The game Three-on-three on half a court was more than just a stripped-down version of the big game.
“It’s tough to hide defensively,” Rasual Butler of the Ball Hogs said. “It’s kind of tough to help. If a bigger guy has a mismatch, it could hurt us.”
“You can’t play defense, you’re in trouble because the court’s so wide open,” Allen Iverson of 3’s Company said.
With eight teams in action, several styles were on display. Some teams relied on big men to score inside, while others hoisted endless 3s (and occasional 4s).
The game’s rapid transitions, and a 14-second shot clock, kept the action fast. There was no slow dribble up the court after a change of possessions. Indeed, after a steal, teams could fire a shot right up.
Physical style Nearly every player commented on how physical the game was. “It was definitely more physical than we thought,” Kwame Brown of the 3 Headed Monsters said.
Hand-checking was legal, at the behest of the league founder, Ice Cube. “Lot of hand checks,” said Rashard Lewis of the 3 Headed Monsters, the top scorer on the day with 27. “You’re going to get bumped around on rebounds.”