FRIDLEY: Winless Bandits Look for Answers
Josh Hoyle and the winless Bandits face the Heat (1-3) tonight
Week 5 Fridley Predictions
Bandits (0-4) vs. Heat (1-3) 7:00pm
These two are very familiar with one another. Both teams consist of members mostly from Fridley pick-up ball. Before the season, I would have leaned towards a Bandits win. Four weeks in, the Bandits have looked awful and the Heat have been competitive. This week, there is that rivalry and the Bandits will forget all about their record. It will be shocking to me if this one is won by double-digits. One person that needs to step up is Egal Gorse. He needs to match the athleticism, aggressiveness, and intensity that Kourouma brings. If he allows him space, Kourouma will be tough to deal with all game. If the Heat can get the Bandits to play pick-up style basketball, the Heat should have no problem winning this one. Since the Heat have more run away potential, I have them as the favorite. Plus, I expect Cannon to make up for the missed lay-up to give the Heat the win last week.
Heat by 6
Hand Down… Man Down (2-1) vs. Cobra Kai (3-1) 8:00pm
Match-up of the Night. HDMD come into this one with only one good performance (last week vs. Bandits). Cobra comes in with a good showing in all four of their match-ups. Both teams match-up well against one another, however, one player that presents a mismatch is Helmy. This is where the size of HDMD comes into play. Cobras energy and teamwork usually would be able to figure out a way to stop someone of Helmy’s size without too much damage from other players. In this case, that’s going to be a tough task with the perimeter talent HDMD puts on the floor. The addition of Jansen last week really upgrades CK moving forward. One thing to keep an eye is the Vegas Tourney. It will be interesting to see whether DuPont and Jansen will be on their way to Sin City before tomorrow nights game or not. If they won’t be in attendance, HDMD should be strong favorites.
HDMD by 7
Noisy Withdrawal (2-2) vs. Fob Five (1-3) 8:00pm
If both teams come in at full strength, it will be a good one. Fob Five have had the most difficult schedule in Fridley so far. Their defense has been very strong in the early going (4th in points allowed and 2nd in steals). One thing they’re missing is points (10th) and not shockingly, they are 10th in assists as well. They need to get the ball moving if they want to beat the Noisy zone. On the Noisy side of things, they have been inconsistent which isn’t much of a surprise. They also come in bottom six in every major statistical category. The advantage Fob Five has is their ability to cause turnovers, and Noisy has 47 turnovers in four games. Logic tells me that I should go with Noisy since they play a very good zone (which is designed to allow a lot of quick perimeter shots), and Fob Five shoots a pathetic 18%. That said, Fob Five are due to start making their threes and this game is the perfect chance to do so. I’ll go out on a limb a bit and roll with Fob Five (even though I‘d pick Noisy with a gun to my head). If it‘s close, we‘ll here the echoes of “Let’s Gooooooooooooooo!” in the second half.
Fob Five by 2
Sphinx (2-1) vs. Bulls (3-1) 9:00pm
This is a match-up I’m looking forward to. It should be a defensive battle as both of these teams come in as the #1 and #2 teams in terms of defense. Not only that but both squads are top four in blocks and rebounds. The main advantage the Sphinx have over most teams in Rec is the length of Byrne. Lucky for the Bulls they have two guys that can match-up with him (Chase and Dudinsky). The Sphinx however, play much better team basketball. If the Bulls continue to play isolation ball, the length of the Sphinx should make it very difficult for the Bulls to get easy buckets. If Phelps can get the Bulls to get some ball movement going I expect them to grab the W. Will Phelps keep his team composed (last week was out of control), and get them to work off one another? I think he will, and that should be enough.
Bulls by 5
Zomp (1-3) vs. Avengers (4-0) 9:00pm
Zomp can keep up with most teams because of their energy and 3pt shooting. One team that really wont matter against is the Avengers. If the Avengers go through Maher, they will score 75% of the time as Zomp has nobody to match is size and quickness. One thing Zomp has is one of the only players that when hot, can match the Legend of Zhao bucket for bucket, Mr. Johnny Webb. They will need a HUGE game from him to keep this one relatively close. Zomp is 2nd in the league in 3pt % (41) and is 1st in 3pt attempts (31.3). If the Avengers don’t close out on the perimeter shooters, Zomp will stick around longer than expected. I’m predicting the 170+ combined points between these two teams with Avengers reaching the century mark. Look for three Avengers to make the PPR leader boards.
Avengers by 29
Last Week Players of the Week: The Legend of Zhao (Avengers) finished 17th in PPR (7.9) with 19 points (but took 21 shots), 8 steals but 6 turnovers… Chase (Bulls) finished 4th in PPR (19.0) with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds, also threw in 4 blocks… Samuelson (HDMD) DNP due to reschedule.
Last Weeks Darkhorse Player of the Week: Kourouma (Heat) had a horrible game finishing 40th in PPR (2.6) only recording 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 blocks. Expect a better performance this week.
Players of the Week: Maher, Zhao, and Bergrud (Avengers), Helmy (HDMD), Halverson (Fob Five)
Darkhorse Player of the Week: Williams (Heat)