Season 3|The Big Three power rankings

Ice Cube’s innovative league the Big Three Returns for its 3rd season on June 22nd. Join me as I break down the recent draft and give out my preseason power rankings.

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You can win the Big Three every year if you draft well, have a good coach and your core players from the previous year don’t completely suck.

The goal in the Big Three draft should be to create a versatile roster. A championship team in the Big 3 will have a rim protector, a creator, a shot blocker, a few shooters and a big low post defender.

As a casual observer from last season, I noticed that teams didn’t go after miss matches very often. Which was frustrating to watch. There’s more space on the court and fewer bodies to run in to, you should be able to attack a smaller guard or exploit a slow-footed big man in the pick and roll.  I did notice however a few coaches try to implement a little bit of strategy towards the end. Powers coach Nancy Lieberman realised it was probably a smart idea to attack the 49-year-old and 6’0’’ tall Abdul Rauf in the playoffs. Which certainly paid dividends for her team as Power advanced and eventually went on to win it all. Nancy was definitely respectable as a coach last year, she certainly tried the hardest out of all the other coaches and she appeared to genuinely enjoy the overall league as a whole. She definitely had the whole I’m a woman and I have to prove my worth to these men thing going on.

All I’m saying is that a little bit of strategy would go a long way in the Big Three. I’m not asking  Charles Oakley to turn into Daryl Morey overnight. I’m just simply suggesting that he do his job, instead of constantly screaming at his players all the time.

It would be entertaining to watch Daryl Morey control a team in The Big Three. Imagine him complaining about the officiating? Would he even bother to send audit tapes to Ice Cube? And

God forbid if he did find a revolutionary successful way to play the game like shooting 4’s and 3’s only, or drafting 5 centers, do you think the other teams would even catch on to it and try to replicate it? Probably not, but part of what makes the Big Three so unique is that it’s not overrun by analytic nerds. The Big Three has made it clear from the beginning that they are their own brand. To which I applaud them. Ice Cube certainly deserves praise for the marketing job that he’s done. Every time Ice Cube speaks on the Big Three the first things out of his lips are: This is old school basketball, the games are more physical, we allow hand checking and we encourage trash talk. I love the fact that they encourage trash talk, but it’s also pretty funny that the commissioner of the league comes out and says it. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine Adam Silver ever saying something like that. Silver and Cube are total opposites and could not be any more different from one another if they tried. Silver looks like he’s never seen a dark aisle in his life, let alone been outside in the dark. Whereas Ice Cube looks like he owns at least two pit bulls okay three, (he had to have gotten the name from somewhere). In essence what I’m saying is if you combined the street smarts of Ice Cube with the business smarts of Adam Silver, you’d get the perfect commissioner. Adam could incorporate a little more toughness into the NBA and Ice cube could use a little help rubbing elbows with white rich folks.

I’ve always been curious about what the deal is with the coaches, can they get fired? Are their owners? What about captains? Can they just stay on their team forever? I wasn’t able to find answers to these questions online, if you know the answers please comment below. I did, however, learn that each year three players get to stay on the team from the year before, The captain and two other co-captains. Each team has six roster spots, and if an injury occurs a team can select a player from the waiver pool which is essentially made up of players that didn’t get drafted. Players make 10,000$ per game, so if you make the playoffs you can earn more money. The Big Three’s website needs to be updated and since nobody else seems to be doing power rankings I thought I’d be the first.

Power rankings

(12) Ghost Ballers

Mike Bibby (Captain)

Ricky Davis (Co-captain)

Carlos Boozer (Co-captain)

Jamario Moon

Alex Scales

Mike Taylor

The Ghost Ballers were unfortunate to have to pick last in the first round. Regardless though, they should have been able to pick better players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Their core players Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis and Carlos Boozer won one game together last season. I was hoping this team would find younger players with NBA experience. Instead, they choose old guys with little to no NBA experience Alex Scales (40) and Mike Taylor (33). Ricky Davis led his team and the entire league in scoring with 137 points but must have shot 30% or less last season ( no way to tell what he really shot). The Ghost Ballers finished dead last defensively giving up 394 points and that was with Ivan Johnson on their team last year. The Ghost Ballers failed to address their biggest need in the draft which was size, Carlos Boozer is their tallest player at 6’9.’’

