Fireballs Win Streak Ends at 10, Drops 2 Straight Away From LA
- By Jron Magcale, Day 145, 2023
LOS ANGELES - The Fireballs winning streak peaked at 10 after they won at home vs Boston Crusaders and it was snapped by Eastern Conference powerhouse Chicago Jailbirds behind playmaking SG Jason Cheaney's 44 points despite the Fireballs balanced scoring (having 6 players in double figures) lead by LaCruz 26 points and leading most of the game they fall 108-103 from a torrid 46-point 4th quarter by the JBs. Their next game was against a another East Top team as they traveled Toronto to face the Huskies, the Fireballs managed to keep it close and even lead by halftime 51-53 but the strong 3rd quarter that saw the Huskies scoring 41 points while they themselves scoring 36 flipped the momentum on their side finishing the game 121-117, Darius Barry's 35 and Vionte Houston's 33 lead the Huskies while Chris LaCruz' 35 and Jamal Wilkinson's 26 kept the Fireballs fighting.
The Fireballs managed to get back on track and won against the Mustangs in Detroit, 115-100 with 3 Fireballs scored 20 or more points Carroll with 25, LaCruz with 23 and Coleman with 20. Former Fireball PG TJ Holloway flirted with a triple double as he had 9 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds, JaDante Hicks leads the 'Stangs in scoring with 22 points. The Fireballs will have 2 more away games as they continue their Eastern Conference trip visiting New York and Louisville on days 145 and 147 respectively.
MVP NOISE: CHRIS LACRUZ
Fireballs MVP candidate Chris LaCruz commented about the MVP noise that surrounds him and his play as of late. The 26 year old Point God has been playing on an insane level leading the league in points per game with 31.4 and among the top 12 in assists with 9 apg rounding out his stats is his 5.6 rpg, 1.14 spg and 0.71 bpg. His advanced stats are also among the top in the league currently 7th in PER 24.9, 2nd in EWA 20.5, 1st in OWS 8.6 and 3rd in WS 10.6. Asked about what his feeling towards the notion that he's not going to win the MVP award because of their team record, here is what he has to say:
"I really appreciate that my name is in the conversation for the MVP award this season, if I don't win the award that means I don't deserve it this season, plain and simple. As of this interview we're still fighting for a playoff spot and that is the most important thing for me right now, the playoffs. At the end of the day, I would of course want to win the award but I need to be deserving for the award, like last season I wasn't named in the All-Star game and I set my mind to do better this season to be back there and help my team win at the same time. I think I have done enough to at least be in that conversation, that's me. It's a tough situation for us as a team as we are transitioning from a completely different team from last season but I'm blessed with great teammates, great coaching staff and great organization. Dre (Phifer) is also playing at such a high level this season and so is Weave (Weaver) and a lot of other guys Drayton (Banks) has been super solid and everybody that is in that conversation at this point of the season deserves to be in it."
He then added "Now, it's up to the people deciding for the award if who among us deserves it. I'd be lying if I say I don't really care if I win it or not, because I do care as well but it don't bother me as much, I set some goals this season and I'm still ticking the boxes on that. So, whatever happens at the end of the season I'll still workhard in the offseason, still going to be aggressive towards progress and development. Lots of basketball still to be played."
There are a lot of commentaries regarding the MVP award this season but at press time Chris LaCruz and Andre Phifer are the 2 frontrunners depending on who you ask. But with the season approaching at a crucial stage for the Fireballs as they battle they way to clinch a playoff berth, that is the focus for LaCruz right now steer his team to the playoffs. They will be 1 of 4 teams gunning for the 6th-8th seed in the playoffs.
"But 1 thing is for sure, I'll be in the zone from here on out and will play my absolute best to finish the season strong and secure the playoff berth this season. Focus is at 100 and I'm about to go Zero Dark Thirty up in this bitch." LaCruz said ending the interview.