by Lucas Gulotta, The real Final @4LukeOh
“I think Celine Show will entertain anyone! Blacks to Russians from skinny tight jean denim leggin wearing guys to old people with no teeth.” – Ron Artest
The man currently known as World Metta Peace might as well have been talking about the PMBL, because the same is true about Philly’s premier mans basketball league. Like noted in yesterday’s previews, all four of the remaining teams were worthy of taking home the Kenny Kup this season. But just like in Vince McMahon’s world of wrestling, there can only be one undisputed champion.
After the second Joes League semifinal game reached its anticlimactic conclusion, the stage was set for a pair of intense battles.
Game 1 – Sidkoff, Pincus & Greene (Gulotta) vs. King’s Oak Kind (Kind/McKenna)
SP&G wearing the Chicago Bears blue and orange had booked their ticket to the semifinals by exhibiting the same aggression as the Monsters of the Midway.
They ran into a tough matchup on Monday night. King’s Oak underachieved throughout the regular season on the way to a 4-4 finish. All the pieces have fallen in place at the right time for the Commish’s team.
The first half was back and forth with neither side gaining too much of an advantage. James Pope was dominant for KO, blocking shots and finishing at the tin at will. Ben Kay did some damage from deep in the opening half as did Stanley Alston, who took offense to the preview that criticized his jumper and all the sudden couldn’t miss.
SP&G made it clear it wasn’t going to quit. Coach Gulotta gave an inspiring speech during a timeout.
“Where would Tina Turner be if she rolled over and said ”Cmon Ike! Hit me again and this time put some stank on it!”
His team responded and Evan Koch’s 3-pointer with just seconds remaining in the opening frame sent the game into the intermission tied up at 41.
The shots were not falling for SP&G in the second half. Karl Howard’s ability to get by anyone was countered by King Oak’s relentless interior defense. Evan Koch did a great job of guarding Pope after the break, but Alston and Andrew Gaddess picked up the slack.
After being down by double-digits, SP&G cut the deficit to three with roughly nine minutes remaining, but King’s Oak went on a run that put it out of reach. The Commish’s team held on to win by seven.
Individual Player NBA Comparisons
Mark Anthony – Corey Brewer – Anthony was a solid role player throughout the season and contributed on both ends despite getting into foul trouble. He didn’t have his best stuff, but still had 13 points and four rebounds.
Jonathan Santiago – Darren Collison – Santiago missed the past few games before the semifinals. He did a good job of jumping right back into the mix and provided steady ball handling, solid defense and smart offensive play in his return.
Andrew Baldwin – Evan Turner – Baldwin continued his stellar play. Although he is probably a shade under six feet tall, he consistently finished at the rim and grabbed rebounds among the trees. PMBL was ready to start a Fear the Beard campaign including T-shirts and bumper stickers if SP&G advanced.
Jordan Howell – Charles Oakley – Howell is an old school big man. He places an emphasis on defense and rebounding and also made one of the best assists on the night at a key moment.
Russ McFarland – Jeff Green – R-MAC killed some teams with his 3-point shooting during the regular season. His shooting touch wasn’t there in the semifinals although no one can fault his effort.
Karl Howard – Brandon Jennings – Howard was the motor to this team throughout the season. He had trouble finishing last night and his short-term memory didn’t stop him from attacking at any point. SP&G got to the Final Four because of his production on offense and giving him the ball gave them the best chance, it just wasn’t his night.
Evan Koch – Andrea Bargnani – Like the big Italian import, Koch’s 3-point shooting is what set him apart from most big men in the league. After hitting 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the Elite Eight, he went cold at an unfortunate time. His defensive effort on Pope kept his squad in the game and his rebounding was underrated.
Jeff Leonard – Matt Barnes – Leonard struggled for most of the game offensively, but he hit a crucial mid-range jumper late that gave his team some much needed breathing room.
Andrew Gaddess – Chandler Parsons – Came up with multiple clutch plays in the second half. Showed once again that he can create his own shot and also that he will never shy away from the pressure.
