Bakke's Bombers Look to Drop the Bulls to 0-2
FRIDLEY REC+: Week 2 Predictions
By Jake Gave | Fridley League Coordinator
7 p.m. - #6 Bulls (0-1) vs. #4 Bakke’s Bombers (1-0)
Our first game of the night will pit the #6 ranked Bulls against the #4 ranked Bakke’s Bombers. The Bombers were lucky to escape week one with a win and they will have to play a lot better this week if they want to take down the Bulls. The Bulls lost last week to a tough Bigsmash squad and will do whatever it takes to avoid an 0-2 start. Neither of these teams were very effective in week one shooting from long distance so I expect to see a lot of points in the paint for both squads. The Bombers will need to improve on their abysmal free throw rate of 14-29 if they want to pick up the win.
One thing to watch for in this game will be how Da’Jon McKnight and Derek Hamner bounce back from rough shooting performances in week one. These two will likely lead the team in scoring and rarely have two bad games in a row. The Bulls do lack a true big man which could cost them in this matchup against the Bombers who are full of forwards and big men. Watch out for Lomumba Ismail and Valentino Jackson to have big games on the offensive glass. The Bombers were the only team to knock off the Bulls last season and I predict that they will do just enough to make it two in a row.
PREDICTION: Bakke’s Bombers -2.5
7 p.m. - #5 Uncle D.A. and the Killers (1-0) vs. #7 Wolves (0-1)
In our other 7 p.m. matchup on the far court, the #5 ranked Uncle D.A. and the Killers will look to improve to 2-0 when they take on the #7 Wolves. The Killers made a great first impression by taking down Team FOE in the season opener, but the Wolves provide a much tougher challenge. The Wolves lost to a very talented FOB Five team last week but took them down to the wire. Both of these teams were very efficient from the field last week but they both struggled to take care of the ball and had double digit turnovers. We’ll see if that sloppy play continues or if they can clean it up after shaking off the opening night rust.
One guy that the Wolves will want to key in on is Kali Terry. Kali, a UH vet who last played in 2015, led the way in last week’s win with 19 points. He was effective slashing the paint and also hit 3 of his 4 attempts from deep. Eric Spanier will need to continue to be the playmaker for this squad and build on his 7 assist performance from last week. The Killers will also have to step up on the defensive end if they want to take down the Wolves. The Wolves are loaded with pure scorers and some of the league’s top shooting talent. Guys like Bryan Munsell, Neal Anderson, and Hans Albrecht will make you pay if you take any possessions off. The Killers do have the size and athleticism to hang but the Wolves have been playing together for so long that I have to pick them in this early season matchup.
PREDICTION: Wolves -6.5
8 p.m. - #9 Triple Double (0-1) vs. #3 Bigsmash (1-0)
On the far court in our second round of matchups, the #9 ranked Triple Double squad will take on the #3 ranked Bigsmash team. Triple Double got off to an 0-1 start after falling just short of pulling off a comeback win. That comeback win would have been especially impressive considering they had to play the last 8 minutes 4v5. Bigsmash on the other hand had a very impressive opening night as they took down last season’s #1 seeded Bulls. Both of these squads flexed their defensive muscles in the opening week. Triple Double held Bakke’s Bombers to 41 percent shooting and 70 points while Bigsmash held the Bulls to 62 points on 35 percent from the floor. This game will no doubt be a defensive battle and a low scoring affair.
One of the keys for Triple Double in this game will be how they plan on slowing down Joe Suek. Joe had a huge night in week one as he posted the league’s highest PPR on the night. Joe is the driving force both offensively and defensively for this squad and they will have to make someone else beat them. Unfortunately for Triple Double, their best defender in Mejoy Lawson will not be in attendance. This means that someone else will have to step up and team defense will be key. Triple Double is also severely lacking in size and stopping Glen Fair and Brock Zins will also be a challenge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try a 2-3 zone in this one. Not having Mejoy will be a big loss, so I expect Bigsmash to take care of business tonight.
PREDICTION: Bigsmash -15.5
8 p.m. - #8 Jumpshot Hustlers (0-1) vs. #2 FOB Five (1-0)
In our other 8 p.m. matchup, the #8 ranked Jumpshot Hustlers will look to pull off a big upset and take down #2 FOB Five. The Jumpshot Hustlers had a few big upsets in the early part of last season before falling off down the stretch. One of those upsets was against this FOB Five team and I’m sure that FOB hasn’t forgotten about it. The Hustlers lost their first game to the #1 ranked Originals squad and have faced a brutal schedule to begin the season. FOB Five made their debut with an impressive victory over a tough Wolves squad. FOB got off to a hot shooting start on the season and the Hustlers will have to improve in this game if they want to have a chance at the upset.
The one weakness that FOB has and will face all season is their lack of size. While they may be one of the quickest and most athletic teams, it will be tough for them to keep true bigs out of the paint. The Jumpshot Hustlers have FOB’s worst nightmare in David Stommes. David is a monster in the paint and can dunk the ball with ease. He is probably the strongest big man in the league and should be able to bully anyone that FOB throws at him. However, this also means that he will have to run around and chase the smaller guys on FOB at the other end. It will be an interesting matchup to watch, but I think FOB just has a bit too much firepower for the Hustlers to overcome in this one.
PREDICTION: FOB Five -12.5
9 p.m. - #1 The Originals (1-0) vs. #10 Team FOE (0-1)
In our final matchup of the night, the top ranked Originals squad will look to extend their win streak as they take on the bottom ranked Team FOE. The Originals continued their success from last season by rolling over the Jumpshot Hustlers in week one. Team FOE on the other hand suffered a loss to Uncle D.A. and the Killers in their first game as a franchise. Both of these teams had hot shooting nights in week one and I expect this game to be a high scoring affair. The Originals were the top ranked offense last year and it looks like they have picked up right where they left off. Team FOE will have to get their offense going early if they want to stay close in this one.
It seems like a lot of teams this season don’t have very much size and Team FOE is no exception. They are going to face an uphill battle trying to slow down Ahmed Helmy and Max Wessel. Jack Lynch of FOE has proven to be a capable defender but the rest of the squad is all guards currently. They will have to work extremely hard on the defensive end and help each other out when the ball goes inside. I wouldn’t be surprised to see FOE try to switch things up and go to a zone against The Originals. On the flip side, The Originals will have to try to mitigate the penetration of the quick guards of FOE. Andre Thomas and Parker Del Medico both love to slash inside and create opportunities for themselves and their teammates. Team FOE won’t back down to any opponent, but I think The Originals will take over and win this one comfortably.
PREDICTION: The Originals -19.5