Fall 2017: B1 5v5 League Champs: Natural Poppin’

    Patty Cake Patty Cake Bakers the Man
    Guys With Great Hair 61 Natural Poppin 73

    A couple of upsets brought us to a championship game featuring the 3 and 4 seed. The first half say Natural Poppin jump out to an early lead mostly because of their defense. One example of this was when Guys With Great Hair forced a turnover and someone on Natural Poppin yelled "go get 'em Pop". Daniel Popko followed orders and managed to pull off an impressive chase down block. This was part of many great defensive efforts by Natural Poppin who had a very healthy amount of first half steals. The one counter punch that Guys With Great Hair had was going to Jesus Trejo in the post. Jesus created a lot of problems for Natural Poppin with his size down low, putting a lot of pressure on Daniel Popko and the other Natural Poppin bigs. He got his hands on all sorts of offensive rebounds and got a lot of baskets near the rim. For Natural Poppin it was the Michael Baker show with assistance from Kyle Mochnacz. Michael seemed to get the basket legitmately anytime that he wanted to and coupled that with a vareity of Kyrie Ivring-esque finishes. When the defensive started cheating towards him, Kyle would either cut to the hoop for an open layup or spot up for three. Natural Poppin followed their lead to the tune of 6 points halftime lead.

    In the second half it seemed it would come down to which team could slow down the opposing team's biggest threat, Jesus Trejo or Michael Baker. Early in the second half it seemed that Natural Poppin had the better answer for Jesus as Popko had a couple of early block and forced Jesus into tough shots. On the other side Michael Baker still got to the basket at will and seemed to steal the ball every other possession. Popko found some range from three and Natural Poppin started to push the lead out as we creeped into the back end of the second half. Once Guys With Great Hair had to resort to fouling Chris Smith made a couple as did Kyle and Baker. Guys With Great Hair got as close as 8 with about a minute left after a Ravi Netravali three but it was too little too late and Natural Poppin walked away champions of the B1 5v5 West league.

    Scores, Box Scores & Write-Ups

    Regular Season: Week 8

    Click For Previous Weeks: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    B1 5v5 West F17 Basketball League

    Commentary by Michael...

    Minus 1 Cubans 66  MORENAS 40

    Power Rankings & Week 9 Previews

    What’s this? Actual written content for this league? You’re damn right, 1300 words of it for yah. How novel! I do owe you an apology for how sparse the coverage has been this season,  [insert day job-related excuse that you really don’t care about here]. BUT for the end of the regular season, I’m in it. Let’s blow this thing out. Week 9 preview & Power Rankings right here, End of Season Awards & Playoff Prospectus to come, not to mention writeups for the games that haven't happened yet. That's right, actual writeups!

    Anyway, let’s get stuck in.

    Power Rankings (Previous):

    8 (4). Pippen Ain’t Easy (1-7)

    Once we got into the actual games, they took a big dip from my preseason projections. If it weren’t for that Week 1 forfeit win, they would be coming down the stretch looking like the ‘08 Detroit Lions. They’ve had a few moments, but lacking a reliable scorer -- or even a streaky one that could heat check his way into a W -- they’ve been up against it.

    7 (8). MORENAS (1-7)

    MORENAS has held some games close before falling off in the end, but still come into the last week of the season with only a blowout win over the one team below them to show for their troubles. They have the athletes, but don’t seem to have a reliable scorer either, which can really hurt you at this level -- that is, middling rec league ball full of guys who made the local paper that one time tens year ago for their high school double-double. Why such a specific example? No reason…

    6 (6). Minus 1 Cuban (3-5)

    Sure, they’re in 6th but they are a GOOD No, 6. Maybe I’m just biased because they took my team down a couple of weeks ago though, since both their other wins came against MORENAS. They will slow the game and grind you down with their big men, so they will be in virtually every game, but if you can contain their size on the inside, I’m not sure they have the shooters to carry them all the way to a title.

    5 (7). Splash Fathers (4-4)

    This is where things start to get complicated. I plotted out the season for the top 6 teams and came up with virtually nothing, outside of the top two (we’re getting there). I settled on Splash Fathers here (shocker, these Power Rankings are exactly following the standings) because they’ve gone cold the past two weeks after a 4 game winning streak. Digging deeper into that, only the Guys With Great Hair win was really impressive and they had to scrape out a win against MORENAS. Stanowicz-Nesbit-Bennett is a formidable frontcourt, but I’m not sure this team has a real identity to fall back on when the games get close against good teams.

