Week 12 of the 2014 Drew League marked our first glimpse of playoff action, as eight games decided which teams would advance to Round 2 of play. In this single-elimination format, anything is possible; Check out the most updated look at the playoff brackets:
The field began at 28, but after Sunday's four games, it had been trimmed to just four. Here are the final scores, per the event's website. The winners advanced to the final four.
- Cheaters 98, Problems 85
- C.O.A 70, Citi Team Blazers 64
- Cheaters 2 75, NWA 71
- Houdini All-Stars 98, Jaguars 57
Occupying one of the semifinals spots is the high-scoring Cheaters squad. After hanging 90 on Sky Rise on Friday, the team went for 98 on Problems Sunday.
"Money" Mike Efevberha went off for the Cheaters with 35 points and 14 rebounds. Led by former NBA All-Star Baron Davis, this team is going to be tough to beat the rest of the way.
Davis' team weren't the only Cheaters prospering on Sunday. Led by relentless defense from the Ware brothers—Ervin and Casper—Cheaters 2 held off a determined NWA team to punch their ticket to the semifinals.
Teammate Van Girard sent out congratulations to his team on a hard-fought win.
In the final game of the day, the Houdini All-Stars made the Jaguars disappear in a major way. The 41-point blowout was the most-lopsided victory of the Week.
Aaron Smarter had the perfect description of what happened in the game.
Whoever writes up Houdini's All Stars vs. Jaguars for @drewleague blog, I have a good word for you... "Ambushed". Jags got ambushed.— Aaron Smarter (@AaronSmarter) August 3, 2014
In Week 13, Cheaters 2 will face COA and Cheaters will take on the Houdini All-Stars. Could we have an all Cheaters final?
Would Saturday produce the same end game, or would the league produce some upsets?
Well, here's a look at how Round 1 of the playoffs shook out.
|Date||Team 1||Team 2||Winner|
|Fri, Aug. 1||NWA||Salvatori's No Shnacks||NWA, 86-76|
|Fri, Aug. 1||Cheaters||Sky Ryse||Cheaters, 90-77|
|Sat, Aug. 2||Salvatori's Nova Stars||Hank's Cheaters 2||Cheaters 2, 82-61|
|Sat, Aug. 2||C.O.A.||C.A.B.C.||C.O.A., 79-49|
|Sat, Aug. 2||Jaguars||La Familia||Jaguars, 86-70|
|Sat, Aug. 2||M.H.P.||Hank's Houdini's All-Stars||All-Stars, 86-80|
|Sat, Aug. 2||Citi Team Blazers||The Clozers||Blazers, 82-80|
|Sat, Aug. 2||Problems||Hank's New Image||Problems, 79-78|
The playoffs kicked off on Friday night with Salvatori's No Shnacks looking to force an upset over No. 1 seeded NWA. Well, things looked good early on for Sango Niang and Co., as No Shnacks kept things even with the teams knotted up at 35 points at the half.
Jonathan Gibson had something to say about the close score, as he led a charge in the fourth quarter to give NWA the 10-point victory.
With one top seed moving on to the second round, Baron Davis and the Cheaters looked to duplicate that result against Sky Ryse. That's exactly what happened after a big performance from Davis and "Money Mike" lighting up the scoreboard:
A 90-77 victory for the Cheaters was the end result.
On Saturday, the Drew League didn't take long to produce its first upset of the playoffs, as the Cheaters 2 overtook the No. 4 Nova Stars thanks to a solid outing from Casper Ware. Here's a look at his numbers:
Apparently Julian Wright and C.O.A. weren't too interested in a reproduction of that outcome, as they poured it on early and often against No. 7 C.A.B.C.
At the break, C.O.A. racked up a comfortable 43-22 lead due to some precision shooting and solid defense. That trend continued in the second half, with the team's lead increasing to 79-49 by game's end.
Wright finished with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and added six rebounds and three assists.
Just after, the gym was jam-packed for La Familia's matchup against the Jaguars, but a double-double performance from Chris Telesford allowed the Jaguars to bounce their opponents by a score of 86-70.
In one of the day's most anticipated matchups, Nick Young and M.H.P. took on Antonio Biglow, Garrett Nevels and Corey Allen of Hank's Houdini's All-Stars.
The Lakers had eyes on Young throughout the game:
The No. 3-seeded M.H.P found themselves in a bit of trouble at the break, trailing Biglow and Co. 40-36. Continuing to press, Houdini's All-Stars held on to a 72-66 lead with just four minutes remaining. However, the Drew League tweeted what happened next:
Despite Young's valiant effort, M.H.P. just couldn't climb all the way back and were taken down by Houdini's All-Stars by a score of 86-80. Allen and Nevels came up huge for the All-Stars, combining for 43 points on the game.
Young had some kind words for the league after the game:
@DrewLeague thanks for the great yr best league of the summer— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) August 3, 2014
The Citi Team Blazers and the Clozers had the crowd erupting during the second-to-last game of the evening. At the end of the first quarter, Brandon Jennings nailed a shot from half court just as the buzzer sounded:
Not to be outdone, Frank Robinson made some noise of his own for the Blazers:
These two teams continued to battle throughout the game. While the Blazers held the lead for the majority of the contest, the Clozers continued to battle and finally tied things up at 74 with just over three minutes remaining.
With the Blazers up by two points with just a half-second remaining in the game, the referee called a phantom foul that sent Jennings to the line looking to tie the game with a pair of free throws.
According to the Drew League's Twitter account, fans in attendance were not happy; however, Jennings faltered anyway:
The errant free throws gave the Blazers an 82-80 victory and propelled them through to the second round.
Problems and Hank's New Image faced off in the final first-round contest on Saturday evening.
Which team was most impressive in Week 12?
Well, Problems lived up to its name, becoming very problematic for Hank's New Image early in the game. With a solid performance from Bobby Brown, Problems held a secure lead at the half, leading 42-30.
Although, the lead wouldn't hold, as Hanks' New Image came storming back to pull within four points with just over a minute remaining in the game. The lead dwindled further after a full-court pass from Keith Closs to pull his team within one point with just 30 seconds remaining.
Problems would hang on for a one-point win, as Brown finished with 15 points, seven boards and six assists.
Only eight teams remain, and Round 2 of the Drew League playoffs will continue with four more games on Sunday.
Will the No. 1 seeds continue to dominate, or will underdogs like Hank's Houdini's All-Stars continue to shine? The action only promises to intensify from here.