B2 East Awards Fall 08

With 10 Drops of Playoff Knowledge

Heading into this season’s playoffs, I’m obviously going to give you highly anticipated awards, but instead of a playoff preview, persay, I’m going to be change it up just a bit.  You’ll be getting 10 Drops of Knowledge, things you should know about the teams that are going to duke it out for their respective titles.  What’s that, you don’t like my idea? Well LaDiDa Mr. Basketball Man, this is what you’re getting.

MVP – Fred Bermont, Serenity Now – Mr. Fantasy Stat should probably split this award down the middle with his teammate Captain Ken, as Freddy really turned on the after-burners once AK picked Ken up off the waiver wire and he opened the offense up.  Heck maybe he should split it with AK too.  But Freddy earned it, as he once again led the league in Player Rater, rebounds, and even assists this season!  Serenity Now has the third seed again this season as well, and we’ll see if this MVP can make a deep run in the playoffs.
Runners Up: AP, Big Ragu

RoY – Ben Plesser, Crushers – This was by far the toughest award to decide, infaninately more so than the MVP.  We had so many deserving B2 East candidates this season that Five Hard Fouls and I went back and forth on.  Just look at that Runners Up: list, I’ve never put so many guys on it.  But Plesser took the cake with his huge second half of the season and leading the Crushers to the #4 seed and a bye in the first round.  Seriously, look at the numbers for Shaggy.  22-10-5 with 2 steals!! His jumper really came around in the second half of the season.  I said it in the Women’s awards and I’ll say it again, I’ve ALWAYS thought that it takes at least half a season to really break out and learn Wall Ball Arena’s angles , get used to ref and start to get the Js falling on both rims.
Runners Up: Vinny DiMento, AP, Big Ragu, Ben Gregory, Siaffa Golafie

Defensive PoY – Arren Perkins
, Killa Beez – He’s the guy that made the Killa Beez work.  There were a lot of worthy candidates for this award too, but in the end, it came down to the little man versus all the bigs.  And you know what, the little guy stacked up.  AP, Purple Jesus, was a one man press in the back court at C.A.C. and hassled every ball handler in the league.  His quick hands led to nearly 3 steals a game, and when the D was on point, the Killa Beez offense was absolutely unstoppable.
Runner Up: Jon Evans

Offensive PoY – Jake Acosta, Average Joes – Like there was really any competition here.  Bar Stool Acosta dropped 30 on a nightly basis and had more than his fair share of 40 point nights.  The man is on point from downtown, and when the ‘3 pointers made’ stat becomes official next season, I would be willing to bet that he beats out the field for most made next season.  Yes, that’s right, I just dropped a nug of info about one of next season’s stat changes in the awards.  Will the rest of the leagues take notice and see it? Probably not.  But back to Acosta.  Now that he’s snuck his team into the postseason, expect even more fireworks.  It’s win or go home, so the Joes know who to get the ball to.
Runners Up – Ben Gregory, BALCO

GM – Karl Magloire, Killa Beez – Take is away Five Hard Fouls “This is a no-brainer. Karl for the Killa Beez. They are like the Suns of the league (the 70 PPG is impressive). To put that roster together to get to 8-2 (and I think they are an appropriate team in this league) is awesome. You can’t really give an MVP to that team, but if I had to pick one, I NOW would probably go with Arren. I’m so impressed with his intensity. Think about this fact: all five dudes on the team have a 30.0 rating or better. This is Ainge-like on Karl’s part.”  I couldn’t have said it any better myself, so I didn’t even try.
Runner Up: AK

All Defensive Team
Arren Perkins – 
DPoY gets a few more props before it’s all said and done.
Jon Evans – 
Led the League’s stingiest defense in points against
Pete G – You try scoring against the former Amherst standout
Joff Spaulding – I gave a lot of love to the big guys this season

All CAC 1st Team
Fred Bermont – 
Whoo back to back MVP!
Ben Plesser – Give the ball to Shaggy and get out of the way
Vinny DiMento – Cha-Gina worked this season because Vinny was a BEAST
Arren Perkins – AP’s endless energy worked into the Beez favor 

