1) NY DREAM (7-0): If you have a team that can beat the NY Dream, we’d like to see it. This is a GSW-level dominant team, but then again the Warriors are down 1-3 tonight vs the Raptors so who knows?
2) NYK SPARTANS (6-1): The veteran Spartans have a Premier title and two D1 titles, but this might be their most impressive run in franchise history. They are shooting a blistering 44% FGs and 40% 3FGs as a TEAM.
3) THE ARENA BK (3-4): The roster is fairly deep and ABK have more balanced scoring than past seasons, but they’ll need (F) Noah Levine or (G) Jamiersen Green to get hot from 3 to pressure the Spartans. (G/F) Adio Ash has been consistent all season.
4) NY DYNASTY (3-4): You’re not going to find a team that plays harder than DYN (and nobody has played NY Dream better), but their lack of depth, at least on game days has been troubling. They need a full roster available for DRE.
1) GAWD SHAM-GAWDS (6-1): It took a little time for the chemistry to work itself out, but the Sham-Gawds are rightfully the front-runner going into the post-season, led by (G) Jean Joseph‘s team-best 21.8 ppg and the always steady (G) Samson Rich.
2) HONEY BADGERS (5-2): This team just doesn’t go away. The defending champs are once again right in the mix for yet another title. It hasn’t been their most impressive offensive season, but the defense and extra effort never slips. What better way to end (G) Alex Tsay‘s last season than with another trophy?
3) CCB (5-2): This is a deep roster that matches up well with the Honey Badgers. CCB (G) Austin Cagley is a walking bucket and maybe the most efficient scorer this division has ever seen with 26.5 ppg on 53% FGs. CCB made the most noise in the playoffs during their title run a few seasons ago, expect no different here.
4) AGE UP THERE (3-5): The Age had a tough schedule in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, they’re a savvy, veteran team that could make a sneaky run at a chip, but now after a grueling national tourney over Memorial Day weekend and a Monday PLAY-IN GAME, will they have any gas left in the tank?
1) SHAWN KEMP’S KIDS (7-0): The veteran Kids are led by the 1-2 punch of (G) Donovan Walsh and (F) Jordan Hecht. They also have one of D2’s biggest front-lines. SKK haven’t won by less than 15 points in their past 3 games, they are red hot going into the playoffs.
2) UNIBALLERS (5-2): If SKK is the hottest team in D2, the Uniballers are right on their tail at #2. UNI have won 5 straight games, led by D2’s most explosive scorer, (G) Daren Seto and his 28.2 ppg. (G) Caleb Lui and (G) Brian Jeong combine with Seto to be a very formidable guard trio that is defensively very stout.
3) YOLO (5-2): They don’t play pretty basketball, but YOLO are a big, physical team whose style of play tends to have more effectiveness in the post-season. (F) Mark Promax led the team in scoring and rebounding with 11.3 ppg and 8 rpg, respectively, but it’s a pretty balanced attack up and down the roster.
4) BOMB SQUAD (4-3): The devastating loss of perennial All-TDL 1st Team (F) Sherwin Salar to injury means a far tougher road to the championship for the Bombers in what is essentially a farewell tour for retiring (G) Alex Tsay. They have the veteran players to compete, but do they have the depth?
5) NYC GRITTY COMMITTEE (4-3): They haven’t been the same explosive scoring team as in past championship runs, but NYC Gritty knows perhaps better than anyone how to turn it on in the playoffs. Adding (F) Joseph Choi this season has certainly bolstered the front-line defense.
6) ANKLE ROULETTE (3-4): A very solid debut for the newbie franchise Ankle are led by (F/C) Luis Diaz dominant play in the paint. Shooters (G) Henry Bell and (F) Mike Gallinari haven’t quite been knockdown this season, but if they get hot, they can compete with any team in the field.
7) UNCLE BOUGHT A COW (3-4): Uncle had arguably the toughest schedule in D2 this season, but they survived it. Now, led by their Big 3, (F) Ben Hoynes, (F) Danny Eiber and (G) Ben Maletta, the Uncs havethe pieces to make a dark horse run.
8) GUARD ME MAYBE (3-4): This team has been all over the place this spring, with quality wins and also complete duds. (C) Phil Rader is back from injury, which is good, but the key, as always, is (F) Brian Law. Law’s scoring is down, but the defensive numbers never waver. If he’s on the court, GMM always have a chance.
9) THE STREET (2-5): Another new team to D2 WN, The Street showed some signs this season, and might just get a chance to make some noise in the playoffs if they can squeeze in via the PLAY-IN GAME. They get double-digit scoring from FOUR players, it’s the defense that’s been questionable.
1) PAW PATROL (6-1): Finally, the Paw are living up to the talent on their illustrious roster. Speedy (G) Antonio Cuadrado is putting up another MVP-caliber campaign and (F/C) Jason Chan has regained his defensive form. New add (F) Jaquan Mullins’ defensive toughness has been a perfect fit.
2) NYC GRITTY COMMITTEE (5-2): Sharpshooter (G) David Chu and the Gritty haven’t missed a beat. The defending champs are right where they want to be, even if the field just keeps getting tougher every season. They have the pedigree to get it done every season.
3) SPAGHETTI RAMEN (5-2): The Top 3 teams in the West are all led by perennial MVP candidates and multi-time honorees. (G) Leuis Ng is arguably the most distinguished among them, but he’ll also have the help of another reigning MVP (D3 Sun), (G) Will Chu. Now that’s a strong backcourt.
5) 30-FOR-30 (5-3): Every season it feels like 30F are right there, and it’s the nature of this sport that the chips just haven’t fallen where they need them. But (F) Joseph Han is finally back with a low-key MVP-caliber season. And they still have the West’s most formidable big in (C) Ezekiel Shin. Is this their season?
1) WOLFPACK (6-1): There has never been a front-line like this in D3, much less in the East. (F) John Simmons takes defenders “out by the woodshed” every time he gets it in the paint. And with (C) Norbert Allen defending the paint, scoring down there is a foolish proposition. Wolfpack will be a tough out.
2) PNEST1 (5-2): The veteran aka old PS1 squad brought in more young blood with (F) Kyle Wilson and he’s fit in well. This is an undersized squad, but very versatile with scoring all over the court. If (G) Vegas Dave Wong can get hot, they can ride him all the way to the title game.
3) MANY SAINTS OF E-WOOD (4-3): The Saints, formerly known as Inferno, are a tough match-up for most teams. Most anyone on the roster can get hot in a game scoring-wise, but they also move the rock, and they ALL rebound. And it’s the board work that keeps them in games. Board men get paid.
5) SWISHING & DISHING (4-4): Last season, the Swishers got their first taste of playoff success and now they’re hungry for more. (F) Luis Madrigal is having his best season and rookie (F) Erik Justiniano has been a versatile scoring option for a team with solid depth and no shortage of defensive effort.