ON THE BALL: Lakers out front
In this edition of On The Ball, NATION basketball writer Justin Marville issues his first set of Power Rankings for the Co-operators General Insurance Premier League season.
Yes, I’m hearing you Cavs fans. Whether in the Gym, at the college, in a bank line or on the road, trust me, I’m hearing you.
Guess that’s what happens when phrases such as “biggest disappointment”, “disaster” and “no true offensive threats” were used to label a team currently with the league’s third best record.
So maybe they’ll accept this token apology of second place in the first ever Power Rankings and we can call it even. Yeah, that would be the day.
1. Lumber Company LSC (7-0)
Is it just a coincidence that they wear yellow because these Lakers are, without doubt, the gold standard of this league? Games won, points scored, points against, turnovers, shooting percentage – if you can think about them, LSC probably lead it. Well, maybe not defensive rebounding, where they probably rank dead last even behind the schoolboys. And that can’t fare well in this week’s showdown against Pinelands’ rebounding monster of a frontline.
2. Station Hill Cavaliers (4-2)
When you’re in the business of predicting things you’re going to get your fair share of things wrong, but boy was I totally off the mark. And we’re a Kevin Sealy lay-up short of talking about the 5-1 Cavs. The season is still a long one, but the defence this team is playing – along with a victory over Pinelands – suggests this is anything but a fluke.
3. Smalta Pinelands (4-1)
If you don’t think Saturday’s heavyweight showdown with the unbeaten champs (or the finals preview as I refer to it) means nothing to the Pine, then I guess you didn’t see most of the team – including head coach Renaldo Maughan – scouting LSC’s contest against Warrens. What should be of more concern to them, though, is their late-game execution when the ball mysteriously gets super-glued to the hands of a certain Jeremy Gill.
4. Warriors (4-2)
Warriors beat Station Hill, yet I have them behind the Cavs? For starters, they lost to a Cougars team whose only other win came against the then winless schoolboys. They needed a frantic fourth-quarter run to down the lowly Warrens – by one! Of course, a win is still a win, and Warriors should look that much better as Nicholai Williams works himself back into the flow of the offence.
5. Urban Vybz St John’s Sonics (2-2)
They beat up on the bad teams (Tridents, Warrens) and lose to the good ones (LSC, Pinelands), so the middle of the table should be just reward. This sounds about right, as you can’t quite justify placing Sonics among the good squads. Neither can you rightly mention them with the likes of Challengers and Warrens. How they cope without Rommel Garnes should tell us exactly where they belong.
6. Cougars (2-4)
I’ve been told if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything, so . . . .
7. Combined Schools Tridents (1-5)
What does your first win in two years get you these days? Well, a spot two places out of the cellar, of course. Naturally, coach Cosmo Edwards would’ve preferred the one that got away against Warrens, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? This isn’t to suggest the schoolboys are magically going to run the table from here, not with Pinelands and Cavs directly on the horizon. However, the light at the end doesn’t look so far anymore.
8. Challengers (1-5)
Alwyn Lovell (23.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 5 apg) is filling up the stat sheet on a bottom-of-the-table team that has only one other player scoring double digits.
Seems like Senators all over again, doesn’t it? They’d better start targeting the two games against Warrens or they won’t only look like Senators – they’ll join them.
9. Warrens (1-5)
All 1-5 teams are equal, but some are more equal than others. So while Warrens might’ve indeed beaten one of the other two 1-5 squads, you really can’t tell me that they’re in better standing than the schoolboys right now. Unless, of course, Tridents think they would be better off coping with squabbling, having several different starting line-ups and dealing with players not turning up for games.