By Gregory Termolle
6PM: Big Baller Brand (0-7) vs Boom-Shakalaka (5-2)
Big Baller Brand is still searching for their first victory of the season against a tough Boom-Shakalaka team. Boom-Shakalaka won the first matchup between these two teams, 81-47, so Big Baller Brand will be looking for vengeance. Big Baller Brand is coming off of a 124-80 loss against The Alliance, while Boom-Shakalaka is coming off of a 79-55 win against Halfway Crooks.
Boom-Shakalaka’s physicality will be tough for Big Baller Brand to handle because of the limited size they have. Trevor and Jeremy DiMicco are second and third in the league with 15 and 12 blocks respectively, so they’ll be living in the paint waiting Big Baller Brand. Not only that, but Boom-Shakalaka’s three-point shooting has been lights out recently, so if Big Baller Brand comes out and plays zone defense again, it may be a long game for them.
Players to Watch: Brett Cody (Big Baller Brand), Trevor DiMicco (Boom-Shakalaka)
- Cody: Go-to scorer with 23.0 ppg, good for 3rd in the league. If he’s off, it’s hard for Big Baller Brand to stay competitive
- DiMicco: He fills up the stat sheet and does it all, averaging a double-double (15.4 ppg and 11.2 rpg). He’s a daunting presence defensively, and continuously posterizes players on the other side of the ball.
Potential Breakout Players: Mark Keenan (Big Baller Brand), Lucas Martin (Boom-Shakalaka)
- Keenan: Coming off of a 22-point game against The Alliance in Week 7. His size will need to be maximized against a bigger Boom-Shakalaka team in Week 8
- Martin: Averaging 15.7 ppg, but he’s been leading the time in scoring over the past few games, so another big scoring night could be on the horizon
Legacy Leagues Picks:
7PM: Werewolves (3-4) vs Halfway Crooks (4-3)
In the biggest game of the week, these two teams will be fighting for the third-seed in the playoffs. The first game between these two, the Halfway Crooks narrowly edged out the Werewolves, 58-50. With a win, the Halfway Crooks lock up the third-seed, but it would come down to a point-dffirential tiebreaker between the two teams if the Werewolves win this Week 8 matchup since both teams would have the same record. If the Halfway Crooks come out like they did last week, they’ll have a tough time against a Werewolves team that is hungry for revenge. The Halfway Crooks lost to Boom-Shakalaka in Week 7, 79-55, and only managed five points in the first quarter. On the other hand, the Werewolves won their game, 74-60 over the Skyhookers in what was a good team performance.
The Werewolves will need a good game from Brian Heston, and for Gino Forte to step up a bit offensively for them to overtake the Halfway Crooks. They will need their big men to step up and win the battle on the glass to give their team the best chance to win. Meanwhile, the Halfway Crooks will need to come out strong and at times, they’ll need to pick up the pace offensively to try to out-run the Werewolves.
Players to Watch: Brian Heston (Werewolves), Tom Ferranti (Halfway Crooks)
- Heston: His team’s leading scorer (22.4ppg) and rebounder (12.0 rpg), he does it all for them and he’ll have to keep that up heading into the playoffs
- Ferranti: Second on the team in scoring (16.7 ppg), but he creates a mismatch with his size and ability to hit the long ball. The Halfway Crooks will need a big game from him after he struggled in Week 7
Potential Breakout Players: Brad Allen (Werewolves), Dylan Lincoln (Halfway Crooks)
- Allen: Tied for third on the team in scoring (7.9 ppg), but his height and presence in the paint on the defensive end will be the most important thing in this matchup.
- Lincoln: Third on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg). Similar to Ferranti in that he can spread the floor and has the height to force the taller players on the Werewolves to come out to the perimeter
Legacy League Picks:
Mike: Halfway Crooks
Tyler: Halfway Crooks
Greg: Halfway Crooks
8PM: The Alliance (7-0) vs Skyhookers (2-5)
The Alliance are the only undefeated team in the league, and have done it while scoring over 100 points in all but one game this season. The Skyhookers, on the other hand, are on a two-game losing streak after winning two in a row. The Alliance won the first matchup of the season in Week 1, 125-66.
The Skyhookers will have another tough time with The Alliance, especially if they only play with a four-man rotation like they did last game. The Alliance also played with a four man rotation in Week 7, but were still able to blow out their opponent. The Alliance has been too much for the rest of the teams to handle. The Skyhookers will need someone to help Brendan O’Donnell on the offensive side of the ball to try to hang in with The Alliance.
Players to Watch: Max Matroni (The Alliance), Brendan O’Donnell (Skyhookers)
- Matroni: Coming off of a 53-point game in Week 7, and leads the league averaging 36.9 ppg. He’s the main scorer for The Alliance, but he also knows the importance of getting his teammates involved.
- O’Donnell: The leading scorer for the Skyhookers and second in the league in scoring averaging 28.1 ppg. He’s the floor general and everything runs through him on both sides of the ball.
Potential Breakout Players: Brandon Stephens (The Alliance), Kevin Redmond (Skyhookers)
- Stephens: The Week 5 Player of the Week, he averages 19.3 ppg while shooting 48.3 percent from behind the arc, good for fifth in the league.
- Redmond: Averaging 8.0 ppg, but he’ll need to have a big game on both ends of the court for the Skyhookers to keep the game close
Legacy League Picks:
Mike: The Alliance
Tyler: The Alliance
Greg: The Alliance