This year's BIG3 season has come to a close and the newest champions have been named. The Enemies took down the favored Triplets 50-43 behind a 23-point performance from the piping-hot Jordan Crawford in his team's first-ever playoff run. Two-time MVP prolific scorer Joe Johnson did what he could, but Crawford's superior shooting and Elijah Stewart's top-notch defense prevailed in the end.
The first half of the contest was very close, as the Enemies reached the target score of 25 first with the Triplets a mere two points behind. However, the underdogs pulled away early in the second half. Crawford, who has scored more than 20 points in three consecutive weeks, kicked off the back half of the matchup with some impressive shot-making from all over. While he did defer to his teammates for a short time during the Triplets' comeback, he sank the final three-point dagger to end it from the left wing.
- Enemies 50, Triplets 43
1. Jordan Crawford's offense is next level
Most people expected the championship game to be a shootout between Crawford and Johnson. Both players were on a roll ahead of the 2023 playoffs, but the Enemies star's long-range sniping has been a little more impressive. Crawford ended the season with at least three made triples in three straight weeks and had only missed four shots overall during the span ahead of the back half of Saturday's game, despite his high shot volume from beyond the arc. Crawford took the Triplets' players off the dribble for mid-range buckets and layups as well. The BIG3's latest scoring leader comes through when it matters most.
2. Elijah Stewart is more than a shooter
Stewart was impressive enough to earn an NBA Summer League invite through his BIG3 play in 2022 and the former USC sharpshooter didn't make the league but was a big force to be reckoned with from the start in the BIG3. He posted 17.2 points and shot 44.4 percent from deep in his first spell with the Enemies. While he was second among all scorers in points with 19, you could argue that his defense was more impactful. Stweart utilized his springs to record a key block and several valuable loose balls down the stretch when the game got tight. Slowing down Joe Johnson for any stretch is no small feat.
3. Joe Johnson ran out of steam
Johnson remained an effortless scorer through his age-42 BIG3 season but didn't have enough in the tank against the enemies. The longtime NBA vet is still perfectly capable of carrying the Triplets, but he couldn't muster the ability to close after his teammates went ice cold to start the second half. Especially because he's responsible for the bulk of the rebounding as well. Johnson fell just one board short of a third straight double-double and could probably use more firepower on his team if he wants to win another BIG3 title.