BIG3 Power Rankings: Joe Johnson, Triplets finish regular season on top; Power suffer yet another injury
Heading into the playoffs, the Triplets are the clear favorite to take home the BIG3 title
After nine weeks of competition, we finally have the playoff field set for the 2019 season of the BIG3. Defending champion Power came out of the gate strong to start the season, but it soon became clear that the Triplets, led by soon-to-be BIG3 MVP Joe Johnson, were the team to beat.
The race for the final two playoff spots came down to the last week of the regular season, with the Killer 3's and 3 Headed Monsters both winning to earn a spot. They'll meet Power and the Triplets, respectively, in New Orleans on Sunday to see who will advance to the title game on Sept. 1.
It was an up-and-down season for many of the BIG3 teams, but here is the final set of Power Rankings with the regular season now in the books.
1. (Last week 2) Triplets, 7-1
As if Joe Johnson hadn't locked up MVP honors already, he wowed the Dallas crowd by scoring 19 points and setting a BIG3 single-season scoring record in his first year in the league.
Johnson added five rebounds and four assists, and cemented the top seed for the Triplets, who will face the 3 Headed Monsters in Sunday's playoff matchup.
2. (5) Killer 3's, 5-3
For much of the season this looked like a two-horse race between Power and the Triplets, but the Killer 3's continued to take care of business and worked their way all the way to the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Needing to win to get in, they absolutely blasted the Enemies, 50-36, behind a balanced scoring effort led by C.J. Watson's 13 points. They don't have the flashiest roster, but the Killer 3's could find themselves in the championship game.
3. (1) Power, 5-3
A defending champion decimated by injuries? Sounds all too familiar. Just like the Golden State Warriors, Power's players have been dropping like flies as the season progresses. With Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Cuttino Mobley already out for the season, Power lost Glen "Big Baby" Davis to an apparent hip injury on Saturday. His status for the playoffs has yet to be determined, but his loss is a huge blow for the defending champs. They're going to need Corey Maggette to put the team on his back and will them into the championship game.
4. (10) 3 Headed Monsters, 4-4
Sitting at 2-4 just two weeks ago, the 3 Headed Monsters' playoff hopes were slim. But they won their last two games, including a 52-46 win over Power last week on a game-winning 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers, who led the team with 19 points and three 3s.
Now that they're in the postseason, the 3 Headed Monsters are a dangerous team behind Chalmers, Rashard Lewis, Reggie Evans and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
5. (9) 3's Company, 4-4
With a dominant 50-28 win over Trilogy, who would have clinched a playoff spot with a win, 3's Company finishes just outside the top four. They were led all season by Andre Emmett, who scored 16 points in last week's win. DerMarr Johnson knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
6. (11) Tri-State, 4-4
Tri-State had a disappointing season given their roster, but they finished on a high note with a win over the Aliens. Amar'e Stoudemire scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Jason Richardson scored 15 points and threw down an impressive reverse alley-oop.
If they can keep their core together, Tri-State should be a serious contender next season.
7. (6) Ghost Ballers, 4-4
The Ghost Ballers had been playing good basketball, but ran into a buzzsaw in the Triplets. Ricky Davis put up a game-high 20 points, but the team's lack of 3-point shooting (they made zero in the loss) ended up doing them in.
8. (3) Bivouac, 4-4
Yes, Bivouac lost to a previously winless team in Week 9, but you can't fight destiny. They played well in the loss to the Ball Hogs, led by Will Bynum's 18 points, but came up just short after a lackluster second half. Bivouac could have had a good shot at a playoff berth with a win, but instead end the season on a sour note.
9. (4) Trilogy, 4-4
It was a disappointing final effort from Trilogy, who needed a win to make the playoffs but were instead embarrassed by 3's Company. James White scored 14 points in the loss, but Trilogy failed to hit a 3-pointer and scored a futile eight points in the second half.
10. (12) Ball Hogs, 1-7
The surprise of the week, and maybe the season, was the Ball Hogs picking up their first win of the year thanks to a furious comeback, capped off by DeShawn Stevenson's game-winner.
The Ball Hogs finish 1-7 for the second straight season, and have an overall record of 4-20 in three years. But at least they carry a little bit of momentum into the offseason.
11. (7) Aliens, 3-5
The Aliens came into their final game needing to win by seven points in order to secure a playoff spot -- instead they lost by seven thanks to a controversial, replay-reviewed, game-winning tip-in by Amar'e Stoudemire. Greg Oden, one of the best stories in the BIG3 this season, put up another strong game with eight points and 11 rebounds.
12. (8) Enemies, 3-5
The Enemies ended the season with a poor effort, losing to the Killer 3's, 50-36. Gilbert Arenas closed out his disappointing season with nine points, while Frank Robinson led the team with 13 points and five rebounds. Craig Smith, one of the league's leading scorers, finished with only four points.
Johnson finished with 28 points and hit the championship-winning 3-pointer
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The Triplets will play against the Killer 3s for the BIG3 championship next weekend
Joe Johnson finished the season with 175 points, and helped lead Triplets to the No. 1 seed...
All 12 BIG3 teams were in action on Saturday afternoon