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 Ms. Basketball Ma’am, this is what you’re getting. Go to the message boards for reactions from players, complaints about my picks, and don’t forget to sign up for next season!!
MVP – Caitlin Vestal, HotDog Toboggan – Amid swirling speculation that she’d retire and leave Wall Ball behind her, Gripp still put up numbers that would make even defensive players of the year weak in the knees. Seriously I tried to give this award to the SlumpBuster, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it as Vesticular absolutely dominated the league once again with her exponential reserves of Fortitude. Now she’s in the redonkulously exclusive 4 time club, of which she’s the charter member. Now the question will be whether she can win back to back titles and if she’s coming back for next season.
Runners Up: Erin Conroy, Sweet Lu
RoY – Warder, Panda Express & LaRocque, Triple Doubles – We’ve got to rename this the Nickle Award after the two Nicoles ran a battle that was too close to call throughout the season. Both of these Ladies were high draft picks at Wall Ball Arena after making a splash in their 5v5 debuts last season. Neither failed to disappoint and I just couldn’t bring myself to choose between them. Both Ladies can score at will and bring a much needed defensive intensity to Wall Ball Arena that is often lacking. I rode Warder pretty hard in the writeups for scoring more in the 5v5 leagues that in Wall Ball, but she picked it up down the stretch and helped lead her team to a bye for the first roound of the playoffs. LaRocque, meanwhile was only one of the most loaded squad in the league and made her presence felt on a nightly basis. For anyone who saw these two play, you can understand why I didn’t pick between them. Plus they have the standout personalities that could be a real asset on the message boards, if only they’d post ever!
Runners Up: Jennie Brown Sugar, Ally Love
Defensive PoY – Jess Hurt, Hoosier Daddy Remixed – The Little Big Hurt was a standout performer on the defensive end, as usual this season, and she’s finally receiving some credit for it. Her quick hands (and feet) landed her in the top 5 in both steals and blocks this season and players had to think twice when trying to score on her.
Runner Up: The Nose
Offensive PoY – Lauren Kelly, Air Raid – How can I not give it to the top scorer in the league who also happens to be accounting for 56.25% of her team’s points. Yea I couldn’t, and on a team that lost its second round pick early in the season and finally broke through with a win a couple weeks ago, I had to recognize LKelly’s efforts on the offensive end. That drop step with the left is absolutely impossible to stop, and she tacks on even more points by being a great free throw shooter.
Runner Up: LJay
GM – Kristen Hurov, Triple Doubles – Gripp calls her the “GM of Life” and who am I to argue with that?? Hurov was able to get a steal with the #6 pick in the draft when Sweet Lu fell to her, don’t expect that to happen again, by the way, and she took advantage. She also had the added benefit of already knowing all aabout Kiley Maguire, aka the TidalWave. As any experienced A1 GM could tell you, it’s always best to slip in a sandbaggin’ pick into the later rounds when no one knows who the player is. Your team will be much better off for it. So yea, now Hurov needs to amp up the motivational speeches for the playoffs to get her squad over the hump. They lost both games to the Express in the regular season, and to have a chance at the title, theyve got to get bye them, it won’t be easy, but the GM of Life should be able to handle it.
Runners Up: JBerr, TKelly
MIP – Kris Vander Platt, Panda Express – Usually I give this award to a returning player that has made solid improvement from the season before. But this season, KVP has improved so much from the opening mark to the final gun, that I couldn’t ignore her for this award. Her steadily improved play has been a key factor in the Express finishing with the 2 seed and a bye. I’ve always been one to vocally proclaim that it takes half a season to get used Wall Ball Arena in your first season. It really does take a while to get used to the enclosed space, the walls, the lack of a baseline and of course, the great officiating. KVP really turned it on the in the second half of the season and she’s given the Express an entire extra offensive dimension that defenses have to deal with.
Runner Up: JBerr
Biggest Fan Award – Hitman – For supporting The Beloved on a weekly basis and being the most vocal, ardent supporter throughout the league. He never failed to have encouraging words for the missus, and no matter the result of any play, he’d be yelling encouragement and support. Every Lady needs a fan like this on their side
Runner Up: Me
All Defensive Team
Jess Hurt – DPoY leads a squad that would be impossible to score on
The Nose – As usual it seems like she comes up with a steal on every other possession
Warder – Disrupts even the most well run offenses
Sweet Lu – Go ahead and try to score on her in the paint, she dares you
All CAC 1st Team
Gripp – Who doesn’t want the 4Time MVP on their squad? Let the bribes for next season’s #1 spot being
Warder – Fan and stat keeper favorite brings it
The Nose – Breakout season once she got out of Gripp’s shadow, challenged for the MVP
LKelly – Offensive force that just cant be stopped, no matter the pressure.
All CAC 2nd Team
Killah Callie – Most mentally tough player in the L
Jennie Brown – Pour some Sugar on Me!!
Sweet Lu – Despite missing time due to injury, the TDubs have a shot at the title with her back.
LaRocque – Tough as Nails and can shoot the Rock to boot
10 Drops Of Knowledge For the Playoffs
10. The biggest question heading into the playoffs is who are the CAC’d N Loaded Ladies going to pick up for the post season. And who will be accepted to play by the opposition, so a stink won’t be risen should CNL make a deep run. Miriam and LJay are playing so well that they only need a couple of warm bodies to compete on a nightly basis, but they want to make a run at the Pump!
