By Tyler Krusz
8:30PM: AVERAGE JOES (0-4) VS HALFWAY CROOKS (0-4)
Both teams have been searching vigorously for their first win, and this week one will finally find it. The Average Joe’s are coming off of a 20-point loss to Prestige Worldwide. The Halfway Crooks had their best defensive game of the season last week, holding the offensive juggernaut Swish Kabobs to only 68 points, their least this season in a game. They lost 68-57 after giving up 30 points in the last quarter.
The Halfway Crooks defense is going to be a tough matchup for an Average Joe’s team that hasn’t really figured it out yet offensively. The Average Joe’s have the second-least efficient offense in the league, only having scored 216 points throughout four games this season. The Halfway Crooks have lost some close games against good teams, as well, taking the Werewolves into overtime and holding a lead over the Swish Kabobs in the second half.
- Hanson: He can shoot the three and finish in a crowded paint just as good as anyone in the league. He has been the standout scorer and the voice of the offense for the Halfway Crooks, leading the team in both points and assists. If he gets going, the Halfway Crooks have other players who Hanson can rely on once the defense starts to focus on him.
- Scavitti: He has been a bright spot for the Average Joe’s this season, averaging 19.0 PPG. If he can get going from deep—something he has yet to do this year—this Average Joe’s team could look a lot deeper and better on the floor.
- Zocco: He leads the team in 3-pointers made, and if he can compliment Hanson’s dribble-drive with a hot shooting night from outside, the Halfway Crooks can compete with anyone in this league, especially with the strength they have defensively.
- Lazzareschi: In Week 1, Lazzareschi showed us that he can be a dominant scorer in this league, but hasn’t been able to follow up. Should he have another big game, as well as Scavitti, the Average Joe’s could be on their way to the win column.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Jared: Halfway Crooks
Tyler: Halfway Crooks
Greg: Halfway Crooks
9:30PM: BOOM-SHAKALAKA (3-1) VS WEREWOLVES (3-1)
In a matchup between two of the four 3-1 teams in the standings, both teams are coming off of very different Week 4’s. The Werewolves are riding high after a buzzer-beater win over the Wild Hogs, 51-49, and Boom-Shakalaka is looking to rebound from their first loss since the Fall 17 Championship Game. The Werewolves ride their two best scorers, Brian Heston and Gino Forte, who average 23.8 and 16.0 PPG, respectively. The only issue is, no one else on their roster averages more than 7.0 PPG. Boom-Shakalaka is no Wild Hogs, either, so they’re either going to need more from Forte and Heston or more from their role players.
Boom-Shakalaka is coming off of a 84-68 loss to the Green Squad in Week 4, but didn’t have standout rookie Nate Stitchell. In his one game this season, Stichell put up 20 points efficiently, shooting 50 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from deep. Boom-Shakalaka struggled offensively without Stitchell, shooting only 38.6 percent from the field in Week 4’s loss. A bright spot for Boom-Shakalaka was Brandon Sweeney, who is a force on both sides of the ball with his height and the range on his jumper.
- Heston: Heston is the third-leading scorer in the league with 23.8 PPG, and is the league-leading rebounder as well with 49 total. If Heston can score like he usually does, it will focus the defense on him and create opportunities for the rest of the Werewolves.
- Sweeney: Sweeney is coming off of a huge week in the loss against the Green Squad, putting up 35 points on 13-of-25 shooting. His size makes him a force in the paint, both offensively and defensively, and his 3-point shot makes him one of the most interesting players in the league. One minute, he can knock down a three regardless of defense, and the next he can go coast-to-coast and dunk on someone’s head.
- Allen: Allen has to be soaring still from his buzzer-beater last week that led his team to victory. In sports, mentality is everything, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Allen continued coming in clutch for the Werewolves.
- Martin: Martin was an All-Star in the Fall 2017 season and remains one of the better shooters in the league. He had an off night last week, and Boom-Shakalaka isn’t used to losing. Look for Martin to try and get hot early and stretch the floor with his limitless range.
