Houston Playground

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

GAME 1: TUESDAY, 8/7 at 8:00

GAME 2: THURSDAY, 8/9 at 8:00

GAME 3: TUESDAY, 8/14 at 8:00

#2 NAVY v #4 BABY

In our championship series, we see the last 2 Men's League winners facing off.  We have the #4 seeded, 2016 champ Baby Blue squad led by Danny D, and the #2 seeded, 2017 champ Navy Blue squad, headed by Matt Labick.  Before we get to throwing predictions out there, let's take a look at their rosters.

Guards: Danny D and Sean Simon v Matt Labick and Kev Ash

The big difference in this match up is availability.  We know Danny has trouble getting to Tuesday games but we also know that Houstonrumors.com is reporting that Labick is down the shore this week and will be unable to play until Game 3.  If this is true, Kev is going to have to do a lot of work in the back court to keep up with Danny and Sean.  Sean has been on fire from behind the arc all season long and we don't expect this to stop now.  For this reason, and the Labick rumor, we have to give the advantage here to Baby.  ADVANTAGE: BABY BLUE

Forwards: Timmy Smith and Matt Simon v Josh Wentz and Mike Rocchi

In this match up of the forwards, we have 2 players facing off that can legitimately change a game with 2 other key role players going head to head.  Timmy and Josh have torn the league to pieces in the past, with Josh winning multiple MVPs and scoring titles and Timmy winning a  scoring title as well as a Finals MVP.  If either of these guys want to make the difference in the series, they are going to need help from their counterparts.  Rocchi is relied upon more for his defense and rebounding while Matt can score and provide that veteran presence on both ends of the floor.  To give an advantage to either team here would be difficult.  We see Timmy v Josh as a slight Baby advantage but we also see Matt v Rocchi as a slight Navy advantage.  ADVANTAGE: EVEN

Centers: Jon Conklin v Matt Krump

In this match up, we have 2 players who have different playing styles.  Conklin, an A League rookie, will battle you down low and thrives in rebounding the basketball and playing physical defense.  He isn't relied on much for his scoring but can give Baby a couple points a game.  Krump on the other hand is one of the leading scorers in the entire league.  He averages 18 points per game along with 8 rebounds per game, leading Navy in both categories.  Navy relies on Krump for not only putting up these numbers, but also for his hustle and solid weak side defense.  This defense will need to be perfect against Baby but we still like Krump over Conklin here.  ADVANTAGE: NAVY BLUE

Bench: Colin Flach and Ryan Rubio v Oakley Spencer and Mike Lotito

In our match up of the benches, we have a great shooter and a defensive speacialist going up against 2 young players, one of which is also rumored to be down the shore and the other an A League Rookie.  Flach has been shooting the lights out off the bench for Baby in the playoffs, providing that scoring Baby needed off the bench.  We are unsure whether either of the guys on the Navy bench will even be on the bench come game time, let alone serve as a scoring threat off the bench.  Because of this, we have to assume that Baby will have a bench while Navy will be without one for the series.  For this reason, we have to give the advantage to Baby.  ADVANTAGE: BABY BLUE

Overall

We know that we have given the advantage in the match ups to Baby more than Navy, but do not let that fool you.  Navy is one of the most experienced teams in the league in both the regular season as well as postseason.  If they can find a way to sneak out a win in Games 1 or 2, we could see the return of Labick in Game 3 and possibly a game for the ages.  Don't sleep on Navy, but if we see a lopsided game in Game 1, this series could be over by Thursday.

PREDICTIONS

Tom:  Baby in 3

Quirus:  Navy in 3

Polisi: Navy in 3

Stank:  Navy in 2



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