LA Confidential: Fireballs at the All-Star Break
- By Jron Magcale, Day 120, 2026
LOS ANGELES - The Fireballs is sitting now at 38-19 good for 2nd overall in the Western conference and 1st in the Pacific Division and 3rd in the most recent Power Rankings behind only East coast superpowers Cincinnati Kings and Baltimore Bullets who are 1 & 2 in the East as of this writing. The Fireballs has basically switched into a more defensive-centric direction this season with the acquisition of Derrick Griffin, Kenyon Fuller, Jeremiah Augustin and most recently Jarell Harrison due to Fuller's injury. This sets the team up to be one of the best defensive team's in the league ranking 2nd in DRtg with 108.6 while being 2nd in total rebounds, off rebounds and def rebounds, 6th in steals per game and 7th in block per game while maintaining Top 5 in transition points as well. While being more defensive this season the team still is #1 in FG attempts per game and 4th in FG made which mean the team still is a legit offensive threat. They have improved their outside shooting as they are now ranked 11th in 3FG attempts per game and 11th in 3FG made per game. Overall the Fireballs is starting to be a more well-rounded team with their structure this season. The Fireballs also have Chris LaCruz (All-Star starter) and Derrick Griffin (All-Star reserve) representing LA in Mexico City this All-star game a feat they haven't reached since the 2020 season when LaCruz and Jordan Carstensen made it in the ASG.
QUICK LOOK AT THE PLAYERS OF NOTE
Chris LaCruz, PG - LaCruz has been silently putting together a solid year putting in 27.6 ppg (43% FG, 39% 3FG, 81% FT), 9.7 apg, 5.8 rpg, 1.63 spg, 0.66 bpg while being ranked 3rd in the MVP race. LaCruz has been showing his magic all season long as he has been closing close games and leading the Fireballs to a phenomenal start. Juice signed a long term extension which gives the Fireballs the confidence to build the team with LaCruz still the focal point moving forward. He is named in his 7th All-star and reports said that Juice is ready for the playoffs push after the break in which he usually build up going to the playoffs.
Derrick Griffin, SF - Griff has been good as advertised the Fireballs key offseason acquisition has been putting together career numbers and like LaCruz he is in the awards race but this time for Defensive Player of the Year award, the 6'7" defensive wing has been averaging 18.6 ppg (43% FG, 39 3FG, 73% FT), 7.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.07 bpg, 2.05 spg. His DRtg of 106.7 is well below the team's 108.6, he has been a defensive stalwart and is ranked 2nd in DPOY race. He is putting together an All-JBL worthy run this season as his offense is starting to improve more and more.
Kenyon Fuller, PF - The Fireballs added Fuller on Day 42 to compete against the top teams in the West and he hasn't disappoint the 21-year old PF/C has been averaging 17.4 ppg (49% FG, 41% 3FG, 84% FT), 8.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2 bpg, 1.12 spg but unfortunately went down with a groin tear injury and will miss potentially a month. He has played 33 games with the Fireballs and is a key ingredient in the Fireballs offense-defense attack. When healthy he is one of the most promising young bigs. He fits the Fireballs system well and his outside shooting is being used shooting 41% 3FG. Griffin is also named for his 1st ever All-star game as a reserve forward at 29 years old.
Dejuan Brooks, SG/SF - Brooks started at SF during the 1st week of JBL but switched with Griffin as the season progressed and has been showing his flexibility well. The 6'7" wing has been playing well all-around and has been also a big defensive asset at the wings. He and Griff is a problem waiting to happen at the wings defensively. Averaging 14.5 ppg (41% FG, 38% 3FG, 89% FT), 7.7 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.54 bpg, 0.95 spg. The scary thing about D-BRooks he is just 23 years old as well which means he can still develop to be so much more, already being mentioned in the Most Improve Player conversation.
Jarell Harrison, C/PF - An emergency acquisition for the Fireballs a week before the All-Star break. He was targeted as starting PF Kenyon Fuller went down with an injury, the 6'11" defensive stretch big has so far shown solid performances only played 3 games with the Fireballs but has been averaging 18.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 3 bpg, 2.7 apg and 2 spg while shooting 45% FG, 40% 3FG and 20% FT. The big man has been enjoying the system shooting a bit high rate of outside shots as he is averaging 3.3 out of 8.3 3FG, he needs to cut that down and works more in the inside but the Fireballs is happy with his overall production. Harrison is another young big that they add in the stable as he is just 22 years old. If his performance will be consistent enough he may be able to push out Aaron Taphorn off the starting lineup when Fuller gets back.
Keiron Bloom, PG - Bloom has been solid in limited minutes and has been flashing his drool-worthy potential, the athletic speed demon has been averaging 7.4 ppg (46% FG, 30% 3FG, 83% FT), 4.1 apg, 4.1 rpg, 0.68 spg and 0.47 bpg in 20.3 mpg (Played 53 games and has 1 start). Was named with in the All-Rookie vs All-CJBL roster in the All-Star weekend as a reserve guard. He is in a great situation developmental-wise learning under the wing of the best PG in the JBL today, Chris LaCruz.
Devearl Stoudamire, SF - Scuba Stouda for the most part has been having a solid season as a backup forward playing both forward position but an unfortunate injury caught him and have him sidelined for 4-6 weeks from a fractured wrist but before that he has been a key part of the Fireballs surge. Averaging 8.5 ppg (44% FG, 42% 3FG, 69% FT), 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.98 spg and 0.76 bpg. He has been the designated sniper off the bench and his versatility and defense has been a big addition for the Fireballs attack. When he gets back the Fireballs will be a lot deeper for sure.
Jeremiah Augustin, PF/C - Anothe surprise acquisition for the Fireballs as the versatile PF/C has been contributing well off the bench averaging 8.5 ppg (36% FG, 36% 3FG, 71% FT), 5.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.16 bpg, 0.59 spg on 12.8 mpg playing 37 games and starting 1 game. The skilled shot-blocking stretch 5 has also been a glove fit in the Fireballs system, Augustin shot majority outside which explains his low FG% but his playmaking and passing in his position is a key factor why he is important to the team's overall machine. The 6'10" big man will play a big role in the 2nd unit which will make the Fireballs a deeper and more skilled once everyone is healthy.