2020 WBA Playoff second round predictions
by Timmy Frenchie
Cancun Outlaws vs Albacete Burning Hell
(season series split 2-2)
The Burning Hell started these playoffs on fire as they completely burned the Zulus in 4 games. Only one game was close as the third meeting had to go to OT to decide the winner. All other 3 games were won by an average of 24 points. Behind a collective effort, the Burning Hell offense was too much to handle for the Zulus. 6 players scored 15 points or more showing how deep this team is. Lonny Jordan led the way with a great overall performance (averaging 24 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists). Only Dan Kincaide had a sub-par performance of 15 points and 4 rebounds, below his average of 20 points and 6 rebounds. But that was more than enough anyway. Albacete impressive and poised performance in round 1 suggest great things to come for them.
Never underestimate the Outlaws. They have proven over and over that they are dangerous come playoffs time. This year they had the opportunity to avenge last year surprising first round exit and they did not disappoint. After losing game 1 at home, Cancun coaching staff made some key adjustments to win the next four. Game 2, a 40 point-blowout, was a statement game announcing that the wind had turned. Trentesols performance in round one shows how underrated this player is. He averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists to go along with 3 steals and 4 blocks. Truly an exceptional specimen, Cancun can always hope that good things will happen while Clement is on the floor.
There is so many reasons to be excited about this one. The best offense against the best defense. Trentesols against Jordan. Pat against Pedro. Albacete begins as the favorite because of their depth and since Cancun may now miss the starting backcourt of Rambuka and Summerall. Expect a physical and intense series with lots of fouls. Could Cancun coaching expertise knock off the best team in the Conference? One thing for sure, this should be hell of a series.
Prediction: Albacete over Cancun in 6
Barcelona Counts vs Paris Honeybees
(Paris won season series 3-1)
Getting by the Mayhem was no easy task for the Honeybees. Paris dropped the first game at home and barely escaped with a victory in game 2, winning only by 2. Winning game 3 on the road helped their cause but after losing game 4, this series was all tied again. At this point, Paris showed some poised and took control of their destiny by winning game 5 and 6 by an average 17 points. George Bisset was a huge factor for them scoring 28 points per game in the series, improving his regular season scoring by 8 points.
As predicted, the Counts won an intense battle against a good Snowbears squad in the first round. Even if they did not have homecourt advantage as a 6th seed, Barcelona offensive firepower got the better of Alaska sub-par defense. Between those playing valuable minutes in these playoffs, the Counts had 5 players scoring 18 points per game or more on a 36 minutes per game basis. Their offensive versatility is well known, and it did get them another playoffs series win this year.
Getting by a strong Milan team should boost the Honeybees confidence. That could be very helpful since many key players from Paris do not have much playoffs experience. The Counts have been stuck in the second round for the last 2 years, and it will be difficult for them to surpass that this season. Both teams will display their great offensive abilities all series long. But in the end, defense should make the difference.
Prediction: Paris over Barcelona in 6 games
Colorado Pioneers vs Brooklyn Rage
(Brooklyn won season series 2-1)
Defending champs did not even break a sweat in their first-round bout. An incredible performance by Sims and Jackson kept the Blues close in one game, but all others were blowout decided by an average of 28 points. This is the kind of results we are expecting from this dynasty that the Brooklyn Rage is. Miles and Bailey were magnificent as usual, combining an average of more than 50 points per game. As we have seen for almost a decade now, the Brooklyn Rage are not challenged in the first round of the playoffs. It is just a warmup for them.
The Pioneers had an easier time than expected in their first-round matchup against the Gamblers. They only lost one game, while winning 4 games by an average of 13 points. Lyons had his usual stellar performances, but it might be the play of forward Tom Kinsey that put the Pioneers way in front of those Gamblers. He improved his scoring by an average of 8 points per game while getting almost 2 more assists and 1 more steal in each contest. His FG% also went from 49 to 55%. Colorado is coming in the second round fully healthy, ready to face the toughest challenge of all.
In the last 8 playoffs meetings between these two teams, Brooklyn is 8-0. You read that right. The Rage have swept the Pioneers from the playoffs for the last 2 years. Does that make Colorado a bad team? Not at all. This squad went all the way to the Conference Finals last season. They have 2 elite players and 4 stars. But that is nowhere near enough to compete with that monster.
Prediction: Brooklyn over Colorado in 5
Boston Massacre vs California Fighting Cocks
(California won season series 3-1)
Even with one of their main scoring options out with an injury, the Fighting Cocks did not even look challenged in the first round. They did drop one game to the young Fanatics, but they won the other four by an average of 30 points. They simply dominated an inexperienced Salt Lake City squad. Let us not forget that this team won an amazing 70 games this season. Lead by the Superstars duo of Watt and Hassan, who combined for an average of 48 points per game in the first round, this team is special. They entered the second-round focus on the same goal. But they must wait a little more to have another shot at it.
Bad luck has struck this Boston team in these Playoffs, as they lost 2 of their best players to injuries in Mathieu and Askins. They still managed to survive round one against a revamped Warriors team behind a masterful performance by John Keating. The big man scored 33 points per game in this series, improving his regular scoring average by 10 points. He really put the team on his shoulder in the last 3 games averaging 39 points. Since Massacre last playoffs series win was more than 5 years ago, this one must feel very good for them.
The Massacre comes in this series limping and will rely mostly on 3 players to try to get them some wins. Without Askins and Mathieu, they just cannot compete with this deep and talented Fighting Cocks squad.
Prediction: California over Boston in 4