Ben Kay – J.J. Redick – Kay only made 2-of-8 from beyond the arc, but he earned the respect of the defense early on which forced them to keep a man locked on him at all times. His presence on the floor really opened things up for his teammates.
Stanley Alston -Dwyane Wade – Alston was excellent in all aspects. He attacked the basket, hit mid-range shots and sank some from deep. He did a good job of defending Howard as well.
Jake Kind – DeAndre Liggins – The Commish went 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Liggins finished the year 9-of-18 at the charity stripe. It should be noted that Kind’s coaching was superb.
James Pope – Paul George – Pope has made a strong case as to why he should be considered for the MVP.
Game 2 – Lucha Cartel (Schlucter) vs. Wrap Shack (Lindsay)
The second contest featured two teams who rolled past their elite eight opponents. The crowd was amped up to see these two contenders take the floor.
Wrap Shack took an early lead as Antoine Brown dazzled the crowd with Hot Sauce like handles. Lucha Cartel fought back as D’Var Brown and Wyatt Haas led the charge. Lucha took a 3-point lead (31-28), and upset alert spread throughout the community.
Kristian Clarkson stepped up for Wrap Shack in the second half. He reminded everyone that he can dunk a few times, used his length to create turnovers and dropped off a few passes to wide open teammates for easy buckets. With Clarkson and Brown playing well, Wrap Shack pushed its lead to double-digits. Lucha Cartel rallied late to cut the lead down to 5, but Haas missed an off-balance three-pointer on a fast break and the threat was ended.
Wrap Shack will play Kings Oak on Monday night in the championship.
Individual Player NBA Comparisons
Colin Williams – Jae Crowder – Played well defensively and didn’t do anything to hurt his team’s chances. Williams just missed a 3-pointer in transition in the first half that could have put Wrap Shack in a serious state of concern, but it wasn’t the easiest of attempts.
Chris Anthony – Jeff Teague – Didn’t let his lack of size keep hold him back at all. Anthony’s quickness, ball handling and non-stop motor was a real asset for Lucha Cartel all season long.
Mike Boland – Kyle Singler – Boland is usually a threat from 3-point range. His shot wasn’t on point for the semifinals, but he made up for it by sacrificing his body to take a few charges.
James Schlucter – Tony Allen – My apologies for omitting Schlucter from the previews by accident. Lucha’s captain has been one of the best defenders in the PMBL since he joined. He made both of his field goal attempts and probably should have shot a little more. Anything he adds in the scoring column is just gravy.
D’Var Brown – Zach Randolph – One of the best big men in PMBL history. He did better than hold his own against Wrap Shack’s imposing front line.
Wyatt Haas – Kevin Love – Haas overcame an injury earlier in the year and played a big role in the team’s run to the Final Four. Guys with his size and skill level are rare.
Connor Logue – Shawn Bradley – Hate to do it to him. Logue is usually a solid big man, but he was overmatched and posterized in this one.
David Dixon – Bismack Biyombo – He went into the game unhappy with his Adam Morrison comparison, he couldn’t live up to the hype. Still, no one can deny that this man claims to be a beast.
Pat Williams – John Salmons – Not the best night out of the Pat (1-of-7 fg), but just like The Office, he is expected to save his best for last.
Richard Carter – Paul Millsap – A lot of what Carter does is not apparent in the stat sheet. He is an excellent leader, plays well defensively and makes good decisions with the ball.
Mark Cooper – Josh Smith – One of the best athletes in the league. Lucha did a good job of keeping Mr. Cooper from being the star of the game, but he produced 12 points and three steals in the victory
Ron McGee – C.J. Watson – Just like Watson, McGee brings some energy off the bench for the Wolf Pack. He didn’t force anything and did a good job of drawing defenders and moving the ball when he was on the floor.
Kristian Clarkson – Dwight Howard – Used his unrivaled size and athleticism to take over the game.
Antoine Brown – Chris Paul – Continued to perform at a very high level. Do Dirt may have a statue of himself built outside the Berean Institute if he keeps this up.
Ahmed Lindsay – Erik Spoelstra – Med didn’t play his best, but his job of managing the lineup was perfect.