close vicotry against the Player’s Ball. Only win in Round 2 if they have KAP on board.

#5 – Bob Loblaw’s Lawblog
Stengths – Rocco, BFred’s 3 point shooting, Rocco, Mike’s hustle, Rocco, deep bench, did Rocco get mentioned yet?
Weaknesses – Not enough head/wrist bands for the rest of the team. CP13 hogs them all. Tibbs turns the ball over A LOT
Not for Nothing – Rocco is the most unstoppable force in the league with a head of steam (not Greer)
Prediction – 1st round win tonight then Tibbs shoots the Blog out of their second round game with WC because he thinks he can hit 6 for 11 again. He can’t.

#4 – Super JaMario
Strengths – Burke’s distribution, Matty’s tenacity. Oh wait.
Weaknesses – missing those 2 guys tonight
Not for Nothing – Josh Barrett is capable of going off for 40+ and
Prediction – Lose by 20 tonight because instead of just mentally not being ‘there’ for the playoffs, Burke physically isn’t there.

#3 – Player’s Ball
Strengths – Well they have the MVP! They crash the offensive boards better than any other team in the league, they never give up
Weaknesses – scoring seems to have fallen off dramatically in the last couple weeks, not good for the playoffs
Not for Nothing – the MVP is also a rookie.
Prediction – tough loss tonight, Alex gets unexpectedly stifled. They’re the only team in the East that would be capable of beating WC in the post-season so that’s too bad.

#2 – Cha-Ching
Strengths – Ouellette’s calm, steadying influence – AJ’s ability to be hectic and under control all at the same time –
Weaknesses – 5 man roster eligible for the playoffs might hamper them with attendance issues that usually crop up late in the summer. Mudarri
Not for Nothing – Got Ruuuun by Warrior Country the first time they met up.
Prediction – They cruise through the first 2 rounds and play #WC tighter the second time around, but fall to the defending East champs in the Finals.

#1 – Warrior Country
Strengths – Can hurt you from all 6 positions (even Pete!), 3 point shooting, their twitter game is the best in any league
Weaknesses – ummm…they bring Bouv off the bench?? Only OB and LeFrenchy should shoot 3s, Greer ‘doesn’t try’
Not for Nothing – For all their East titles, they’ve never won the Unification Game. Can we get better representation out of the East?
Prediction – Win the East (easily) and fall to the defending B2 Unification Champs (Wheels of Steel) in the Uni 4v4 again this season