Skip to content

BIG3 Championship 2019: MVP Joe Johnson & Triplets vs Killer 3s in Nittywood

It’s here…

The BIG3 Championship 2019 is this Sunday (9/1) at 3:00pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This is the biggest basketball game of the summer since the NBA Finals, and we’re ready to see some of the most prolific & talented players in the league put on a show in LA.

Power proved to be among the best teams in the BIG3 but couldn’t win the games that counted the most. The 3-Headed Monsters were the sleeper team that shocked the league, however their Cinderella story had ended.

Now, we have the Triplets vs Killer 3s battling for the 2019 crown.

Here’s the tale of the tape.


The Triplets dominated the entirety of the BIG3 season, picking up just one loss on their road to the Championship.

Al Jefferson has been the steady rock at the big man position this team has needed to protect the paint and control the boards. Sergerio Gibson and Jannero Pargo have been the X factors that gave this team life when they needed it. And of course, Lisa Leslie has taken the BIG3 by storm, coaching her team to a Championship game in her first season and winning coach of the year.

Nevertheless, the MVP, game-winning killer, Joe Johnson is the man mainly behind this team’s success and the one the Killer 3s NEED to prepare for.

Iso Joe came into this league with pure ice in his veins, racking up the most points in a single season in BIG3 history and hitting nearly half of the Triplets game winners of 2019.

Virtually impossible to guard, Joe Johnson has a wide range of different tactics in his bag to beat defenders. Typically, Iso Joe likes to hit his mid-range shots, usually by backing into defenders in the post for a fadeaway/ step-back or pulling up for the spot up jumper. His 6’7” 240lb build helps when it comes to bullying defenders around the paint as well.

Naturally, the scouting report likely has this info in the notes, so it’s essential Joe Johnson mixes his game up with step-backs 3s (& 4s), driving to the paint and kicking out to shooters like Pargo or Gibson, and some pick and roll with Al Jefferson or Jamario Moon.

Offensively, this team is gifted and complex to defend. A recipe to win the title.

Killer 3s

After pulling off the upset victory over Power, this team deserves the respect of being a Championship contender.

It seems that the Killer 3s do their best when they are the underdogs and have their backs against the wall, so this matchup is exactly what they are looking for.

This team is fiery.

Team leader and Captain Stephen Jackson sets the tone with his all in, no bullsh*t mentality he brings to the game. Stephen Jackson is the type of athlete that not only will lay it all on the court but has been around basketball long enough to know what it takes to pull off a big upset victory.

He is a skilled and consistent shooter as well as a reliable defender. Stephen Jackson prefers catch and shoot opportunities but will take advantage of mismatches in iso or drive of he sees an open lane. The way the Killer 3s operate, there is typically no one who will drop 20 points in a game because they spread the ball well. But, Stephen Jackson is more than capable of having +20 if the Killer 3s need it.

New BIG3 addition, Frank Nitty has proved to be a fan favorite. The former Drew League star and MVP has only gotten better as the season progressed.

Franklin Sessions, the California native, is returning home to LA and what fans are already calling “Nittywood” for the BIG3 Championship.

Frank Nitty is an isolation specialist. He’s always ready to hit defenders with ankle breakers. His handles are flawless, and his shot is smooth. While Frank Nitty is a smaller basketball, 6’2” and 175lbs, he makes up for it with explosive speed and agility. Off the dribble, he’s as tough as anyone in this league to guard.

As a playmaker, Frank Nitty is going to look to set up teammates like Eddy Curry for optimal buckets in the paint with decoy and pick and roll plays.

Eddy Curry will need to have a big game on the glass for the Killer 3s. Many of the Killer 3s wins this season started upfront for them. If Eddie Curry can consistently beat out Al Jefferson for boards and put backs, this team has a solid shot of winning the title.

The Matchups We Are All Waiting For

Eddy Curry vs Al Jefferson
Image result for Al Jefferson big3

The battle of the bigs.

At 7’0” 287lbs, Eddy Curry has the 2inch height advantage and is 7 pounds heavier than Al Jefferson. However, Curry hasn’t played since Week 7, so he’ll have rust to shake off before this matchup.

