The 2019 BIG3 playoff race came down to point differential.
With six different teams tying for the final playoff spot with a 4-4 record, the 3 Headed Monsters snuck into the postseason thanks in large part to their 18-point victory over Enemies in Week 8. The 3 Headed Monsters closed their season with two straight wins, including an impressive triumph over Power to move their way into the postseason.
The 3 Headed Monsters will have a test against the 7-1 Triplets, who finished two games ahead of any other team during the regular season. Of course, it was 3 Headed Monsters who were 7-1 a year ago during the regular season before falling in the playoffs.
The Killer 3's and Power are set to match up in the other postseason game. Here's a look at what to expect from the two playoff matchups next weekend.
Triplets vs. 3 Headed Monsters (Aug. 25, 3 p.m. ET)
This matchup comes down to two facts:
1) The Triplets have Joe Johnson.
2) The 3 Headed Monsters do not have Joe Johnson.
ISO Joe has been far and away the MVP of the 2019 BIG3 season, outscoring all players by 41 total points. Johnson averaged a BIG3-high 21.9 points per game while also dishing out the most assists of any other player during the regular season. There were times he looked far too good to be playing in a three-on-three league and better suited for NBA action.
"To be honest, I'm not at peace with how my career ended," Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune's Eric Walden in July. "Especially in Houston, not even getting a chance to play in the postseason for whatever reason. That's the only memory that really sticks in my head."
Johnson's NBA career didn't end the way he wanted, but his BIG3 start has him part of the team seemingly destined to win a championship. The Triplets outscored their opponents by 68 points in the regular season; no other team paced their opponents by more than 31.
The 3 Headed Monsters have a dominant interior presence in Reggie Evans, who led all BIG3 players in rebounding. While Evans will give them a fair share of putback opportunities, it's hard to see 3 Headed Monsters being able to keep pace from a scoring perspective.
Rashard Lewis and Evans combined to score 191 points during the regular season, which is only 16 more points than Johnson scored himself.
Look for ISO Joe's strong BIG3 run to continue this weekend.
Power vs. Killer 3's (Aug. 25, 2 p.m. ET)
The other playoff game should be a much more even contest. Killer 3's snuck ahead of the defending BIG3 champs thanks to point differential after Power's loss to 3 Headed Monsters on Saturday.
Stephen Jackson and Donte Greene lead the scoring output for Killer 3's, while Corey Maggette, Julian Wright and Cuttino Mobley spearhead Power.
If we're looking for an advantage, Power has the experience edge. The team has made the playoffs in each of its first three seasons since the BIG3 launched in 2017, while Killer 3's are making their first postseason appearance.
Jackson has gone from the league's leading scorer to an elder statesman on his squad, still leading the team in buckets but with Killer 3's playing a more team-oriented game.
It's still hard to pick against a Power team that was 5-2 heading into this week.