No excuses will be tolerated in the next few weeks, as regular season begins to wind down and teams look to make a playoff run. Here is a recap of the top three matchups from week 7:
MHP vs. PROBLEMS
Two NBA stars that faced each other off in the 2018 NBA eastern conference playoffs made their surprising season debut at The Drew League on Sunday, but this time, playing on the same team. Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson joined forces for Nick Young’s MHP.
A product of Compton, DeRozan has made the Drew League a part of his yearly ritual. Playing every summer on the hardwoods of King Drew Magnet Medical high school floors since the age of 14, he has created a household name for himself at the Drew League.
Both teams stepped into this match-up with a matching record, however, don’t be quick to underestimate the underdogs in this matchup just because they didn’t have any notable pros in their lineup.
Beware of all the fake news amid social media and highlights from that night, Problems’ did not let MHP down easy. Garrett Nevels, AKA G Money and Jayland Bland, gave the crowd a run for their money. The walking bucket, Nevels ended the night with 37 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and went home as Player of The Game.
With a weather forecast of raining 3’s and a pressuring defense, Problems maintained consistent control each quarter.
MHP playing catch-up, caught up in the 4th quarter, trailing only 2 points, but Problems strong backcourt didn’t let up. Problems ended the night with a solid W, 97-85, sitting number one in their division.
Throwing in the NBA stars late in the season seemed to have created an imbalance within the prior MHP team chemistry. They will have to figure out a solution quickly before it’s too late in the season.
HOMETOWN FAVORITES vs REAPERS
Hometown favorites were feeling the absence of high school rising star, Kevin Porter Jr. on Saturday, losing by an inexcusable 42 Point margin.
Two NBA players, Atlanta Hawks’ Taurean Prince and Toronto Raptors’ Delon Wright made their Drew League season debut on Saturday.
However, even the mid season addition of Delon Wright couldn’t cover up for the players that were out on Saturday for Hometown Favorites. “A lot of these guys are kind of new to the team” said Wright. “Most of our team is out, so we kind of filled in…and played the best we can.”
Hometown Favorites started off on a slow run, heading into the second half trailing 66-35. Reapers implementing their strategic aggressive head start the first 5 minutes worked to their favor, stifling the desperate Hometown Favorites from being able to come back.
Prince seemed to be enjoying every second of his season debut as he cashed in a walk off 3-pointer to seal the Reapers lead heading into the second half. The addition of Prince adds versatility and depth for the Reapers, as he helped annihilate the Hometown Favorites with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and the deserving Player Of the Game honors.
HANK’S PANTHERS vs BIRDIE’S REVENGE
At week 7, it doesn’t need to be said that the 23-0 Birdie’s Revenge is arguably the best transition team in the league. Every team may know this, but no team has been able to overcome the barricade that Franklin (Nitty) Session and his team have built.
Hank’s Panthers, and their returning, Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakim, did not give up without a fight against Birdie’s entourage.
Hank’s Panthers started off on a 4-0 run this season, and have been one of the only teams to match up to Birdie’s level of competition. Panther’s smothering backcourt stifled Birdie’s game for the full 32 minutes. “We wanted to make them play a half court game” said DaShawn Gomez. “We told everybody when we shoot the ball, lets make sure we get back on defense, make sure we make them play our backcourt defense.”
This ping pong like match, going back and forth had the fans anxiety level going up by every basket. Panthers held a nine point lead going into the third quarter 62-53. However, Birdie’s took control and shifted gears in the last few minutes of the 4th quarter, and the defending champions did what they do best; win
Birdie’s Revenge remains the only undefeated team in the league.
Honorable mention goes go Player of the Week, Pascal Siakam, with a monstrous triple-double performance, 38 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.