Sixteen teams started and eight live on for the second day of the Drew League Playoffs. In a postseason with plenty of upsets, rankings are the last thing that matters at this time of the year. Check out today’s four-game preview.
12 p.m. – Problems v. Nation Wide Souljas
In the regular season, Problems came from behind to overtake Nation Wide Souljas and shock them with a one-point victory after a go-ahead transition bucket from big man Kaimyn Pruitt. That was after an opening half that point guard Antonio Biglow declared “horrible” and an all-around effort from the Evil Empire. Nation Wide certainly has the personnel to hang around with Problems, but their defense hasn’t been a centerpiece of their game plan, while Problems hangs their hat on their ability to force stops. Unless Glen Davis shows up for the Souljas or Problems has another “horrible” game, the Swagg Champ and crew just might finish off Nation Wide for good.
1:15 p.m. – Prodigy v. MHP
Intriguingly, these two teams never actually met in the regular season, so there’s no history to analyze to determine how this matchup could play out. For one thing, MHP has a big size advantage, considering DJ Shelton, Nick Young, Victor Rudd, and DeMar DeRozan’s play against the Blazers. On the other hand, Prodigy utterly shocked BB4L, which certifies them as a dangerous team that could potentially sneak up and delete any advantages MHP may have—especially considering MHP’s distaste for playing defense. If Jordan McLaughlin and Bryce Peters do what they did against BB4L, MHP could find themselves just as baffled—and out of the playoffs.
2:30 p.m. – Birdies Revenge v. Redemption
Redemption was one of the very few teams in the league to limit MVP Frank Session’s scoring outbursts in the regular season, but his slack was hoisted by sharpshooter Mike James in that game. Meanwhile, thanks to Game’s rolled ankle, it turns out Birdie’s Revenge can put a pretty mean lineup on the floor when pressed to do so, as Jarrell Tate rang up a season-high 24 points in Game’s stead. Meanwhile, Redemption’s addition of Chris Johnson gives them a certain interior presence Birdie’s may not be able to match. Either Nitty solves Redemption’s defensive scheme or Redemption’s Jonathan Gibson buries Birdie’s with threes, finally ending their reign.
4 p.m. – No Shnacks v. Young Legends.
Don’t leave after Game 3 because the closer might be the most exciting match of the day despite its lack of big names. No Shnacks astounded the league by taking down LAUNFD, stifling a roaring comeback from the four-time champs in the process. Marvelle Harris and Sean Marshall have always played with a chip on their shoulders, and finally justified it with that unlikely win. Meanwhile, Young Legends have been the sneaky good team of the season, with a mesh of Drew League vets that have bounced around the league for multiple seasons. Somehow they avoided the chemistry issues that plagued (and ultimately sank) Ascension last year to become one of the top teams. When these teams crossed paths earlier theis season, No Shnacks came out on top, but since then the Legends have developed a tough-nosed defense and easy chemistry. They may just become the Cinderella story of 2018 (their first season as a team), but No Shnacks is itching to end that story early.