This League is Absurd…
I couldn’t fall too far behind the curve this early in the season. With a couple of great previews already out there (SML, CO-ED) I had to bring people’s expectations crashing back down to reality with an absolutely terrible effort. Joining yours truly on Tuesday nights will be none other than the Jumpman and Wolverine sharing the duties of ‘officials’. With those two, I use the term loosely, but most of you know them, and what to expect. Towels in the waistband, sheepish grins after/before missed calls, and a whole lot of trash talk back and forth. Should be a great season to be heckling from the balcony.
So let’s take it away shall we? We might as well rename this league B1 West already. Every.Single.Season. the league gets better and better and better. This time around is no different with 9 teams (in my opinion) capable of winning the league title. And that’s without Hurricane Ditka in the league for the Fall. Yea, that means there is very little room for effort on a weekly basis, and something simple like the teams you’re NOT scheduled to play against (3 of them) could make or break your season!
Head to the Message Boards to let me know what you think about the rankings, the season, how much I (and Jumpman, and Wolverine) Suck, etc etc
Let’s break it down for you 12 through 1 style and stay tuned for the Week 1 Lines on Monday!
12 – Alnylium – I swear I had these guys making a run at the title like 2 seasons ago. It feels like an eternity ago with the way the league has evolved so rapidly. I mean seriously, even if Trimarchi and Owens play the entire season, I can’t justify moving them out of the #12 spot in the preview, the league is so loaded. These guys have been ‘my’ team ever since they entered the league (is it like 3 years ago now!?) and throughout all their evolutions. They’re the team that I root for, good or bad, playoffs or no, whether they want the support or not. Hell it may have cursed them. But whatever, they’re like the Clippers to my Sports Guy (yea, sorry about that guys).
Keys to the Season: Teams sleeping on them and forgetting that CD may be the best shooter in B2 history when he gets on a roll, A ‘favorable’ schedule
11 – Team WildCat – Not a lot is known about this team, other than Mike Gentile has been hanging aroudn CAC for a while and should know what it takes to build a contender. Ethan Robert proved he can more than hold his own in the post last season, but hopefully Mike has added some snipers to the roster to spread the D out for him. Lots of unknowns here, so I can’t fairly judge them, but the teams ahead are just so loaded, their brutal schedule could do them in early.
Keys to the Season: Sneaking up on teams, chemistry
10 – The Manute Bollas – I asked B2’s best player ever (BMul) to assess his younger brother’s chances of having an impact on the league. Apparently this team has a dunker (and in B2, who doesn’t now a days?) and some athletic guys that may or may not be able to finish around the rim. So, you know, just a run of the mill new team lurking in the weeds, ready to shake up the league order and make an immediate impact. Unfortunately for them, the top 9 in this league is so freaking loaded it is impossible for them to start any higher than this in the preseason preview.
Keys to the Season: Overpowering every team with their superior size, GingerPower
9 – One And Done – Formerly N.W.O. these guys are in trouble, considering that word on the street is that Q is done for the season with a knee injury. He was a perennial MVP candidate and guy that drew double teams for Diamantides (Are Forever) and Mike D to launch 3s. He’s irreplaceable update. Frankly letting them start this high is a bit of a gift for past performances. They might not get into the postseason and oblige the league by losing their first round game. That’d be a shame, if they’re not any good will Mike D still grace the boards with his 1 AM drunken rants?!
Rumor Update! Mike Kmiec, CAC ref and victim of a Tibbs phantom foul that led to a broken hand, could be joining joining this squad! Talk about turning your back on Genzyme for your ‘leader’s biggest rival’ I love it!
Keys to the Season: Replacing Q, Attendance at the 9:40 PM Games (per request!)
8 – Team Strike Force – I technically only know team captain Armstrong and CAC’s favorite Troll, Kappa Don, but these two alone should put them on the verge of making the playoffs. Hopefully BArms brought some size along with him because this league is loaded with it. If not, it will be a tough uphill battle. But Kappa Don THRIVES in the B2, and if his team makes the playoffs (think Cold Turkey) you better be ready for a battle.
Keys to the Season: Kap’s 3pt%, Kap’s trash talk, Kap Kap KAP!!
7 – The Firm – The most intriguing of the new teams. Nate Mendes, AKA Extreme Speed of Lunch League fame, as finally gone out and recruited his own team to the league. The most notable player on the roster is Arren Perkins. He too could have the Extereme Speed moniker as he will vie with Kahana and Burke for the rights to the “Best Guard in the League” Title. For those of you that don’t remember the carnage that a team called Killa Beez exacted on the B2 East league a year or two ago, you’re in for a treat when you watch ALL DAY AP play this season.
