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The Minnesota Marauders are ready to kick off their 2nd season with GM Jason Rouse under the helm. Last year they shocked the OBWL world by making the playoffs via the tiebreaker on the final day of the season. This season expectations have grown exponentially as fans expect them to make the playoffs and some even believe they will compete for the division. This team is still super young and a playoff spot is not guaranteed so it will be interesting to see this team's progression. The Marauders brings back 10 players from a year ago along with a couple veterans in free agency and 3 players out of the draft. Let's take a look at the projected starting 5...

C   Ervin Holmes---28
PF Tony Pence---26
SF Joey Short---26
SG Andrew Lawler---25
PG Frankie "Don't call me Francis" Ellender---20

Holmes is coming off of a career year and has taken over the leadership role in the locker room and on the court. He made his first All-Star appearance, took home his 3rd all defensive team award and made the 3rd string all-league team. Pence, at the young age of 26 is looking to go to the next level with his game. He shot 53% from the field during the preseason but you have to take that with a grain of salt as you play against a lot of rookies or backups. The next man up is Mr. Joey Short who's athleticism has made him a dangerous player and draws a ton of fouls taking the ball to the hoop. Pence has a similar game but the downfall of those 2 is terrible free throw shooting which can give the coach fits throughout the season.

SG Lawler at the young age of 25 will step into a starting role for the first time in Minnesota. He's key to our success as we struggle from the outside and he's by far the best in that department. Sources have explained to me that they are having a tough time getting him to be more selfish and launch more shots. Finally, we got the #5 overall pick in PG Ellender and he looks like he can definitely run this team as a starter. He had a solid preseason and add in his defense it easily makes him a starter. We are very thin at the PG position so hopefully he can stay healthy throughout the season. Let's take a look at the 2nd team...

C   Ronald Long---32
PF Weisman---21
SF Andrew Evans---19
SG George Ellis---31
PG Hollis Warren---33

The big surprise is the #19 pick overall slides into the 2nd team for now as he had a great preseason. Evans is a wildcard as he is very productive on the offensive side of things but defense he's basically nonexistent. As he grows older his offense should outweigh his lack of defense. C Long comes back to Minnesota where the fans have booed him mercilessly for leaving them high and dry in free agency in 2020. Ellis will be by far the best production off of the bench as he could score in bunches and plays solid defense. The rest...

C   Wallace Briseno
SF Dirk Kendall
PG Dorian Geis
PG Albert Mitchell
SG Simon Barrier

Out of this group Briseno is the only one that gets playing time and the coaching staff needs to find a way to get him more minutes. Kendall in his 2nd year is asking for a trade as he's good enough to come off the bench for most teams.

It's really hard to predict what this team will or will not do this upcoming season. Yes, they did make the playoffs a season ago but they barely got in as they needed a tiebreaker to advance. They are super young still so can they be consistent throughout the season? The fact that they made the playoffs a year ago with basically the same team and talent wise have improved, I believe they can get as high as a #5 seed if they can stay healthy. Should be a very exciting season to say the least and hopefully the Marauders can improve on last year's 42 win season.

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