GSB League Update: Pacific Division (Midway Point) S3

by WeRBadGamers

League Update - Pacific Edition

Written By WeRBadGames

Oftentimes considered the toughest division in the GSB. When Out West anything can happen. Some play it fast, some play it slow; some like it hot and some like it cold. there is a team in the desert that is making it rain while the defending champs are treading water. The Pacific division features some of the league's strongest franchises. Which ones are the real deal and which ones are fake? How have things shaped up so far this season and how will things shape up in what is to be an intense second half? 


(as of week 8)

  1. Albuquerque Martians (6-2)
  2. Portland Pioneers (5-3)
  3. Seattle Orcas (5-3)
  4. Oakland Otters (4-4)

*Team breakdowns are in alphabetical order.

Albuquerque Martians (6-2)(2-1) 

Martians Team Page

No team has risen up the rankings and turned as many heads as fast as the Martians have this season. Like a spaceship preparing for liftoff the Martians started flush with the ground, maybe even beneath it, with a disappointing season-opening loss to the Oakland Otters. 

The first game felt just like old times, the Albuquerque we spent all last season watching in horror and disgust getting pummeled in every facet of the game.  

However, this season something miraculous happened. Instead of crumbling under the pressure of Week 1 they took off and blasted out of space. The Martians ended the 1st Quarter on a 3-game winning streak, taking down San Antonio, Atlantic City, and Dallas and seeming completely unfazed by the Week 1 mishap.

Al Ingram III, who has quickly shot up the Most Improved Player Award list, and Jason Peace have taken the biggest leaps on the roster this season. Peace followed up his first ever career double-double against Atlantic City with another double-double. All the while, Justin Banks has continued to display the elite athleticism, slashing ability, and 3pt shooting that he’s worked on his entire Martian career. But, I’d be remiss to not mention his first ever career double double as well in a 20 point 11 assist night against the Sea Dogs. 

More recently, the Martians have seen a monumental uptick in production from Jon Fowler, who for a lack of a better term, is becoming a serious problem for other teams.  

Albuquerque’s bread and butter has been the 3-ball, which they shoot at one of the highest statistical averages in the GSB, at 53%. Their offense has been otherworldly to say the least. In their last 7 games the Martians are averaging 114 ppg.

Their defense has been less than desirable. This is something that needs to improve drastically in Quarter 3, when they face a strenuous slate of opponents. If they can finish at least 2-2 in this stretch then the sky's the limit… or whatever is above the sky. However, when you shoot the rims until they turn slime green, maybe you are on to something.   

Wins: Oakland, Vice City, Seattle, Dallas, Atlantic City, San Antonio

Losses: Baltimore, Oakland

Notable Players:

Player NamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssist Per Game
Al Ingram III20.5 ppg1.5 rpg6.0 ast
Justin Banks14.8 ppg   2.6 rpg 6.0 ast
Jason Peace
14.5 ppg     
6.4 rpg
3.9 ast
Jon Fowler
15.3 ppg    
0.9 rpg
2.3 ast

Upcoming Games:  Nola, @Portland, @New York, Seattle

Oakland Otters (4-4)(1-2)

Otters Team Page

The Season 2 defending champs have looked a little different. Far different then how I had initially written this write-up back in Q1 where they started out 3-1.

The games have been quite closer than maybe some have expected and Oakland has dropped a few to teams that are struggling in the league. The Otters in Q1 always seemed to find a way to close out games and flex their unbelievable defense. But in Q2, things took a turn for the worse. 

This championship team, which brought nearly everyone back, initially saw a jump in production from the likes of Dane Jones who really turned his game up a notch around the midpoint of last season. The roster from top to bottom is stacked, once again. However, something just isn’t right in the Bay. 

So, the positives! Oakland continues to thrive on their front-office’s ability to identify elite talent and develop it. Then combine all of that with an extremely balanced system where everyone eats + lock-down defense and you have an elite team. Not to mention the length and height they have at every position.

Rookie Klank Thompson, heir to the throne of The Bright Side of the Bay, has stepped up, learned the ropes quickly, and been able to make large contributions as though he were a three-year veteran. This is just another example of the Otters’ proficient coaching staff and their progression planning.

Though the team composition is almost the same, the usual suspects have been a bit different. We partially witnessed the Skyler Stevens era, another player that has made impactful strides. Stevens started out the season on fire in Q1, being a rebounding and 3pt threat. 

Anthony Stank and Oddy Nuff have taken somewhat of a step back offensively to spread the ball around more. We’ve seen approximately 18% less Stank moments this season so far. Although Stank has found his groove once again is starting to take charge more. 

Almedin Colakovic, potentially the Playoff MVP of the Otters’ run, is taking well to a new role. Cola is coming off the bench to help keep the flow of offense going with a 2nd unit that also features Javad “Quiet, Desert, Thunder” Storm, who as I type this has actually been in and out of the starting rotation.

The Otters had an extremely dominant win over Baltimore to end Q2, and then an epic collapse against the Martian to start Q3. But, there is still so much time for them to backdoor their way from 4th to 2nd in the division and still make the playoffs. But, something is amiss. This season, teams don’t fear Oakland and that has messed with their psyche. They need to look at themselves in the mirror and say “we are not the same Oakland from last year.” And, make a system around who they are this year.

