The stage for the 2023 BIG3 Championship is set. Four teams entered Saturday's two-game slate, and the two teams remaining are the Enemies and Triplets. The Enemies defeated Trilogy 50-37 to end the favorite's shot at winning it all for a third consecutive season. Triplets, on the other hand, handled business as the top seed and edged out the Ghost Ballers 50-45 in a surprisingly close battle to wrap up the weekend. The two winners will face off in the title game in London on Saturday, August 26.
Jordan Crawford took over for the Enemies and erupted for a game-high 27 points. He was especially dangerous from long distance and sank seven shots from beyond the arc. Trilogy couldn't keep up with his quickness on the perimeter early and wasn't able to recover after falling behind in the first half. Joe Johnson notched a double-double against the Ghost Ballers with 24 points and 10 boards. Things got frantic in the end, but he sealed the deal for his team from the free-throw line after finishing through contact down the stretch. Let's take a look at the final scores and three takeaways from the pair of semifinal games.
- Enemies 50, Trilogy 37
- Triplets 50, Ghost Ballers 45
1. Trilogy's dynamic run has come to a close
Trilogy made history last year by becoming the first team in league history to win back-to-back championships but have fallen just short of notching a three-peat. The squad boasted a perfect 6-0 postseason record before running into the Enemies in their playoff debut. A new era could be on the way, as midseason addition Ryan Clark powered the Trilogy in the back half of the year with core member Isaiah Briscoe out of the picture. Clark couldn't get going early, but only Johnson scored more points than him between Week 3 and the start of the playoffs. How Trilogy will proceed after three seasons of tremendous success remains to be seen.
2. Jordan Crawford can go toe-to-toe with any scorer
Crawford is one of the most confident players around and showcased that on Saturday. The former Chinese basketball pro has now scored at least half his team's points in his last two outings, as he rattled home 25 in Week 8. Next week's matchup against the Triplets could be just the environment Crawford needs. The BIG3's top seed is led by Johnson, who's an elite isolation scorer. The duo could end up going shot-for-shot competition that leads to some exciting bucks in London. Crawford leads all players with 154 points this season. Johnson has tallied 152.
3. Joe Johnson remains the league's top all-around player
Iso Joe does more than get buckets. His ability to score from all three levels makes him fun to watch, but his contributions on the glass make all the difference. Only Michael Beasley can top Johnson's mark of 70 rebounds on the year, and he's far from being the BIG3's largest or most athletic player. Johnson can impact next week's game by limiting second-chance opportunities for the opposition and snaring a few extra possessions for the Triplets. He's shown consistency across the board year in and year out.