Welcome to round one of the 2025 Playoffs!!!

by Ron Chambers

World Conference

#1 Gabon (75-5) vs. #8 Albacete (34-46)

Pedro Alcaraz, GM of the Year, put together a very talented team in Albacete that has surprisingly didn’t even finish .500. This team has all the talent in the world but not the right balance. Blanco, Binsenshaum, and Bourgois are all very talented but this team doesn’t have the interior chops it needs to be a contender. They are in the bottom third of rebounding teams and the second worst in blocked shots. Overall Albacete’s offense is one of the league’s weaker offenses and their defense is middling. Gabon on the other hand had a historic year. at 75-5 Gabon holds the second-best record of all time. Only the legendary 2017-18 Brooklyn team had a better record. They have the #6 offense and the #1 defense. They only allowed 94.4 points which is the best defense the league has had since 2018. With a 21.3-point margin, the Giants rank with some of the best of all time. Anything less than a championship will be a disappointment for this team. Gabon is the best team that has never one a championship. The odds are that will change this year.

Prediction: Gabon wins 4-0


#2 Paris (59-21) vs. #7 Barcelona (38-42)

Barcelona is trying to rediscover their identity. They haven’t yet. Let’s face it, they are pretty mediocre right now. They are still a good offense but their defense is terrible. Paris may be most known currently for Trading away Jervan Timmons. They have taken a lot of heat over this trade but they are still a very talented team with a young core. They should develop into a top team but they are still a step or two away from that. They however will be the dominating force in this match-up.

Prediction: Paris wins 4-1

#3 London (49-31) vs. #6 Cancun (43-37)

Kevin Whitlock may be the best scorer in WBA history. Time will tell. 36.1 points a game is a new record. Critics point out that Whitlock is fairly one-dimensional. But, he may be the best there is at that dimension. However, Whitlock doesn’t have the talent he needs around him or enough defense to slow their opponents. London’s De Gama and Lurdes are top-notch talents. De Gama may well be an MVP at some point and Lurdes is a generational interior defender. Trentesols may not be the talent he was a few years ago but at 34 he is still a major talent. This is a team that just needs to continue building its depth and they will be elite. Cancun likely doesn’t have enough defense to slow London. At the same time, Koslovs doesn’t have the defense to slow Whitlock. This should be a good series but London is better and has home court.

Prediction: London wins: 4-2


#4 Edmonton (48-32) vs. #5 Milan (48-32)

These teams couldn’t be much closer. They both finished with the same record. They both have mediocre offenses and solid defenses. With Davidson and Piavett, Edmonton has the star power. Milan on the other hand relies on a more balanced team. These two teams split their season series. It could go either way. But as close as it could be Edmonton has both the better star power and home court.

Prediction: Edmonton wins 4-3


USA Conference

#1 California (66-14) – #8 Chicago (27-53)

Let’s face it, Chicago is not the quality of team we normally see in the playoffs. Further, Turgeon and Stoklosa are both out for the first round with injuries. California on the other hand is one of the best Dynasties of all time. They are starting to age but Hassan Watt at 29 is in his prime and just won his 3rd MVP award. A nice surprise this year has been Gangotena who has emerged just as Marc White is starting to slow. This team may lean more on Watt than they did a few years ago but he is carrying them well. They are a top offense and defense and they dominate on the boards. This should be a short series.

Prediction: California wins 4-0


#2 Arizona (62-18) vs. #7 Salt Lake City (40-40) 

Salt Lake City was once a round franchise but they have fallen apart over the last few seasons. A change at GM from the iconic Bradley Bangerter to Michael Scott seems to have done the team well. This year they had their best season since 2019 and they have a strong core to build around. They have a solid eight-man rotation. Juju Wambaugh will likely be one of the major stars in the league in a few years. This is a franchise on the way up. The biggest injustice in the WBA this season was that Dan Dinggleberry didn’t win GM of the Year. Arizona was mediocre last season and became elite this year due to a new shooting guard that allowed them to move Aldgasser to point guard. Arizona has an unprecedentedly efficient offense. It is the second-best offense in league history. They also lead the league with 53.3% from the field. Moscoso also leads the league in field goal percentage. This is a team that could cause some damage in the playoffs.

Prediction: Arizona wins 4-1


#3 Miami (50-30) vs. #6 Colorado (43-37)

Hancho Durrant is the future of Colorado. He has some talent around him- Kain, Edwards, and Steiner- but they are still in the process of rebuilding. They have a good management team so expect them to continue their rise. Miami shot up in the WBA world with one single trade that brought Jervan Timmons, the best point guard in WBA history, to the beaches of Miami.  Timmons is aging and starting to slow but Venceslas Portocarrero is Miami’s upcoming star. This is a short window as Portocarrero as a standout shooting guard is getting the ball from the league’s best passer. The problem for Miami is that they don’t have much talent past that. Those two are so impressive that they should be enough to move past Colorado, especially with home-court advantage, but they may struggle past that.

Prediction: Miami wins 4-2


#4 Atlanta (45-35) vs. #5 Brooklyn (45-35)

Atlanta’s top players are on par with any other teams in the league but they lack depth. In most ways, the team is pretty average but when Irving, Muntean, Sims, and Montoya can get hot and help this team beat pretty much anyone. Brooklyn is in a rebuilding phase after a long run on top. Miles and Bailey aren’t what they used to be. Bobbins is having an excellent year but the key to this team is Trenton Adams. This team is much more successful when Adams is healthy. He has missed 22 games this year which is a concern. Fortunately, he should be back in the lineup for the playoffs. If he stays healthy Brooklyn could make a run. If he doesn’t it could be a short run.

Prediction: Brooklyn wins 4-3

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