    4 (2). Natural Poppin’ (5-3)

    Lose two games in a row and I have to slide you down, even if it’s my squad. I think from a talent standpoint we can compete with the top of the league, but our shooting has gone cold way too many weeks. Without that, we’re going to really struggle. We have put the only blemish on BDubs march to the top seed, but that came without Drew, so not sure what we can really take from that victory. Let’s just hope the shots start falling soon.

    3 (5). EphCats (5-3)

    This is a team that is built in a sensible way and gets the game playing the style they want. That will take you far. Kubris is a lethal shooter when he starts hitting and doesn’t solely rely on the three ball, killing kids in the midrange. Squires is a perfect second option who can do a lot of things, even if he too often puts his head down from 45 feet and probably should end up with more offensive fouls than he does. Chris Cameron is the surprise name in the Top 10 of Playing Rating right now, but he is athletic as all hell and strings together an all around game that fits the rest of the pieces. Depth is the main question, but when things click with the main guys, sometimes you don’t need anyone else.

    2 (3). Guys With Great Hair (6-2)

    Biggest disappointment with these guys is definitely the hair. Like, it’s fine. But come on, that’s some false advertising. After a rough start to the season, these guys have really come into their own, stringing together five wins in a row. Stephen has gone from serviceable point guard to possible MVP candidate and I’m not really sure when or how that happened; I probably just underestimated him. Lipson will have his games as a shotmaker from time to time as well, but overall it’s not like they overwhelm you with top end talent, they just have a perfectly balanced roster that can throw out a ton of different looks. The real test comes tonight when they get to throw down with No. 1 for the first time since Week 1. Tasty.

    1 (1). BDubs (7-1)

    My preseason favorite actually lived up to the hype! I know, I know, I’m as shocked as you are. This is Drew’s team through and through. I’m not always quite sure how he does it, as his game doesn’t have that smooth, clearly the best guy on the court sheen to it, but damn if it ain’t effective. He’d be atop the Player Rater heap if they didn’t have a game called early for a casual brawl, NBD. Beyond Drew it’s a lot of solid role guys who get the job done and somehow never made their way onto the roster (unfortunately I can’t add people, so for once I’m not to blame for lack of execution). They’re the favorites for the title for sure, but looking at everyone around them, they’re definitely beatable.

    -----

    Week 9 Previews

    6PM: Guys With Great Hair vs. BDubs (-1.5)

    Game of the Week, right out the bat! Hopefully everyone makes it to this one, that’s the real problem with 6PM starts. Last time this went to Double OT and GWGH looked like the clearly better team. A lot has changed since then, but revenge and a No. 1 seed are on the line. BDubs gets the gambling edge, but give me GWGH in the “upset.”

    7PM: Splash Fathers vs. Natural Poppin’ (-16)

    A ho hum near-30 point victory last time doesn’t really do justice to these teams talent levels I would say. I’d say back-to-back losses should drive Poppin’ to have a solid game and get back to their winning ways, but it shouldn’t be a blowout this time around. Give me the Fathers and the points. I’m not saying I’ll shave points to make it happen, but I’m not saying I won’t.

    8PM: Pippen Ain’t Easy vs. Minus 1 Cubans (-14.5)

    The game that never was in Week 1. Pippen is on the hunt for their first true W of the season, while Minus 1 Cuban looks locked into the No. 6 spot (I think; who knows what CAC tiebreakers will be this season) thanks to a loss to Splash Fathers. That gives Pippen more to play for, but for some reason I just don’t see it panning out. Give me the Cubans in a statement win.

    9PM: EphCats vs. MORENAS (+23)

    EphCats ran away with this one in Week 1 despite not having Squires that week. After testing GWGH a few weeks ago, MORENAS has been trending the wrong direction, no showing for the last week I was in the gym for. That doesn’t bode well. I can’t in good conscience set a line higher than this, but give me the win and the cover for EphCats.