Wins: Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, Albuquerque

Losses: Albuquerque, New York, Dallas, Portland

Notable Players: 

Player NamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssist Per Game
Anthony Stank17.4 ppg2.3 rpg5.8 ast
Klank Thompson 17.1 ppg2.1 rpg3.1 ast
Javad Storm9.5 ppg6.1 rpg2.1 ast
Oddy Nuff9.5 ppg1.4 rpg2.3 ast

Upcoming Games:  Vice City, @Seattle, San Antonio, Atlantic City

Portland Pioneers (5-3)(2-0)

Pioneers Team Page

Is the Puff era upon us? Is Tim Savage back? Are the Pioneers 2 and 0 in the Pacific Division. Yes, yes, yes! Not many would have predicted this type of start from them. Beating both Seattle and Oakland in Q1.  

Portland, to put it frankly, with the departures of Hoe Jarris and Quan Wulong-Chi seemed like they were a team without an identity. It is never easy to replace efficiency, offensive production and vocal leadership. 

Although the Pioneers lost a lot, they’ve found a Slimer Puffenstuff (back and balder than ever) and initiated the resurrection of Tim Savage. The Pioneers also feature the most athletic forward/center trio in the league with Pharaoh Dotson, Rae’sean Carter, and Rashadi Ish who can knock and block. And don’t forget how clutch Braden Hartjes has been, he’s possibly the most underrated PF in the GSB outside of Monty Clark in Oakland.  

The Pioneers also have a serious knack for defense, it’s like an addiction for them. Did I mention how athletic their forwards are? With all of that quickness, strength, and verticality their opponents have to really be on their A-game to get lucky in the paint.

On offense, Portland operates at a much slower pace than most teams. I mean snail slow. They are currently averaging 89.3 ppg. However, the way it works is if they are the first team to 90, they win. This means they have completely controlled the game from start to finish or have kept the game close and get that needed spurt of offense right at the perfect time.

They do not want to get in a shootout, even though they have deep threats in Devan Davis and Sean Robinson to pair with Savage. They enjoy controlling the pace, driving and forcing a team to really guard the basket. The issue right now for them is finding that go-to-scorer. Puffenstuff is the closer, but with the pace they enjoy, it is very hard to go on huge runs especially late game.

The 2nd half of the season is a double-edged sword. They get a chance to either grab 1st place in the division, in regards to the Head to Head matchups, or fall all the way to 4th.   

Notable Players:

Player NamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssist Per Game
Slimer Puffenstuff12.8 ppg 1.5 rpg6.0 ast
Tim Savage 12.3 ppg2.0 RPG 1.8 ast
Rae'Sean Carter 11.5 ppg4.6 rpg1.4 ast
Braden Hartjes11.0 ppg8.1 rpg 2.3 ast

 Upcoming Games: @Boston, Albuquerque, Seattle, @San Antonio

Seattle Orcas (5-3)(1-1) 


Maybe just maybe, indicated by the Space Needle, Seattle is obsessed with big and tall things. This idea rings true with the Orcas. They feature 3 massive centers in Jim C. Williams, Shane Nox, and Mario Medici, who all average over 19 mpg. 

This also explains their very heavy post-centric offense. They play low and slow to perfection. And just when you think you’ve stopped them, they kick it out to their newest weapon, a dragon, named Quan Wulong-Chi. Seattle has a bevy of shooters in old faithful Nick Hill, Oscar Oden and Coco Raccoon.

Like Portland and Oakland, Seattle wants nothing more than for you to test their interior defense. They build a wall, as high as 7’3, with their bigs and make slashing and scoring inside a chore. Do you think perimeter scoring is any easier? Think again, the Stern brothers are still alive and well. Steele Stern and Dub Stern are back with nothing, but solid defense in their veins. Dub Stern is averaging 2.3 steals per game. 

But, sometimes being too balanced is a blessing and a curse. Teams cannot adequately prepare for who will go off, but there isn’t much opportunity for someone to go off. You will get double digit scorers, sure. But, no one will really push past their ceiling. Who can give you 25 and then some if you need it?  

That’s what the Orcas needs to work on. Adding more offensive elements to their gameplan. Things set up nicely for them in the 2nd half of the season to do well. They can keep games close just with their defense alone.  

But still right now, it’s very hard to gauge what Seattle is. When you look at who they’ve beaten and compare it to who they’ve been beaten by, it is still difficult to figure out what their ceiling is. Nonetheless, they are preparing for a stretch where they can prove their might. Q3 will tell us what they are made of and Q4 will tell us if they are a playoff team or on the outside looking in. Similar to Portland, the Orcas have a divisional heavy half. Sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they fall.    

Notable Players:

Player NamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per Game
Nick Hill14.1 ppg1.5 rpg 4.9 ast
Quan Wulong-Chi12.5 ppg2.9 rpg4.0 ast
Oscar Oden11.8 ppg1.8 rpg2.4 ast
Dub Stern10.4 ppg2.4 rpg 3.3 ast

Upcoming Games: @Atlantic City, Oakland, @Portland, @Albuquerque