 (11) Ball Hogs

Brian Scalabrine (Captain)

Josh Childress (Co-captain)

DeShawn Stevenson (Co-captain)

Will McDonald

Jermaine Taylor

Dusan Bulut

Entering this year’s draft the Ball hogs, in my opinion, had the weakest group of core players: Brian Scalabrine, Josh Childress and Deshawn Stevenson. Last year this group tied the Ghost Baller by going 1-7, so it goes without saying that this year’s draft was extremely important to them. In the first round, They selected Will Mcdonald which was a bit of a head scratcher, to say the least. Mcdonald is 39 years old and has never played in the NBA. My guess is that they were looking to find a big and Will must have made quite the impression on them with his 6’11’’frame. Then they took Jermaine Taylor a 6’4 guard who was less than impressive last season. However, I liked their 3rd pick Dusan Bulut because it’s a creative pick Bulut has more experience than anyone in 3×3 and is the number one ranked 3×3 player in the world. This team is not talented, but they do play hard for coach Rick Mahorn which is why I put them over the Ghost Ballers.

(10) Killer 3s

Stephen Jackson (Captain)

Metta World Peace (Co-captain)

Al Harrington (Co-captain)

Josh Powell

Donte Greene

C.J. Watson

Everyone liked this team at the start of last season (including me). This year, however, expectations for them have scaled back considerably. The league is much more talented than it was three years ago. Al Harrington is no longer the dominant force he once was, Stephen Jackson is now 41, and Metta world peace looks like he’s gained 30 pounds. Their draft was underwhelming, to say the least, they re-drafted Josh Powell picking him 4th overall in the first round! (what are you doing?) Then they took Donte Greene and C.J Watson which is just kinda meh. With all that being said this team is entertaining as hell to watch, they are part of what makes the big 3 so much fun. The constant trash talk they engage in, Ron Artest throwing fits and of course watching Charles Oakley and Stephen Jackson scream back and forth at each other never gets old.

(9). Enemies

Gilbert Arenas (Captain)

Perry Jones (Co-captain)

Lamar Odom (Co-captain)

Royce White

Craig Smith

Frank Robinson

I like what the enemies did during the draft. However, I think Gilbert and Lamar Odom are both going to be terrible this year. They were both lazy players in the NBA and have just been away from the game for too long. It’s not realistic to expect either of them to walk into a professional league and contribute. I’m a huge Gilbert fan and I want this to work out for him, but I just don’t see it, I hope that he doesn’t try and dominate the ball like he said he would. Royce White should be the creator, Gilbert the shooter, Perry Jones the rim protector and Craig Smith can guard the other teams best wing player. As for Odom. I just don’t see how he can contribute on this team either, if he tries to be a play-maker he’d just be getting in the way of Royce White. Both Gilbert and Lamar will need to take a back seat to Royce White for the better of the team. The problem is I don’t think they will. We might have another Allen Iverson situation here. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gilbert or Lamar don’t finish the season.

(8). Aliens

Andre Owens (Captain)

Kendrick Perkins (Co-captain)

Shannon Brown (Co-captain)

Greg Oden

Brandon Rush

Robert Vaden

    The Aliens have some solid players on their roster. Andre Owens has made a name for himself in the big 3, Shannon Brown is still rather young (33) and Kendrick Perkins was playing for the Cavs just a year ago. But what gets me about this team is what they did with their first-round pick when they drafted Greg Oden. Why would you do that? I don’t get it you already have Kendrick Perkins on your team. Even Odom seemed surprised to hear his name called. I stressed earlier the importance of having a versatile team I would have targeted a more mobile big. I liked their Brandon Rush pick though, he will be a good 3 and D player.

(7) Bivouac

Josh Smith (Captain)

Will Bynum (Co-captain)

Anthony Morrow (Co-captain)

Shawne Williams

CJ Leslie

Dion Glover

The Bivouac lack in star power, but I like how they’ve assembled their team.  They have three bigs that are mobile Josh Smith, Shawne Williams and C.J Leslie. Anthony Morrow and Shawne Williams can really shoot and Josh Smith thinks he can. CJ Leslie is a very active G league player and is only  27. He’s exactly the type of guy that will give the old guys fits with his relentless motor. I think they could have done better with their 3rd round pick Dion Glover. Glover is 40 and hasn’t played in the NBA since 2005. Bottom line: They are a cute little team that will match up well against certain teams, but they are not a contending team.

(6) 3’s Company

DerMarr Johnson (Captain)

Baron Davis (Co-captain)

Drew Gooden (Co-captain)

Andre Emmett

Jason Maxiell

Dijon Thompson

This may come across as a bit of a surprise to see  3’s company ranked this low, considering they reached the finals last season. But to me this is more of a reflection of the league as a whole improving then it is indicative of 3’s company’s talent. There’s no denying this team is solid they have a roster full of blue-chip players that like to get after it. I expect them to do well, but I think they are limited in what they can do. They have a lot of players that can do many different things on the court, but none of them do one thing at an elite level. Drew Gooden is a solid rebounder but he’ not Chris Anderson, Andre Emmett is a good shooter but he’s not on the same level as a Jason Terry or an Anthony Morrow. This is a team full of B+ players that is almost identical from last year minus Dahntay Jones. I expect them to be average to slightly above average.