Legacy League Picks:
9:30PM: WILD HOGS (0-4) VS GREEN SQUAD (3-1)
Green Squad is coming off of an impressive double-digit win over once-undefeated Boom-Shakalaka in Week 4. Until this point, the story of the season for this team has been the two-headed monster that is their offense: Victor Kashouh Jr. and Cody Crawford. However, last week Greg Holt woke up and added a third head to the offensive beast by pouring in 31 points and 11 rebounds. Kashouh Jr. and Crawford are both lights out from deep, and the three players alongside Jordan Ferretti add a really tough offensive system to stop. Kashouh Jr.’s athleticism translates to the glass and the defensive side of the ball, as well, making his squad extremely tough to score on.
On the other hand, the Wild Hogs are coming off of a heart-breaker against the Werewolves, a game where they led by double-digits in the second half and ended up losing at the buzzer. The Green Squad has the best scoring offense in the league (336 total points), while the Wild Hogs sit in the cellar of that category with 203 total points.
- Kashouh Jr.: Coming off of an impressive triple-double in Week 3, Kashouh Jr. let the other offensive weapons do the scoring last time out while he took a backseat. His presence was still felt on both sides of the ball, and his speed and athleticism matches up well against the Wild Hogs. With Kashouh Jr., he has multiple offensive skills to rely on, including his posterizing ability and his outside shot.
- Coro: Coro has made himself known this year with his outrageous dunks, whether there are defenders in his way or not. His height and jumping ability make him almost impossible to guard once he gets a running start. Look for the Wild Hogs to utilize their best offensive weapon in one of their toughest matchups to date.
- Ferretti: Ferretti is an outstanding athlete with a great basketball IQ. He averages 15.0 PPG, but is only the fourth-best scorer on his team. Holt’s last outing should be deserving of some extra attention defensively, so Ferretti could potentially see a lot of open looks this week as the defense game plans for the other three scorers.
- Betancourt: Betancourt takes a back seat in the offense with Mike Bandieri and Joey Coro taking most of the shots. Green Squad plays smart defense, and Bandieri and Coro may have no choice but to let Betancourt run the scheme while they play off the ball. He has good handles and can get himself in good positions to score, and could be a sleeper in the Green Squad’s defensive plan.
Legacy League Picks:
Jared: Green Squad
Tyler: Green Squad
Greg: Green Squad
10:30PM: SWISH KABOBS (4-0) VS PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE (3-1)
In one of the better matchups this week, Prestige Worldwide will look to hand the Swish Kabobs their first loss of the season. Prestige Worldwide is coming off of a blowout victory over the Average Joe’s, 75-55. It’s impossible to talk about Prestige Worldwide without mentioning their star player Bryan Yarce, who leads the league with 29.3 PPG. Yarce makes a huge difference for this team, who was handed their only loss on the season in the one game he missed. They also feature Shaine Patrick, a dominant force in the paint on both sides of the ball. Patrick is the league leader in blocks, and also averages 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
On the other bench, the Swish Kabobs look to remain the only perfect team left this season. They’re coming off a victory that was too close for comfort over the Halfway Crooks, 68-57, in a game where the offense was a little slow to get going. They have one of the deepest teams in the league, and have great point guards who find open shooters like it’s their job. The Swish Kabobs have the second-best scoring offense in the league with 311 total points through four games, and if they can find a way to minimize Yarce and Patrick’s impact, they can win this one with ease.
- Massey: He’s a high-flyer and a shooter at the same time, and when he gets going he is impossible to stop. With great point guards featured on Swish Kabobs, he should have no problem getting set up for good shots and drives to the basket.
- Yarce: Yarce is one of the purest scorers in the league. He is able to drive to the hole and finish, and shoot the three contested or not. If he brings his A-game, it’s going to be extremely tough for the Swish Kabobs to pull away with a victory.
- Valenzuela: Valenzuela usually handles the point guard duties for the Swish Kabobs, and is a pass-first type of player. He’s able to draw the defense in and dish it out, and doesn’t shoot much, only attempting six field goals in his last game. If Valenzuela can get his shots off, he can add another double-digit scorer to the Swish Kabobs roster.
- Fraiellie: With Yarce absent a few weeks ago, Fraiellie led the team in scoring with 16 points. If the Swish Kabobs can game plan to slow down Heston, look for Fraiellie to be the next man up. Prestige Worldwide has the most assists of any team in the league, and it’s because they have guys that Yarce can find and trust to score.
Legacy League Picks:
Jared: Swish Kabobs
Tyler: Prestige Worldwide
Greg: Swish Kabobs