Big3 Big3 Teams News Reviews


One could say that the Enemies paid the price for their early success in 2022. They impressed everyone with a stunning Week 2 victory over Bivouac, which earned their guard Elijah Stewart a spot on the New Orleans Pelicans’ Summer League team. But by the time he returned, the Enemies had lost their momentum. They ended the season with a disappointing 2-4 record, and missed the playoffs.

The Enemies entered the Summer of Fire with a mixed reputation. They had some of the most talented scorers and shooters in the league, but they also had a tendency to lose their concentration and take poor shots instead of playing smart and sharing the ball. Throughout the season, they proved that they could win a Championship without having to alter their approach.

However, inconsistency still plagued the Enemies after their Week 1 performance. They had Trilogy, the reigning Champions, on the brink of defeat, but collapsed in the final moments, committing a series of costly fouls, protesting the calls, and getting hit with technicals for arguing. Trilogy took advantage of the free throws, and managed to pull off a 52-46 win.

In Week 2, the Enemies came back with a vengeance with a tough win over the Ball Hogs, who had been impressive in Week 1. They matched the Ball Hogs’ explosive offense throughout the game, and secured a 51-49 win when Jordan Crawford nailed a game-winning floater.

The big news in Week 3 was that Nick Young replaced Gilbert Arenas, becoming a player-coach – by the end of the season, Young had officially taken over as player-coach. The Enemies had a rough start in Young’s first game as the head coach, losing 50-44 to Bivouac.

After that game, the team went on a tear. They recovered from the loss to Bivouac by defeating the struggling Aliens by a final score of 50-39. They followed that up with a convincing 50-41 win over Frank Nitty and the Killer 3’s. They kept it going with a 50-40 win over Power, who were the league finalists in 2022 and had been phenomenal until then. They finally slipped in Week 7, losing to Michael Beasley’s 3’s Company squad while shooting a dismal 2-16 from behind the arc. In Week 8, they clinched their playoff berth with a commanding 51-38 win over Tri-State.

As mentioned earlier, one of the most remarkable things about the Enemies becoming contenders was that they did it without changing their style. They still relied on a lot of long jumpers off the dribble and didn’t pass much, which would have been a problem if they weren’t so good at making those shots. They improved their ball movement a little, Stewart became a reliable #2 scoring option after missing most of the 2022 season, and Isaiah Austin became both a versatile offensive threat and one of the best shot blockers in the league. But the key to their success was still their incredible shooting.

The Enemies finished the season with 43 made threes – only the Ball Hogs, with 50, made more. But here’s the catch – the Ball Hogs, like most teams who make a lot of threes, used speed and ball movement to create open shots for their shooters, and led the league with 82 assists. The Enemies finished the season with just 39 assists, which tied them with Bivouac for the second-worst total in the league. (3HM had the worst number of assists.) It’s very hard to win without consistent ball movement – it’s one of the reasons why 3HM and Bivouac had a combined 3-10 record.

So, even after their amazing regular season, there was a doubt over the Enemies: would their style be enough to get them wins in the playoffs, where they’d have to face the most accomplished teams in BIG3 history?

The answer turned out to be a resounding yes.

They proved everyone wrong in the semifinals, crushing the reigning Champs Trilogy with a stellar performance. They shut down rookie star Ryan “Hezi God” Carter, who only made 4 out of 15 shots, and Jordan Crawford had a historic game, scoring 27 points on 10-12 shooting, including 7-8 from beyond the arc. The Enemies dethroned Trilogy with a 50-37 victory, and earned themselves a spot in the finals against Joe Johnson and the Triplets.

The Triplets, who were the league Champions and had two-time (and soon to be three-time) league MVP Joe Johnson on their side, were a tough opponent for the Enemies, but they played to their strengths in the Championship game. They made six three-pointers, limited #2 option Jeremy Pargo, and got a brilliant performance from Crawford, who led the game with 23 points on 9-14 shooting. Crawford outplayed Johnson, who would later win the 2023 league MVP award, on the biggest stage of the league, finishing a remarkable season. Crawford topped the league in total points and 3-pointers, while shooting 53.1% from the field and an incredible 58.3% from three-point range.

The season ended in a memorable way. With the Enemies up 47-43, Jeremy Pargo missed a four-pointer that could have tied the game. Crawford grabbed the long rebound, ran to the three-point line, and launched a three without any doubt. It sailed over Jamario Moon’s arm and swished through the net, and the Enemies clinched the Championship Game with a 50-43 score.

It was an amazing run for the Enemies, who not only won the Championship with a player-coach at the helm but also showed a new way of winning in the BIG3. Now they will start working on defending their title.

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