(5) 3 Headed Monsters

Rashard Lewis (Captain)

Reggie Evans (Co-captain)

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Co-captain)

Larry Sanders

Tre Simmons

Mario Chalmers

The inaugural league MVP Rashard Lewis returns after suffering an Achilles injury during a game last season. If Lewis hadn’t of gotten injured I have too little to no doubt that they would have made the finals. Without Lewis, the monsters played surprisingly well, finishing with a 7-1 record. The Monsters are deep and very versatile. Lewis, Chalmers and Abdul-Rauf are their shooters, Reggie Evans is their low post defender,(he’s the best at this) and Larry Sanders (30) is an elite shot blocker who should be in the NBA right now. The only flaw with this team is Abdul Rauf’s defence, which is understandable seeing how he is 6’0’’ tall and 50 years old!!!  In the playoffs, Power went after him time and time again in the pick and roll. Luckily for the three-headed monsters, other teams haven’t seemed to caught on to this flaw.

(4)Trilogy

Jason Terry (Captain)

James White (Co-captain)

David Hawkins (Co-captain)

Patrick O’Bryant

Sam Young

Carlos Arroyo

I expect Jason Terry to thrive in the Big 3. His shooting and leadership, in my opinion, will help make Trilogy a contender this year. Trilogy’s roster consists of great shooters and athletes. James White and David Hawkins, are both well known established players in the Big Three, known in particular for being great two way players. Patrick O Bryant should provide Trilogy with rebounding and shot blocking thanks to his 7’0’’ frame. Sam Young checks all of the right boxes in the Big Three. He’s Not too old,  plays hard, really strong and has good size (6’8’’). As you know I’m not a big fan of point guards in the Big Three so picking Carlos Arroyo in the third round was not the greatest selection in my opinion, but to each his own I guess.

(3)Tri-State

Jermaine O’Neal (Captain)

Amare Stoudemire (Co-captain)

Nate Robinson (Co-captain)

Yakhouba Diawara

Jason Richardson

Bonzi Wells

Tri-State has four players returning from last seasons 5-3 squad. Tri-State narrowly lost in the playoffs to Power 51-49. Jason Richardson was a good pickup in the second round for them and Yakhouba Diawara is a nice hustle player. While I’m high on the draft acquisitions Tri-State has made this year my concern rests on their ageing captain Jermaine O’Neal (40). Jermaine notably regressed from his first season to his second season in the big three. And it remains to be seen just how much Jermaine has left in the tank for his team in season three. Regardless I’m banking on this teams talent and familiarity to be a contender once again this year.

(2)Triplets

Joe Johnson (Captain)

Al Jefferson (Co-captain)

Jannero Pargo (Co-captain)

Chris Johnson

Alan Anderson

Sergerio Gipson

Talk about recent NBA experience Joe Johnson (37) and Al Jefferson (34) were both just playing in the NBA during the 2017/2018 season. I’m especially excited to for Joe in the Big Three, there’s a reason why they call him iso-Joe. With more space to maneuver in the Big Three, Joe will undoubtedly be fun to watch. He’s also an underrated playmaker and more specifically a good pick and role player. Watch out for him when he gets paired up with Chris Johnson in screen and roles. Johnson is a gifted 6’11’’ stretch four, who for some reason didn’t pan out in the NBA. The overall well-rounded a semblance of this team is the reason why I find myself drooling over the Triplets this year. They can play big and play Al Jefferson and Chris Johnson together or go small by starting Joe Johnson,  Allen Anderson and Chris Johnson. They will be coached by Lisa Leslie who I have a feeling will actually try to put some effort into her job.

(1)Power

Corey Maggette (Captain)

Cuttino Mobley (Co-captain)

Glen “Big Baby” Davis (Co-captain)

Ryan Gomes

Quentin Richardson

Chris Andersen

As I was watching the Big Three draft it took me a while to realise that Power had not picked anyone. I thought maybe they had traded their picks or something. Then it dawned on me that perhaps there was a rule in play that allowed the champions from last year to keep their entire roster from the year before, turns out that was exactly it (kind of wished they had made that more clear). So since everyone’s back from last year and since Power won the championship last season and went (7-1), and had a point differential of +72, they get to be ranked number one. Although this year won’t be as easy as last year for Power. Power will be able to rely on their chemistry and familiarity to start the season. Their roster is loaded with former NBA guys all of which are tall, their shortest player is Cuttino Mobley (6’5’’). May be by fluke or accident Power realised that you don’t need a little point guard on your team. This is half court basketball, It’s beyond me why every team thinks they need to draft a little 6’0” guard.

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