All CAC 2nd Team
Pete G – 
Big Ragu adjusted to the league and still dominated
Greg Noel – Gotta give so Love to the crews holding down Morse
Siaffa – Lots of love for the Beez in my awards
Jake Acosta – Don’t let Bar Stool set up shop outside the three point line

All CAC 3rd Team
Ben Gregory – 
The deft lefty was another unstoppable scorer
Ethan Chang – Uuuuuuuusok!
John Evans – 
Its all about the team game for GSD, but I’m sure theyll be ok with me giving him a nod here
Bob V – Homeland Security’s goto guy snuck them into the playoffs

10 Drops Of Knowledge
It’s not the traditional playoff preview, but I’ll be yakking on about the teams that make the post season.  We wanted to be as inclusive as possible, so in a huge 14 team league (which we’ll have do again) we let 12 have the chance to make a magical run to get on a Banner at Wall Ball Arena

10.  The three double digit teams are the long-shots to win it all are still getting some love in the min-preview, fact-dropper, whatever the hell thing this is.  Two of these teams, Homeland Security and the Mullets had great starts to the season before tailing off considerable in the second half.  Maybe they just need a little tough love in order to get back on track.  The Joes, well, if you’ve been on the message boards at all in the past day, you know that story, so I won’t rehash it here.  None of the first round games are going to be easy ones, but they’re certainly winnable.  My favorite of the 3 to advance has got to be the Joes.  Sure they’re shorthanded, but when you have a guy that can go off for 40+, you’re never really out of a game.  Plus we’ve just started and I’ve already gotten to pick against Cha-Ching.

9. Who doesn’t love the 8/9 game?? They’re fighting for a chance to take on the the top seed in the league and the opportunity to make a name for themselves as dragon slayers, knights in shining armor, or what have you.  We’ve got the head scratching BALCO squad against the underachieving (according to Five Hard Fouls) Channel 4 News Team.  And you know what, I have no idea who to favor in this game.  Either of these teams could go on to knock off the GSD Squad that awaits them in the first round, or both could flame out.  I have to give the nod to Balco because they have the two best players in the game (in my opinion) in Ben Gregory and Matt Gill.  Seriously, these guys are going to burn you from the inside and out.  But you know what,, it may not matter, I haven’t seen C4NT at all this season and I love not actually knowing what’s going to happen.  Do you know the burden I bare by usually knowing everything that’s going to go down in these leagues? It’s not easy, but someone has to deal with it.  That’s why you’ve got me.

8.  Ah, there is nothing that I like more than a full slate of games.  That’s a lie, I love playoff time because by the time the second round rolls in, we’ve got a shorter schedule and get out early.  Well not this season.  With byes in the B2 East, we’ll have 8 teams in both of the first two weeks of play.  That means 4 games and I’m not leaving until 10:30.  You’re welcome, again with my sacrafices.  I’m going to go ahead and say that its a disadvantage for the top teams to have a week off from playing together and staying in shape, especially over the Turkey Day break.

7. Lucky number 7, and it falls to Cha-Gina this season.  Mudarri-Sour paid off a bunch of good ballers to put up with him for a season, and one season only apparently, and it worked.  Sure they weren’t able to beat nemesis Cha-Ching (Great constant insult on the team name by the way, I love it), but they were able to take the Killa Beez down a notch and give themselves some confidence riding into the playoffs.  But Weapon X is right, if Cha-Ching wants to be successfull, they’ve got to get TwoGuns Toohill into the offense more.  I swear he’s the only sane one when he’s on the floor.  With Vinny D and Gingersnap running around like maniacs, it’s usually an effective attack.  We’ll see if they can readjust to life at Wall Ball Arena quickly.  I’m sure they’d be happy just to last longer than Cha-Gina.

6. Ah yes, Canal Park Posse is the 6 seed, and although I haven’t always known who was who all season long, I know they’re contenders.   After steamrolling through the C League, CPP decided to step their game up, and move to the B2 East.  Needless to say they’ve made the adjustment just fine, and just lost out on a bye due to the tie breakers.  You’ve all heard about Pete G, the Big Ragu enough in these awards and its time to spread a little love. These guys have a roster that rolls about 10 deep, and sometimes it seems like 20.  Guys like Chopko, Pips, and JOp have been key contributors to a team that has turned some heads.  And you know what, they could make a run, as they get the undersized Mullets in round 1, and a revengee game against SN in game two.  I wouldn’t put too much money against these guys.

