Oakland recap day 112
- By Reggie Cross, Day 113, 2023
In their third game since trading Antoine Peeler, the Tritons pulled off a good win against another likely playoff team in the Kansas City Knights. The expectation was to play hard with veteran Demetric Vaughn getting a rest day after his long break-less stint with the Lumberjacks. With a difficult stretch of games with the Scorpions, Cyclones, and the Vultures coming up, a full strength Vaughn would be necessary in the upcoming week to hold on to their standing before the all-star break.
Marcus Ivory seemed to have a little more fire in his eyes after hearing passing rumors that he was no longer a top 10 player in the league. The Tritons started off strong in the first quarter taking the lead 9 -5 three minutes into the first quarter and would keep the lead to end the quarter with a score of 33-21 in first quarter. The team braced themselves for a comeback in the second quarter, but the Tritons held the lead through the remainder of the game to take the win at 125-101.
The crowd went crazy as Ivory put the team on his back scoring 45 points, going 20 for 30 from the field, along with 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocks for a 38.9 score. Newly acquired Reggie Burke got the start in place of Vaughn, but chose to just focus on good D on Shandon James while taking no shots in the game. Equally strong on D, Alonzo Traylor stepped up as usual off the bench to hold All-star Kelvin Hawes to 19 points despite an impressive 16 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive boards. The rest of the team moved the ball well racking up 47 team assists and balanced supplemental scoring while feeding the beast, Ivory. Kai Navigato, another key remaining player, played a reserved, but effective game with 12 points and 8 assists on 5 of 6 shooting.
With all eyes focused on Peeler's impact on the Portland Lumberjacks, the Tritons may be written off by most as championship contenders. Losing against the Warriors was disappointing, but not unexpected with Philly being one of the top teams in the East. Recent wins against the Fireballs and Knights showed that there is still high confidence in the team.
They were both at home so it may not mean much. Are they championship contenders? Maybe ... maybe not.. but anything can happen. If the remaining players have anything to say about it, Oakland will still contend just as hard as they did when Peeler was on the team. Peeler was just one player who was under performing and the players, coaches, and management feel that Peeler's 2023 output can be replaced by Vaughn and others leading up to the end of the season.
As for Ivory, he'll go along his business professionally being the true franchise player that he is. For the naysayers, he'll probably just go out on to the court, play his ass off, win or lose, and just point to the middle prong on the logo and say.. that's for you .. like he did today.