Hornets Finally Have First True Test, while Dirty Birds Look to Gain Ground
ROSEVILLE: Week 4 Predictions
By Devyn Harrell | Roseville Media Associate
7:30 p.m. - Hornets (3-0) vs Ducks (3-0)
In a battle of two undefeated teams, this game will surely be a dog fight. The Hornets have acquired back to back MVP Trevor McGhee and will look to him to help lead them to what would be a huge victory. The Hornets have yet to face an above .500 team through their first three games and have a chance to prove that they really are contenders and not pretenders.
The Ducks aren’t a flashy team that does any one thing great, but they do everything well. Darius Wright continues to put his team in a position to be successful and his team continues to respond as they keep on finding ways to win games. If there was an area of weakness for the Ducks, it would be their struggles at times to defend the three ball as they’ve given up an average of 15 3PM per contest. The Hornets are middle of the pack in that area (11 3PM) while second to last in 3-point percentage (37 percent). The addition of McGhee should help turn that around fairly quickly however, as he has averaged four made 3s per game over his career. Without McGhee, the Hornets would get dismantled by the Ducks, but having a player of his caliber not in the fold, immediately makes them the favorite. Hornets win a close one in Wednesday’s game of the night.
8:30 p.m. - Dirty Birds (2–1) vs Mustangs (2-1)
Perhaps the only team with the ability to defend the Dirty Birds on the perimeter, the Mustangs are a team truly defined as boom or bust. Their defensive skill level is unmatched by any in the league as they have capable defenders from 1-5. However, their extreme inconsistency and lack of a true identity on the offensive end is their Achilles heel.
The Dirty Birds are perhaps the most exciting team to watch on a week to week basis as they boast talented shot makers and slashers up and down the roster. They will look to pick up the tempo a bit more than usual this week in an attempt to keep the defense of the Mustangs off balance and out of gas. Kelli Goodman will have a tall order in slowing down Ian Bey and his team’s success will directly correlate with his ability to do so. Alex Rodriguez and John Poucher make their Dirty Bird debuts and will be asked to carry a heavy minutes load, as the Birds will be without Devyn-James Harrell, Reno Dupor and Cole Moore. The depth and grit of the Mustangs will make this game closer than it should be but the Dirty Birds pull off the win.
9:30 p.m. - Bulldogs (0-3) vs Wolves (0-3)
One thing is for certain, there will be a firm hold on last place after this one. The Bulldogs bring in a capable two-way player in Hunter Hammond, this should provide some much needed relief for top dogs Erik Kagan and JD Smith on both ends of the floor. The Wolves will again lean heavily upon floor general Herman Johnson and veteran Dwayne Childs in this one.
The issue for the Wolves won’t be offensively but rather on the defensive side of the ball, as the length and shot making ability of Hammond and Smith will provide big time problems. Bikram Padda and Kelelaye Emiru will most certainly be assigned the task of guarding these two and will be looking to their teammates for help throughout the evening. Bulldogs get their first win as they send the Wolves to 0-4.