Defensively, Al Jefferson is a difficult player to defend. Especially for a player like Curry that’s all strength and struggles with speed.

Jefferson is a sound post player, comfortable bullying his way around the basket and lowering a shoulder to get there. What makes Jefferson unique is his fluid shot from mid-range. Eddy Curry will need to respect Al Jefferson’s jump shot during this game; therefore, he will have to play out beyond the paint for a good portion of the game, leaving openings for cutters and Jefferson to drive.

Coach Charles Oakley will 100% need to address this possibility because Lisa Leslie will look to take this opportunity if it presents itself.

Offensively, Eddy Curry needs to come out as aggressive as possible to get his legs and momentum back from being out. If Curry can get into a rhythm early, the Triplets may be in trouble.

We believe Jefferson will go for 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and Eddy Curry will have 8 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Frank Nitty vs Jannero Pargo
Image result for frank nitty big 3

Nitty is gassed up to come home and play for a Championship.

His matchup, Jannero Pargo, will need to match that energy and intensity throughout the entire game if he wants to contain Frank and stop him from scoring on demand.

Frank Nitty is going to throw some crazy crossovers at Pargo, trying to make a fool of him as a defender. Jannero Pargo needs to stay composed and make sure he doesn’t bite on any pump fakes and hesitations. If Frank Nitty starts hitting 3-point shots early, he’ll be tough to guard all night.

On offense, Jannero should stay aggressive, consistently cutting and getting involved. Iso Joe will look to do iso things, but Pargo can still make Nitty work harder than he’s used to if he just stays running and grinding the entire game.

Pargo will also look to get as many screens to free up 3s as possible. Nevertheless, he probably doesn’t want this to turn into a shooting war with Nitty.

Our Prediction:

Frank Nitty: 19 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, (4) 3-point shots made

Jannero Pargo: 9 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, (2) 3-point shots made

Joe Johnson vs Stephen Jackson
Image result for joe johnson stephen jackson big3

Which Captain will win the chip?

Joe Johnson is going to be Stephen Jackson’s toughest matchup in BIG3 history with a title on the line. Iso Joe is bigger, quicker, stronger, and younger than Stak.

Don’t take this as a disrespect or knock to Stephen Jackson. 1) because you don’t need those advantages to win a matchup necessarily. 2) Stak is quick, strong, and talented.

Where Stephen Jackson will need to look to create an edge is the mental game. Can Stak get into JJ’s head? Can he make Joe Johnson make that one mistake or take that bad shot that changes the outcome of the game?

Stephen Jackson is as strong willed as they come. We know he’ll fight to the very end of this one and leave Iso Joe with only difficult shots to take. But in the end of the day, will it be enough?

Joe Johnson is going to come out firing, letting it fly and taking it to the rack. Iso Joe is by far the most offensively gifted player in the BIG3 and it will show as the stage is at its biggest yet.

As always, Joe Johnson will mix it up and keep his matchup guessing. He’s going to use every weakness or slip up to his advantage, so it’s essential Stephen Jackson remains on point.

If (&) when Joe Johnson feels the coverage is tight, look for him to draw fouls on Stak and put the Killer 3s on their heels with easy points earned at the line. This would then free JJ up for 3-point shooting when the defense starts to give him more space in fear of foul calls.

Stephen Jackson is typically the high scorer for the Killer 3s. He will look to be aggressive but pick his spots wisely and avoid turnovers. The Triplets are a team that maximizes points from turnovers, so Stephen Jackson and the Killer 3s need to be careful with the rock.

As a shooter, Stephen Jackson should attempt a minimum of (6-7) 3-point shots if he has the space. In return, Stak will be able to keep Joe Johnson on his heels and if he’s draining shots, leading to picking and choosing when he wants to drive or not.

This is going to be a show.

Our Prediction:

Joe Johnson: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, (3) 3-point shots made (1) 4-point shot made

Stephen Jackson: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, (4) 3-point shots made

Watch the 2019 BIG3 Championship on Sunday at 3pm ET on CBS & the CBS Sports Network. Visit to get your tickets for the Championship at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for this Sunday.

Final Score Prediction:

Triplets: 51

Killer 3s: 48

Join the Discussion