GSB Playoffs Round 1 Series MVPs

by Daniel Jarris

Oakland Otters (1) defeat Dallas Flying Stallions (8), 2-1

Oddy Nuff

Game 1: 16 points, 4 assists, 7/9 FG

Game 2: 14 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 5/7 FG

Game 3: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4/9 FG

The #1 seed Oakland Otters were the only top seed to advance into the semi finals of the playoffs, as the #2, #3, and #4 seeds in Vice City, Memphis, and New York, respectively, were each swept 2-0 by the lower seeds in their matchup. It was not easy for Oakland, however, as they were on the brink of a Game 3 elimination after losing to Dallas 93-73 in game 2 of this series. Ultimately, however, the top team in the league was able to persevere and punch their ticket to the semi finals with a game 3 victory.

There were several contributors in each game that stood above in this series for the Otters. Black Dynamite put up 20 points in game 1 on 8/12 shooting, while Dane Jones and Jason Bourne put up good performances in game 2 despite the loss. Not to be forgotten, Almedin Colakovic put up an impressive 23 points in the crucial game 3 to lead the Oakland Otters into the next round. However, most of these names above had trouble making an impact in all 3 games in the series. 

This was not the case for Oddy Nuff, who was able to put together good performances in each of the games, providing on both ends of the floor and with good efficiency. Flanked by teammate and MVP hopeful Anthony Stank, who put up similar numbers with 14ppg in the 3 game series, Oddy was a calming force for the Otters as they were able to secure their spot in the next round.

Michigan Killer Beez (7) defeat Vice City Kings (2), 2-0

Truck Turner

Game 1: 30 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 7 steals, 12/16 FG

Game 2: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 12 steals, 1 block, 10/19 FG

With the Michigan Killer Beez eliminated by the eventual champions Vice City Kings in last season’s playoffs, the Beez locker room were certainly licking their lips at the chance for revenge against the #2 seed Kings. And that’s exactly what the Beez did as they convincingly swept the reigning champions 2-0 to earn their spot in the semi finals. One of the league’s hottest teams entering the playoffs, sparked by the acquisition of last year’s MVP runner up Greg Lake, this Michigan Killer Beez team is showing few weaknesses as they have secured a matchup with the #1 seed Oakland Otters.

This series was the Truck Turner show from start to finish. The reigning MVP and arguably the hottest player in the league since the All-Star break, Turner tortured the Vice City Kings to the tune of 19 steals in 2 games and averaged 27.5 points across those 2 games as well. Truck was backed up by Tim Riggins, who averaged 16.5 points on excellent efficiency, and the aforementioned Greg Lake who showed his scoring prowess. They also saw key contributions from big men Petey Wheatstraw and Aaron Ike. This Beez team is looking dangerous going into the next round with Truck Turner being the main man in Michigan.

Seattle Orcas (6) defeat Memphis Blues (3), 2-0

Mario Medici

Game 1: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, 4/6 FG

Game 2: 10 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 4/9 FG

The Seattle Orcas came into this series with a lot to prove against a Memphis Blues team that was the top dog for a large majority of the season but found themselves treading water as the season reached its conclusion. Unfortunately, for the Blues, their poor form carried over into the postseason as the Orcas were able to sweep them in 2 close fought battles which saw them move onto the next round.

The Orcas saw big contributions across the board, with good performances coming up and down the roster from the likes of Butch Harrison, Coco Raccoon, Oscar Oden, and Jim C Williams. Ultimately the man who stood out for the Orcas was big man Mario Medici, who clashed with MVP favorite Dolph and largely came out on top. 

Medici showed his prowess not only under the bucket as a post scorer and rebounder, but also as a playmaker, as the center dished out 6 and 4 assists to his teammates in game 1 and 2, respectively. His contributions didn’t stop there however as he averaged a double double with 10.5 points and 10 rebounds per game, while also throwing in 2 blocks per game against a tricky Blues team. With a grudge match against their divisional rivals Portland coming up, Orcas will be looking for more of the same from their big man as he faces a tough test against former #1 pick Milton Francis-Heinkel and Pharoah Dotson.

Portland Pioneers (5) defeat New York Skyliners (4), 2-0

Rae’Sean Carter Jr

Game 1: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 6/9 FG

Game 2: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 7/12 FG

With Portland having the unique distinction of being the only lower seeded team with a better record (9-5) than the higher seed (7-7), a lot of pundits were expecting for Portland to take revenge over the New York Skyliners. It was just last season when the Skyliners beat the Pioneers in the S1 playoffs with a 2-1 series victory, before losing to Vice City in the finals. While they did not get a chance to meet in the regular season, the two franchises were still connected during this season as the drama regarding Kam Melo’s short tenure in Portland saw him being moved to New York at the trade deadline in a move that shocked many.

As expected, Portland took care of business with two comfortable victories over the Skyliners to punch their way into the semi finals. As it has been the case for much of the season with this Pioneers squad, there was no true standout and each game saw several players step up when needed, including Wulong-Chi, Davis, Carter Savage and Ish each averaging over 10 points in the series. Devan Davis in particular harassed the New York guards and ended with 16 steals in the 2 game series.

One player stood above, however, and that is Rae’Sean Carter. One of the more underrated players in the entire GSB, Carter did it all for the Pioneers in this series. He was a threat down low, bullying his matchup in the post while grabbing nearly double digit boards in both games and chipping in with 3 blocks in each game of the series. Carter truly showcased his ability as an all around threat for the Pioneers and they’ll be looking for more of the same in this upcoming grudge match against the Seattle Orcas.