Week 3 Preview

Week 2 is in the books and it was a doozy. Redemption and Ascension was a slugfest, as promised, with Redemption coming out on top and exposing the chinks in Ascension’s armor—namely, that they need to find a way not to become I Can All Stars 2.0, with Vince “Body Snatcher” Camper still doing all the heavy lifting despite surrounding him with shooters and stars.

That minor war of attrition was followed up by the shootout between MHP and Legacy, a fast-paced matchup that left everyone in the gym as breathless as the players on court, with its up-and-down pace, insane tempo, and many, many, many attempted long twos.

Coming up this week, we’ve got some intriguing-looking matchups, including the return of the Houdini-Clozers rivalry—the first in both teams’ current iterations. While Houdini’s All Stars won’t have to compensate for the presence of Dwayne Polee, the Clozers likewise have never played a Houdini’s team without G-Money Garrett Nevels or Corey “The Guillotine” Allen.

The addition of Gerry Blakes to Houdini’s Problems adds another new wrinkle, as does Clozers’ recruitment of Myles Johnson and Ethan Thompson. However, the Swagg Champ, Antonio Biglow, remains the captain of Houdini’s ship for the fifth year in a row, and he won’t be looking to end his perfect run against the young bucks just yet.

Meanwhile, Hank’s Panthers have looked outstanding to start the season, with a 2-0 record coming into Saturday’s game vs. Baron Davis’ New Edition, a team which struggled to find its chemistry in Week 1, but added Justin Johnson in Week 2 and became a beast.

Watch out for Mr. Efficiency to get back to his old ways now that he’s got his sea legs back, and don’t discount the possible return of Brandon “B. Dot” Armstrong, who put in a strong showing a couple weeks back. Daryl Arnold and the big cats will have their work cut out for them.

On Sunday, an IE No Shnacks team riding high from their win over the previously undefeated BB4L will look to repeat the feat against undefeated (this season) Birdie’s Revenge, which has consolidated and looks meaner and tougher to beat than ever. DrewLeague.com’s own Trinity Elliott has an expanded preview here.

Sunday’s other big game will have fans wanting to arrive early. Game 2 features a Reapers group that has gone from the basement to the lobby elevator overnight, and Katin Reinhardt and Malcolm Thomas are the operators, pressing the button for the top floor.

Last season, there was talk of drumming the San Diego team out of the league. After Week 2, the gym was left wondering if they could make it to the playoffs for a redemption season. Their first big test will come against a slumping NWA team looking to find a way to mesh its talented core of veteran big man Mark Dawson, with young, athletic wings Taylor Statham and “Bazooka” Joe Udeoji. If they can figure out their offense, they’ll be a sneaky killer, picking off weaker teams at leisure, and surprising the top teams in their division.

The snack bar this week will be Lady Ware’s famous tacos, and Ray will be out back serving up Philly ice. There will be 14 games total—7 each day. Back to backs this week are Houdini’s Problems vs. Clozers and ICEO, and Panthers vs. New Edition and Redemption. Let’s see who produces, and who brings the excuses!