Entering the midpoint of the season, teams in the faculty league are playing tough basketball. Leading the way are the Dojoboys with a 55-24-2 record, a blistering .691 clip. The rest of the league is more even, with only 9 wins separating the second place Rolando’s Magic and Team Magis (both sporting a 42-38-1 record) and the last place Ratboo Warriors (33-47-1). Aside from the Dojoboys, the rest of the league has not managed to put together any sort of consistent winning streak; most of the matches have been 5-4 affairs.
Looking ahead to Week 11:
Dojoboys (55-24-2, 1st) vs Team JT (38-41-2, 10th)
The ‘boys will seek to continue their success as they test their mettle against dangerous Team JT. Led by stalwarts Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison, and ably backed up by Andre Miller, Joe Johnson and Mo Williams, Team JT looks to be the team to put an end to the Dojoboys’ dominance of the league (unless the Warriors manage to do it today.)
The Dojoboys will have to lean hard on Steve Nash, Mike Miller, Rasheed Wallace and Michael Redd to be able to eke out a victory.
Wild Cards: Joe Johnson’s game has been slipping as of late, and must step up to contribute. The Dojoboys will have to hope that their injured players Charlie Villanueva (shoulder), Marcus Camby (finger), and Monta Ellis (shoulder) are all healthy, and able to contribute.
asianbites (41-40, 7th) vs Rolando’s Magic (42-38-1, 2nd)
Only one and a half games separate these two teams, and a win by asianbites here could spell its entry into the magic six. Caron Butler, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Drew Gooden have helped the ‘bites to rise to seventh place; perhaps a little more effort, and they could rise higher.
However, the Magic will not be pushovers, what with the return of Pau Gasol from a broken foot, and Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Samuel Dalembert, Tony Parker, and Kyle Korver all performing admirably. It’ll take some luck for the ‘bites to use the Magic as their stepping stone to the playoffs.
Wild Cards: Rafer Alston and Vince Carter have not played well the past week, and are the subject of trade talks. However, they’ll continue to contribute to the ‘bites cause, for now. Raja
The Magic are still without Lamar Odom, still out with a knee injury, and Darko Mlicic hasn’t played up to his potential. Still, with the other Magic players playing well, they might not need them.
Team Magis (42-38-1, 2nd) vs burnik’s kuyukots (39-42, 9th)
When the Dojoboys faced the kuyukots, it won partly because key player Gilbert Arenas had an off game, and Amare Stoudamire was still shaking off rust from his knee injury. Now, both players are at the top of their game, which spells trouble for Team Magis. The additions of centers Andrew Bynum and Dikembe Mutombo, both filling in for injured players (Kwame Brown and Yao Ming, respectively), have strengthened this team immensely.
Team Magis will have to rely on Kevin Garnett, Carlos Boozer, Jamal Crawford, Shane Battier and Luke Ridnour in order to keep the kuyukots at bay.
Wild Cards: kuyukot stalwarts, Tayshawn Prince, Zach Randolph, and Mikael Pietrus have not been playing up to par lately, and could spell the difference between a win or a loss. Team Magis is without guard Paul Pierce, and will have to hope that Speedy Claxton and Boris Diaw remain hot. Jorge Garbajosa, who missed two games due to a strained right calf, must contribute.
Zyxwv (42-39, 4th) vs Blues Angles (42-39, 4th)
Unless they manage a split record down the middle, this matchup will help clarify the playoff order. It’ll be a battle of depleted lineups, though, with zyxwv missing the services of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, still under suspension due to the brawl with the Knicks, although Smith’s suspension is due to be lifted sooner. The Angles has an entire ward full of injured players, with David West, Chris Paul and Yao Ming all out for the week; the Blues even had Rashard Lewis, but since he’s not due back for a long time, he’s been released. It seems that this matchup will depend on whose lineup will be less injured for the week.
Zyxwv will have to lean hard on Allen Iverson and Earl Boykins, as well as David Lee and Mike Bibby, in order to get the win, while the Angles will have to hope that Manu Ginobili, Luther Head, Tyson Chandler, and Josh Childress are up to the task of steering the Angles to a win, and perhaps, a better playoff position.
Wild Cards: Ime Udoka and Nazr Mohammed must step up to help the Angles, and Adam Morrison, Sean May, and Charlie Bell must play well for zyxwv.
Boston Coltics (36-44-1, 11th) vs Blue Jersey Pwets (41-39-1, 6th)
Can the Pwets remain hot? That’s the key question in this matchup. After dropping their first five matchups, the Pwets have steadily risen up the ranks, and now hold on to one of the six coveted playoff spots. This is mainly due to the stellar play of guards Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury, and Baron Davis, and the reemergence of Chris Kaman, who had a slow start to the season. With centers Andrew Bogut and Ben Wallace, the Pwets look to dominate the boards and block their way to victory.
But the Coltics won’t go quietly. They’re led by the best player in the game, Kobe Bryant, who is ably supported by Luol Deng, Leandro Barbosa, Nick Collison and Jermaine O’Neal. With some luck, the Coltics might manage to pull off an upset.
Wild Cards: The Pwets are without Chris Webber and Gerald Wallace, and this might be a big factor on defense. However, the Coltics are similarly crippled with the loss of dead-shooter Peja Stojakovic, and must hope that Stromile Swift, Kurt Hinrich and Alonzo Mourning are able to step up their game in order to win.
Skylark Express (40-40-1, 8th) vs linus12 (35-44-2, 12th)
The Express and linus12 are both coming off victories, and it will be interesting to see which will give. On paper, linus12 has the weaker lineup, although Matt Harpring and Cuttino Mobley have been cut loose; in their place, Matt Carroll and Brian Skinner will try to take up the slack. It will be the team’s guards (Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, and Anthony Parker) though, who will do most of the work.
The Express will be banking on red-hot Matt Barnes and Shawn Marion, ably supported by Jason Terry and Andres Nocioni to lead the way to victory.
Wild Cards: linus12 will hope that guard T.J. Ford, who has missed two games with a sprained right ankle, remains healthy, and Utah stalwarts Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur have slowed down a bit. The Express are without guard Josh Smith, and Chris Bosh and Dorell Wright must step up if the Express are to win.
The Green Monster (34-45-2, 13th) vs Ratboo Warriors (33-47-1, 14th)
It’s a battle to stay out of the cellar for these two teams. Despite the fact that the Warriors can boast of having Dirk Nowitski and Ron Artest, it has been hobbled by the loss of guard Sam Cassell to foot problems and the slow return of center Brad Miller. The Warriors have to hope that Brad Miller comes around, and fast, and that their
The Green Monster, on the other hand, is led by the stellar play of Josh Howard, and Elton Brand, with Deron Williams, Larry Hughes, and Wally Szcerbiak providing ample support. But it is hamstrung by the fact that the earliest center Shaquille O’Neal will be coming back will be next week, and will be a non-factor against the Warriors. Guard Chauncey Billups is also injured, which will force the Monster to dig deep down and hope that its remaining players have the wherewithal to eke out a victory.
Wild Cards: Guard Damon Stoudamire has been hot as of late, and, if he remains so, will be a big plus for the Monster. Center Troy Murphy has been slumping as of late; a breakout could be imminent, although the presence of Andris Biedrins makes that unlikely. As mentioned earlier, Miller, Granger, and Tinsley must step up to help the Warriors in their quest to get out of the cellar.