BIG3 Playoffs

BIG3 Playoffs: Semifinal Matchups

Yet another chapter on a BIG3 regular season might’ve come to a close but that doesn’t mean the fun stops. Now we look ahead at what’s supposed to be a promising weekend of great games and big performances, the BIG3 Playoffs. In a week eight that saw multiple games come down to playoff positioning, three of the four teams that made it in 2023 missed it in 2022. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is. It comes down to just two games this Saturday to decide who will be playing in the championship game and many can’t wait to see what’s in store.

BIG3 Playoffs: Semifinal Matchups

Enemies (3 Seed; 5-3 Record) vs Trilogy (2 Seed; 6-2 Record)

The first matchup to open the BIG3 Playoffs will be between the Enemies and Trilogy. The Enemies got off to a 1-2 start to begin the season but they turned it around and won four of their last five games, including a dominant win last week against Tri State to qualify for the playoffs.

They head into this game with the deadly shooting duo of Jordan Crawford and Elijah Stewart, who both sit top ten in three-pointers. Crawford, who is number one in the BIG3 in that category with 21, had one of the best performances last week of anyone on the season, scoring 25 points on ten field goals made. The Enemies might not play the flashiest brand of basketball but they know how to get the job done when called upon. They completely flipped the script from last season and are one win away from the big game.

On the other side, it won’t be easy for the Enemies as they go up against a team looking to three-peat for the BIG3 Championship. Trilogy were the favorites to do so before the season began and now they are in prime position. They finished the season tied for the best record in the BIG3 with the Triplets at 6-2 but find themselves as the number two seed. Like the Enemies, Trilogy got off to a slow start with a 1-2 record but never looked back as they went undefeated after that. 

They’ve missed Isaiah Briscoe to injury for most of the year but that didn’t stop Trilogy one bit. The “Hezi God’ Ryan Carter stepped in starting week four and never lost a game since. Despite starting a few weeks late, he has a great chance to take home the league MVP after dominating the league since coming in. Carter has scored 19 or more points in each game, including a whopping 35-point performance in week six. While Carter has taken over, the contributions of his partner Earl Clark can’t go unnoticed, winning back-to-back Player of the Week honors to close the season. Clark has shown he’s just as important a part of this team as anyone, performing as a duo with Briscoe and now the same with Carter. 

There was hope Briscoe would be back in week eight but that wasn’t the case. There’s no word on if he can make it back in time for Saturday but if he can’t, Trilogy has shown that they’re more than capable of bringing home gold. If he does come back whether it’s this week or a possible championship game, that would make them the most dangerous team in league history. While Trilogy is trying to win their fourth overall title, the Enemies are on a quest for their first so don’t overlook them in this big game.

Ghost Ballers (4 Seed; 5-3 Record) vs Triplets (1 Seed; 6-2 Record)

The second game of Semifinal weekend will be the 5-3 Ghost Ballers vs the league-best 6-2 Triplets. The Ghost Ballers enter the playoffs for the first time since 2017 after a huge win to finally propel them over the hump. The duo of Mike Taylor and Chris Johnson has dominated the league for years but since Jonathon Simmons joined the team this year and the production of Johnson took a dip, Taylor and Simmons have been the ones to fear around the league. As a duo, they’ve lit up the stat sheet, being top ten in multiple league categories, including total points scored. 

The duo of Taylor and Johnson hasn’t completely faded away though, as both are towards the top in blocks, becoming one of the best shot-blocking pairs in the league. Simmons had to show what the Ghost Ballers were made of one last time before reaching the BIG3 Playoffs, scoring 27 points with four three-pointers made. This team is made up of size and shooting ability, making them a tough overall team to knock around. They will be a tough out but they are going against a team looking for something to prove.

The Triplets return to the BIG3 Playoffs after missing in 2022, in large part due to Joe Johnson‘s absence last season. Now that he’s back, so are the Triplets as they enter as the number overall seed at 6-2. It doesn’t look like Johnson missed a beat from his MVP season in 2021, as he is second in total points (152), just two behind Jordan Crawford. He’s also second in total rebounds (70), fifth in total assists (22), and fifth in total three-pointers 16).

As much as we talk about Johnson, there’s a name joining him in a few of those categories that have established himself as a go-to guy behind Johnson and that’s Jeremy Pargo. He’s also put up his fair share of points with 140 and is top ten in assists (22), total field goals (52), and three-pointers made (14). Pargo also tied the BIG3 record for the most four-pointers made in a season with six. 

While we’re focused on guys like Johnson and Pargo, the Triplets have been getting solid contributions from different parts of the game with Larry Sanders and Jamario Moon. Sanders is fourth in rebounds with 59 while also being second in blocks with 9. Moon is top ten in both blocks and steals so not only does this team have the ability to score but they can play some hard-nosed defense as well. This game is going to be tough and physical against two of the toughest teams in the league.

Main Image: Aric Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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