Let's meet our Joes first.
Edward Bryan, Veteran, Army Reservist from Morrow, GA. He's not to blame for Jay Glazer's shitty intro, "He's here to show he can defend the paint as well as he defended our country." So, extending that metaphor, Jay, are you going to have him attack some innocent basketball court thousands of miles away, and call that defending the paint? POLITICAL SNAP!
David Kalb, beat LeBron James in a game of H.O.R.S.E. He's from the made-up-sounding town of Bucyrus, OH.
Lazarius "Zeke" Coleman, former MVP at Savannah State University, and the biggest Joe on the court at 6' 8"
Now, here comes the Pros!
Antoine Walker. Hey, a former Timberwolf. That's a good sign, Joes. And yes, he's in the Top 10 of made 3-pointers, but good lord, he missed a lot, too. Another way of putting that could have been--"A career percentage of 32% from the 3-Point Line! Which is 13% worse than Steve Kerr!" Still, he's scarier than some current Timberwolves (I'm looking at you, Mark Madsen!)
Robert Horry. Oh my god, my least favorite Pro ever, maybe. He was some mean to that poor Steve Nash.
Alonzo "Fresh Kidney" Mourning! One of my favorite big men (Georgetown bias, sorry). Suddenly, the tallest Joe is the fourth biggest guy on the court.
Just like last time, we've got three challenges, that are in theory 3 vs. 3. We'll see how close that is to being true.
Challenge 1: In Your Face
Alonzo challenge! Joes are on the perimeter, Zo in the paint. Whichever Joe crosses the 3 point line with the ball has to enter the paint to shoot. Each basket, one point. Each block, one point for Zo. Quickest to 3 points wins. Forcing them to go into the paint hurts the Joes. I'll take Zo. Zo takes two possessions to get a block. 3rd attempt, he fouls Joe Zeke, who tells him, "I'm going to dunk on you, Zo." From the look in Zo's eyes, that was the wrong thing to say. What will happen in the battle of the men with nicknames that start with Z? Attempts 4, 5, 6 are all Zeke running into Zo, including a charge. Kalb hits fadeaway to tie it. Kalb hits a runner--he looks like the guy who can win this. Zeke hits a shot, eventually, by using a jab step at the line. Joes win. Making Zo block the shot for a point turned out to be a difficult step. Alonzo is supremely pissed off, though. [Foreshadowing? Yes. Yes it is.]
Challenge 2: Buzzer Beater
Each team gets 5 attempts--each attempt is made up of 8 seconds--5 to inbound, 3 to get the shot off. Highest score wins. This is a true 3 vs. 3 challenge. Jay Glazer uses this challenge to lick a little Horry ass.
Pros are no good on first one, despite open look for Antoine. It should be noted that Zeke fouled Zo the first time through. On the second attempt, he fouls him again, but it is not called this time. Zo says something about, "if you ain't going to call a foul, I'll MAKE you call a foul." That sounds ominous. Attempt 3--Mourning scores pretty easily. Attempt 4, Antoine Walker hits a deep three. Attempt 5, they miss, but something annoys Mourning, because he ropes an arm around Zeke's neck and says something to him, real quiet, but bleepy like. Five total points. Commercial Break to Break the Tension!
Joes are up now. Horrible defense from Antoine leads to deep 2's from Zeke and Dave Kalb. Zeke hits another shot--3 pointer! They win! Another 3 points for the final game.
Challenge 3: J.O.E. (Quicker H.O.R.S.E)
David Kalb vs. Antoine Walker. Only one dunk allowd. Kalb is a fucking HORSE specialist. Joes should be up 9 before everything is said and done. Did you watch the clip up top? Where he beat LeBron in HORSE? Kalb practices, and hits, weird shots for fun. There's a third Joe, playing right? We haven't seen him do anything yet.
Shocker! Antoine Walker wins, with a hook shot, a dunk, and a shot from out of bounds. David may have gone with shots that were a little too tricky. Pros go into the final game down six points.
FINAL GAME 5 minute period, half court. :15 second shot clock.
Again, like both of the previous weeks, I feel like far too much time is being spent on the final game. It's a short game, and we're taking 25 minutes to cover it? Jesus Christ. How many replays of Antoine "Baby Huey" Walker taking the "jump" out of "jumpshot" do I need to see?
Quick Observation: If Jay Glazer were another animal, besides a human, he'd be a great armadillo.
Let's go! Shot block from Walker? Waaa? Joes on 4-0 run. Mourning scores the first two for the Pros, and he's looking pissed, still. Joes, particularly David Kalb, are grabbing offensive boards everywhere. Zeke hits a 3, and it's 13-2, and it's on! Quick 5 point run from the Pros. They are also beginning to hustle on defense and the boards a bit more. Third Joe Sighting! Edward Bryant grabs a board, puts up an ill-advised shot. Antoine grabs, the board, takes it past the 3 point line, and attempts an alley-oop pass to Zo, but it accidently goes in on its own. 13-10! This is the first time in my life I've rooted for a team that had Robert Horry on it. I don't feel particularly clean at this moment.
2:20 left on the clock, Joe ball. Kalb keeps boarding and driving. Though, it is hard to argue that he isn't a little intimidated when Walker gets in his face after a free throw. Please see picture!
A hit free throw, some traded baskets, and we are at 16-12. Easy basket and foul for Zo. It's 16-15. By the way, we're at a little more than a minute of game time left. That means it has taken more than 15 minutes of airtime to cover less than 4 minutes of gametime. Fellas, the NFL moves faster than this. Oh, and another commercial. Splendid!
We're back and after some nothing, some actual nice passes from the Pros, Zo puts the Pros up 18-16. He clearly feels that he's been fouled every single possession, and he might be right. Oh, and Horry is fouled. Game over.
All in all, that was a much better basketball episode than the first one. The key to a good episode, I think, is having a Joe genuinely piss off a Pro. And I think the lads at Spike know this. Keep it coming!