THIS WEEK, ALL SIX BIG3 GAMES WILL BE PLAYED ON SUNDAY, JULY 17. THE FIRST THREE GAMES WILL STREAM ON CBS AND PARAMOUNT PLUS, AND THE LAST THREE GAMES WILL STREAM ON DAZN, VYRE AND YOUTUBE CHANNEL BIG3.
AT 3:00 AM EST ON CBS, TRILOGY WILL TAKE TRI STATE. AFTER THAT, THE BALL HOGS WILL FACE ALIENS. THE THIRD MATCH OF THE DAY WILL BE A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE GHOST BALLERS AND 3’S COMPANY.
STARTING AT 6:00 AM EST, THE GAMES WILL BE BROADCAST ON STREAMING PLATFORMS. THE ENEMIES WILL PLAY THE KILLER 3’S, THEN THE 3-HEADED MONSTERS WOULD HAVE A GAME AGAINST THE TRIPLE, AND THE DAY WILL END WITH A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN POWER AND BIVOUAC.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD VYRE AND DAZN, TWO STREAMING SERVICES ASSOCIATED WITH THE BIG3, HERE:
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THE 3 GAMES IN STREAMING ON THE BIG3 YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
GAME 1: TRI-STATE VS. TRILOGY
I’m excited for this one. Both of these teams have versatility and aren’t afraid to mix it up, and both are executing well. I think the game will be decided by outside shooting. Tri State has Jason Richardson, DaJuan Summers and Justin Dentmon who can all fill it from the outside without giving up easy shots to the field goal. If rim protection becomes an issue, Coach Dr. J has shot blocker extraordinaire Larry Sanders on his bench.
Meanwhile, Trilogy (2-2) really struggled to hit shots from the perimeter. Earl Clark has a nice shot for a big man and actually leads the league in 3-point percentage, but he’s not a high-volume shooter from deep, and team captain James White has been mired in an unusual shot drop since week 1. If Trilogy can’t find a way to get more points out of the paint, I’d expect Tri State to come away with this one.
GAME 2: ALIENS VS. BALL PIGS
The Aliens (3-1) are coming off a hard-fought win over Trilogy. The Aliens stood out early in the season due to their fluid European-inspired offense, but it’s become clear that Deshawn Stephens’ ability to control the paint from both sides of the floor can be just as important to them.
As for the Ball Hogs (1-3), they really were better than their 1-3 record suggests. The team is built around captain Leandro Barbosa, who missed Week 1 and wasn’t 100% in Week 2. When the team lost in Week 4, co-captain Jodie Meeks, who spaces the floor for Barbosa and is a key part of the Ball Hogs’ game plan, was not present. He should be in the lineup this week, so expect it to be a much tighter game than the teams’ respective records suggest.
GAME 3: GHOST BALLERS VS. THE COMPANY OF 3
It’s an important game for both teams, although for different reasons. The Ghost Ballers (2-2) have all the talent needed to win a BIG3 Championship, but let their match against Trilogy in Week 3 slip away and suffered a tough loss to the Killer 3 last week. This game will be a good litmus test of whether the Ghost Ballers have enough discipline to make it to the promised land.
As for 3’s Company (1-3), they desperately need some good news. After a great game in Week 1, Michael Beasley struggled, and the plan still seems to give him the ball and take contested shots. If Company 3 wants to salvage their season, they need to get more contributions from the rest of the team and make the game easier for Beasley.
GAME 4: ENEMIES VS. KILLER 3
I was really impressed with the Killer 3 (2-2) in Week 4 when they basically beat the Ghost Ballers to a win. Meanwhile, the Enemies (2-2) have shown little interest in playing defense all season, relying instead on their plethora of shooters.
Key to this game could be whether Elijah Stewart, who was asked to join the New Orleans Pelicans Summer League squad after his Player of the Week performance in Week 2, will be on the court for the haters – at the time of this writing, his status for Sunday’s game is unclear.
If Stewart doesn’t return, I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Nitty’s team gets the win for their efforts, but it’s impossible to count a team that can rack up points the way enemies can.
GAME 5: 3-HEADED MONSTERS VS. TRIPLETS
3HM (3-1), managed by Kevin Murphy, have done a fantastic job winning their last two games without the services of team captain Rashard Lewis. Currently, Lewis is scheduled to play on Sunday, but Jonathon Simmons will be out with an ankle injury. On the other side of things, Joe Johnson will be out for the Triplets (2-2), so each team will be without their Captains.
This will be Jamario Moon’s first match with 3HM this season, as the team brought him in to fill the spot vacated by Sammy Monroe. It will be interesting to see what Moon, a former Globetrotter and 5-year NBA veteran with a nice 3-point shot and some serious jumping, can bring to the team. Moon won the BIG3 Championship as a member of Triplets, so he’s no stranger to FIREBALL3. Quincy Miller, who joined 3HM in Week 3 as a substitute player, will return after racking up 20 points in his second game with the team.
With both teams missing key players, it’s hard to call, but I’d give 3HM the lead here because Kevin Murphy should be the best player on the pitch.
GAME 6: POWER VS. BIVOUAC
At the risk of repeating the point I made about the Tri State vs. Trilogy game, the key to this one will be whether Power (2-2) can find points from the perimeter. Their combination of size and skill is unmatched, and Glen Rice Jr. is able to carry the offense due to his ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor.
However, team captain Cuttino Mobley is only 1-6 on three-pointers so far this season, and Royce White and Nikoloz Tskitishvili are 0-7 combined on three-pointers. Rice is more of a scorer than a pure shooter, and while Cline is capable of getting over the arc and hitting open threes, he’s much more comfortable when cutting to the basket or passing. Coach Nancy Lieberman can’t do much from a schematic point of view if the ball refuses to go into the basket.
Still, Power’s strength, which is their combination of the strength and finesse of the frontline duo of Royce White and TJ Cline, matches well with Bivouac’s (1-3) weakness, which is a lack of dynamic inside players. The biggest player in Bivouac’s starting lineup is Corey Brewer, who is 6’9 and 185 pounds. Jeff Ayres is the only real big on the team, and he can both throw his weight inside and come out and hit all three, but stopping Power’s ability to look at the rim with timely cuts and passes is a lot to ask of him.
However, Bivouac is still in competition and has Gerald Green and his gorgeous sweater on their roster, so counting them is never a good idea.
Pack yourself some snacks, order a pizza, and free up your schedule this Sunday, because it should be a wonderful FIREBALL3 marathon.