Keys to the Season: AP breaking into the All-Time B2 Stats, Speedy Play
6 – Super JaMario – Somehow, a team that didn’t beat a single playoff bound team (but snuck in anyway) is in my top 6 to open this season. It’s not just the addition of a solid big man (Brian Barrett) but the fact that this team has had a chance to gel for a full season. Everyone knows their roles (Matty, keep cheering, don’t make me call in C-Murda to swat you sh!t!) and everyone knows to get the ball to JBarrett in the second half. Burke nearly averaged a TDub last season, and with Brian to dump it to down low, the team will be more successful AND his stats will get better. Mark it down now, this is my sleeper team to shake things up.
Keys to the Season: Avoiding the Curse I just laid on them, Matty’s cheer leading
5 – Smushing – Freddy Bermont, aka Mr. Fantasy Stat, aka Lighthouse, aka AK’s Sounding Board, has finally had his contract expire with Serenity Now. Felt like an eternity didn’t it? He took his first unrestricted free agent period seriously and broke away to start his own squad. He snipped Fitzy and SN staple, DPoY and entertainer Pockets. Defensive stopper, that one, don’t be fooled by the capris. Add to that one of B2’s most prolific scorers, Ben Gregory, aka the Deft Lefty and you have a solid squad. THEN turn around and add the scibe of CAC’s best run league (SML), who also happens to be the reigning A1 MVP, RoY-VP, and you’re team is a contender. I’m worried about their lack of size but the offense should be on par with the Joes and give teams match-up fits all season long.
Keys to the Season: Rebounding, Wolverine’s Reffing
4 – Genzyme – You’d think that a team with 2 of the top 5 B2 players ever (I’m not talking about Gerrity) PLUS the league’s all time per game assist leader (MNicey) would be able to be ranked higher than #4 heading into as season. But no, that’s not the case. Instead of focusing on those positives, i’m going to focus on the one glaring negative, this team’s depth. After you get past those 3, it’s a grab bag. I’d feel a lot better about this team if Muse was the starting big over FHF (that’s right, HATE HATE HATE). I’d feel a lot better (sadly) if Frail and his random 20 point outbursts were coming off the bench. Don’t get me wrong, this team will be a tough out this season, but I don’t have them pegged as auto-favorites with the current roster. With Gerrity at the controls of the Evil Empire, is it starting to crumble??
Keys to the Season: Depth of the Rotation, FHF’s temper, House Rules Beirut’s attendance
3 – Average Joes – KWesty was easily the GM of the season in the Spring with his two additions breathing new life into the Average Joes franchise. Not only did he bring in contributors, but guys that showed up week in and week out. The Joes, as a result of consistancy, had a heck of a great season. Now, though, the pressure is on. Not only to win, but IMPROVE upon their last season. Jack and Ryan, of course, are the keys. We all know that Sparkles, when he shows, is auto 20 points, and Bar Stool, sober or not, will be launching 3s. What we don’t know is if Jack and Ryan, now with targets on their backs, will keep performing at the same, necessary, level to keep the Joes winners. Oh and Spann is pretty solid too I guess
Key to the Season: 2nd Go Round for Jack/Ryan combo, SPPPPAAAAAANNNNNN!!!
2 – Warrior Country – Entered the playoffs as the # 7 seed last season, only to upend the whole process and win the Division. Kid Flash really wanted that MVP, but he turned it on too late in the season. Can this team play at a high level for the full 9 weeks leading up to the playoffs? That remains to be seen. But 3 out of their last 4 games left such an impression that I’ve got a great feeling about them coming into the Fall session. Or maybe that playoff flame-out was so long ago that I’ve forgotten about their weaknesses and inability to score for stretches of game at a time. Stevey P still wants his GM award, but guys, regular season, try to be better for that, or else you might actually miss out on the playoffs this time around. There will be no sneaking in with a win on the last week of the regular season!
Keys to the Season: Greer, duh, certainly not Kid Flash
1 – Cleary Club – Not one but TWO undefeated regular seasons in a row and nary a championship to show for it. When banners get hung after this sessions, you’re going to see Pick Ya Poison and Scalopini as the B2 champs and have to either have been on Cleary Club, a fan, or be me to remember that they dominated the regular season so thoroughly. Is this the make or break season for them? Not to put undue pressure on Watson (B2’s new all time ppg leader) or Captain Ken (how many B2 teams without a ‘chip in a row now?) but it’s now or never boys. It’s hard enough beating one team 3 times in a season, but trying to beat every team for a third time in a row to go undefeated? Yea good luck with that!
Keys to the Season: Not peaking too early (again), Living up to Expectations, Watson’s gunning for MVP (again)