5. With Cha-Ching grabbing the #5 seed, and Cha-Gina with the 7 spot, these two rivals aren’t going to meet unless there are a couple Cinderella runs to the Finals.  Clearly, neither team came through with their promised bribes of beer, or else they’d be on the same side of the bracket.  But enough about Cha-Gina, I get to them later.  Cha-Ching has had its fair share of playoff ups and downs, but with the team assembled as it currently is, they’ve got some championship experience on their side.  The question is, whether they got in any practice at CAC over the weekend.  Making the transition from the HotBox to Wall Ball Arena is never easy after an entire season shooting at the slab backboards.  But scorers score, and that’s what Greg Noel does better than almost anyone in the League.  Plus it’s not like Weapon X has never played here before, he knows what’s going on.  The Wolverine won’t be around for them to berate, but I’m sure they’ll save plenty of venom for O’Cal on Tuesday night when they face off against the Joes.

4. The number of games that the 5-12 seed would need to win just to get to the B2 Unification match against the West side.  It’s going to be a long, tough road for them, but it’s been done before.  They’ll all have to start out by facing very tough teams in the first round.  Most of these squads are very similar and if we have 4 upsets, it wouldn’t surprise me.  Then they have to hope that the top seeds are just a tad rusty from a week off and ingesting a whole lot of food over the long weekend.

3. I’ve got 3 Dark Horse that you MUST watchout for in these playoffs.  These are my teams that, maybe they weren’t the best throughout the season, but their bracket breaks down so they’ve got a great chance of making a deep run and ruining everyone’s bracket like a March Madness Cinderella.  They are – BALCO, Cha-Gina, and the Crushers.  Sure the Crushers ended with a 4 seed and a bye, but they didn’t really turn it on until the end of the season with the emergence of Ben Plesser as a legit MVP candidate.  If they can just get Joe Hunt to muscle his way inside with Jack G, these guys are going to make some serious noise.  You know that means I’m picking against Weapon X and Cha-Ching in the second round.  The other two teams are legit middle of the packers that are better than their regular season records.  Cha-Gina will be favored in the first round by everybody except Weapon X, but should handle Homeland Security.  Then they get a second round match with the Killa Beez, the first game of the Beez Redeem Tour.  If Cha-Gina brings their Morse game over to the CAC, they could knock them off for the second time.  That would mean a trip to the Semi-Finals.  At that point they’re riding momentum and anything could happen.  The same type of scenario is possible for BALCO, if they can get past that first round game, they match up well with GSD and won’t score as few points as they did the first time they met up.  Of course, by fingering these teams to do well, I’ve now given them my kiss of death.

2. It’s been two years since AK has taken home a B2 title (All the way back in the Fall 06, when he had PK making the B2 rounds with him).  I’m not saying that this team is as good as that one was, but it’s his best chance at a B2 title in a long time.  He’s got the two-time MVP on his squad, a #3 seed, and the best mid-season pickup of the season in Captain Ken Cleary.  Ken’s intensity on both ends of the floor has really lifted Serenity Now in the second half of the season, and they head into the playoffs as the hottest team in the league, with 6 straight wins.  Sure they match-up horribly with the Killa Beez, even with Ken, but they’ll take their chances.  As usual, I expect great game planning from AK and execution from his team.  It’s been far too long since he’s gotten a B2 banner, and there is no time like the present, especially if the band is breaking up.

1. The Dream Rematch, GSD versus the Killa Beez is the match-up that everyone (read: me, since you all want your own teams to win) wants to see.  It could happen, but if you know anything about playoff basketball at CAC, then you know that it’s rarely the teams with the best regular season records that meet in the finals.  Funny things tend to happen in the playoffs.  If both teams want to avoid upsets, they’re going to have to bring it every night.  GSD needs to find the defensive intensity that led them to knocking off the Beez.  Those same Beez need to find that offensive swagger that had them blowing teams out by 40 in the early going.  Hitting 3s will be key for both teams, as that’s the easiest way to jumpstart both offenses.  When it all comes down to it, I think the GM of the Year will have his boys amped up for the rematch, and the Beez will be the ones to put their names on the banner.