9. We’ll stay with CAC’d N Loaded for this one as well, since I probably won’t be mentioning them for the rest of the preview. Just a little disrespect to fire the Nose up for the postseason. Since Miriam had her best season ever at CAC, she was in contention for the MVP award until late in the game. But note the lack of a runner up nod. Yea, just more fuel for the fire. Now that she’s out of Gripp’s Shadow (and the Rainmaker’s) she’s been making things happen on her own that she never had the freedom to do with Icebox. See that ladies, you were holding her back!! So far, all it’s earned her is the last pick in next season’s draft, let’s see if she can get a little postseason love.
8. On average for the Big 4 on the Triple Doubles were at 8 games each this season. A 10 spot for the Tidal Wave, and 8 each for LaRocque and Ally Love, with 6 for Sweet Lu, despite a vicious ankle injury. Talk about getting the most out of your rookies. If only all our women were as dedicated as Hurov got her newbies to be!! That experience together will be a great help in the post season as everyone ALWAYS shows up for the big playoff games. With a shorter, 5 woman rotation, there’s no chink in the TDubs armor, now they’ve just got to put it all together. Anyone of those 4 listed above can go off for 20+, whether is KMag and ROCK from downtown, or Ally Love with the midrange, or Sweet Lu banging the block, these ladies are armed and dangerous. If they get a couple that go off for 20+, look out, as they’re blowing you out of the building.
7. We didn’t get to 7 teams this season, so that meant no bye weeks and everyone makes the playoffs. That’s good and all, but we’re looking to add a seventh team to the league next season, and that means we need more players to sign-up (then show up for the season!). You all know what to do, shoot me an email, it’s really easy. Don’t wait until the last minute, we’ve got a draft to pull off, then I’ve got to make the schedule and full-fill everyone’s special requests (don’t deny it, you know how much I do for you Ladies). So sign-up today!
6. Air Raid is in the sixth and final seed in this tournament, but they got the giant monkey off their backs when they finally won a game a couple weeks ago. That’s a good sign, as no team that entered the post season winless has ever gotten their first W in that first round game in CAC history. So at least they’ve given themselves a fighting chance in the first round. All they’ve got to do is ride the broad shoulders of LKelly, the Mac Truck of the Ladies League. As the reigning offensive player of the year, she’s going to draw plenty of double and triple teams in the first round, but will still find a way. If she can get to 30 points, and as a result have Air Raid get to nearly 60, they’ve got a great shot at pulling off an upset. Roja has really gotten into her role this season as the entry pass to Kelly in the paint, and making sure she gets the ball will be key. Jess, Heather, and LC have all been great at working hard on getting the garbage buckets, and crashing the O glass will be key for their hopes. You never know, the postseason is the time for upsets, just come out and play hard!
5. Hoosier Daddy Remixed, sitting in the 5th seed has had a hard fall after a hot start to the season. Can they regroup and make a run? Callie always turns in up for the postseason, so expect a superhuman effort out of her on Tuesday night. Don’t be surprised when she doubles that 17 ppg average if that’s what it takes to get her squad a win. HDR has the DPoY, and Jess is going to need to use all her tricks in order to slow down the Nose in round one. But with the two most dedicated fans on their side, the home crowd advantage may be enough to lift them emotionally and lead them to a win.
4. With Gripp’s 4th MVP (in a row) this season, the pressure is on to deliver in the playoffs once again. Last season, she got off of the list list that no one wants to be on, the Missing Piece (for all those that don’t have a CAC Championship), and now we’ll see if she can deliver in back-to-back post seasons. Of course, it’s not like she’s on her own, with Brown Sugar, 100Proof Juice and Dime Dropper Hallie on her squad they’re the favorites to take it down. Regular season accolades are nice and all, but a Finals MVP, that’s one of the few awards that isn’t on Gripp’s mantle.
3. A few ladies have the chance to be the first to 3 Women’s 4v4 championships this season. But the frontrunners for that have got to be the former sisters-in-arms, and roomates, the SlumpBuster and 100 Proof Juice. Of course, if you ask either lady, they’ll say they’re the favorite, and for good reason, as both of their teams have a bye in the first round. That mean’s they’ve only got to win 1 game to get to the promised land of the Finals. It would definitely be bragging rights for JBerr, who is stoked by a couple not-so-anonymous supports for her MVP nod, but the 3rd trophy would look nice on her mantle next to all the runner-ups she got this season (hint: No one keeps runner up trophys!!). Conroy, meanwhile, will just continue to shake her head at all the trash talk that goes down off the court and on the message boards, wondering what she’s gotten herself mixed up in, even after 3 years of playing at Wall Ball Arena. She just saves the talk for the court to syke out her opponents, get in their head, then mercilessly crush them.
2. The number of times that Panda Express took down the Triple Doubles in the regular season. It’s a huge mental edge should they meet in the second round. But as the Pats can tell you, it’s really, really hard to beat the same team 3 times in a row during the same season. If both teams are full strength this game could go either way, but the SlumpBuster and Warder have the added benefit of having played together for the entire season. As in most playoff formats, the Finals game may not be the best one of the post season. This game right here, should it happen, could go down as a CAC Instant Classic, one that you won’t want to miss!
1. My pick for the title, it’s the Toboggan over Triple doubles of course. How could I pick against the 4-time MVP and 100 Proof Juice’s stylish tendencies? Hell they’re a squad that’s endorsed by Oscar Meyer, Heinz, VeryFine, As if I wasn’t aware of my basketball inadequacies already, Gripp now has 4 MVPs to my zero, and after last season, the championship count is 2-1. I’m just happy to cheer from the Balcony. This is the match-up that I thought there would be after the inaugural Women’s League Draft went down, and it’s a distinct possibility. It would be great for the league’s Q rating, bump its profile with a great video, and it has all the makings of a great game, seeing as the teams split the season series. That’s right, the TDubs were the only squad to knock the Toboggan off track this season. I expect them to enact their revenge in a Must-See TV Finals.