    Minus 1 Cubans
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Derek Hand661202022100% 00NA
    Ryan Terp711220022100% 11100%
    Steve Tarpey1710732104250% 2150%

    MORENAS
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    David DeLasMorenas4322210300% 400%
    Jack Paccione107511106233% 00NA
    Mike Perry741000000NA 7114%
    Moneil Abu Speitan010111000NA 00NA

    Guys With Great Hair 62  Natural Poppin 56

    Guys With Great Hair
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Guha Balakrishnan453100000NA 200%
    Joseph Brusch83211002150% 00NA
    Michael Lipson133121008450% 3133%
    Mike Bell320100000NA 3133%
    Ravi Netravali198210303267% 6350%
    Stephen Valacer116221109333% 11100%

    Natural Poppin
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Brett Goldberg032000000NA 00NA
    Christopher Smith184111107571% 8113%
    Cory Varney5301200100% 11100%
    Joe Hoerner99101009111% 00NA
    Kyle Mochnacz1130100000NA 7343%
    Michael Baker166052003267% 100%

    Pippen Ain't Easy 52  EphCats 69

    Pippen Ain't Easy
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Alden Sewell3402000200% 2150%
    Chris Hobbes352411000NA 2150%
    Jedidiah Curtis74011002150% 300%
    Joe Brown1252020044100% 00NA
    Ryan Nelson96310102150% 00NA
    Ryan Webb850110000NA 3133%

    EphCats
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Cam Kubris212020003267% 11327%
    Christopher Cameron662230000NA 300%
    John Squires137053204250% 4125%
    Nathan Cameron211010000NA 200%

    Splash Fathers 54  BDubs 62

    Splash Fathers
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Brendan Collins530310022100% 2150%
    Garrett Stanowicz135202104375% 200%
    Jack Nardi831620022100% 200%
    Matthew Bennett10622010100% 200%
    Max Nesbit1770220000NA 4125%
    Seth Roberts12012002150% 100%

    BDubs
    Player PTS DRB ORB AST STL Blk TURN FTA FTM FTP 3P 3PM 3PP
    Brian Horton741310000NA 7229%
    Drew Holinski156142008450% 4125%
    Justin Veri92211002150% 3267%

Standings B1 5v5 West F17 Thru Week
PTeamRecord%StreakGBPFPA
BDubs8-10.889W6069.8956.67
EphCats6-30.667W3266.5657.33
Guys With Great Hair6-30.667L1263.6761.00
Natural Poppin5-40.556L3375.8966.22
Splash Fathers5-40.556W1364.1164.78
Minus 1 Cubans4-50.444W3454.6752.67
MORENAS1-80.111L6756.0066.33
Pippen Ain't Easy1-80.111L8749.2275.00
Points Per Game
1Christopher Smith
Natural Poppin
24.00
2Drew Holinski
BDubs
21.80
3Cam Kubris
EphCats
20.17
4Michael Lipson
Guys With Great Hair
15.75
5Daniel Popko
Natural Poppin
15.00
6Garrett Stanowicz
Splash Fathers
14.63
7Kyle Mochnacz
Natural Poppin
14.57

Player Rater
1Stephen Valacer
Guys With Great Hair
50.007
2Christopher Smith
Natural Poppin
49.937
3Drew Holinski
BDubs
48.605
4Daniel Popko
Natural Poppin
45.105
5John Squires
EphCats
44.086
6Matthew Bennett
Splash Fathers
43.758
7Jack Paccione
MORENAS
41.105
8Steve Tarpey
Minus 1 Cubans
38.577
9Kyle Mochnacz
Natural Poppin
36.437
10Christopher Cameron
EphCats
35.937

Rebounds Per Game
1Jack Paccione
MORENAS
11.80
2Joe Brown
Pippen Ain't Easy
11.75
3Steve Tarpey
Minus 1 Cubans
11.14
4Matthew Bennett
Splash Fathers
11.00
5Derek Hand
Minus 1 Cubans
10.43
6Daniel Popko
Natural Poppin
10.20
7Stephen Valacer
Guys With Great Hair
10.00

3s Per Game
1Christopher Smith
Natural Poppin
4.4336%
2Cam Kubris
EphCats
3.5037%
3Andrew Duval
Natural Poppin
3.4040%
4Kyle Mochnacz
Natural Poppin
3.2939%
5Daniel Popko
Natural Poppin
3.2048%
6Andrew McGill
Splash Fathers
2.8352%
7Drew Holinski
BDubs
2.8044%

Assists Per Game
1Stephen Valacer
Guys With Great Hair
5.71
2Christopher Smith
Natural Poppin
5.00
3Drew Holinski
BDubs
3.60
4Andrew McGill
Splash Fathers
3.50
4John Squires
EphCats
3.50
6Jack Nardi
Splash Fathers
3.29
7Jedidiah Curtis
Pippen Ain't Easy
3.25
7Matthew Bennett
Splash Fathers
3.25