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Wednesday, 05 February 2020 20:35

The 2026 Snipers

Written by Florent Thuram
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The Sacramento Snipers have started the season with a bang - pun intended - with a 4-0 beginning to what looks to be a hallmark year, and several predict the team to take the division... and who knows where that might lead? Lead by one of the best in the league right now (who already has a Player of the Week nod), this is without a doubt the best home team Sacramento has seen since becomeing a franchise. Here is your 2026 Sacramento Snipers:

The Starters:

PG Troy Howse - Regardless of who will be mentioned later, this is still the Howse that Troy built. Entering his 6th season with the Snipers, a lot people forget that he is only 24 years old. One of the best passers in the league, Howse runs the play like a finely-tuned machine. He's come out strong in these first 4, averaging 17.8 PPG and 9.3 APG. An All-Star appearance wouldn't be unheard of, but that has so far eluded him. 

SG Lynwood Emmert - Having signed a contract worth more than the entire Power Balance Pavilion, Emmert has quickly become one of the best in the league. The 6 year, 119 million contract guarantees he'll be turning the team into a dynasty, as even GM Chris Noonan wouldn't be stupid enough to trade him. He already has Player of the Week for the first week of the season, and as long as he avoids injury - somebody tell him to stop playing the entire game - he will continue to be a score force on the floor. And here's hoping when the Snipers make the playoffs, Emmert will be able to actually  play.

SF Octavio Morrison - Truth be told, Morrison looked like he lost a step at summer camp. The 29 year old may be suffering from premature skill degradation (yes I just made that term up), but he'd still have to hold his on on the wing, and so far he's proved that - 19.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.3 APG average on the opening 4 games. If he can keep that pace, not only will the summer observations be incorrect, it would be his best season to date.

PF Gregory Santiago - When acclaimed basketball commentator Dan Sackett said, "Freaking Santiago," as on off-hand remark, I don't think anyone expected the name to stick. It did. Freaking Santiago, unlike Emmert, can play great offense and defense. And Santiago will get his own Power Balance Pavilion-value contract next year to match his teammate. Insert Noonan and lack of stupidity comment.

C Justin Malone - Starting Malone at center last year was a bit of a gamble for coach Gonzaga, as the 6'8" forward is dwarfed by most of the other centers in the league. It seems to work, however, as Malone's incredible vertical jump lets him block shots that should be way over his head. Paired with Santiago, the team has a strong one-two punch on their side of the court, and Malone is no slouch on offense either.

Key Bench Players:

SF Michael Sickler - Gonzaga once called Sickler the "glue that holds the team together." That observation seems to have stuck (again, pun intended). Glue is the epitome of a 6th man, playing minutes at SG, SF, and PF as the need warrants. Glue signed a new 3 year, $21 million contact with the Snipers, and is beginning his 5th season with the team. Never flashy, and never really noticed by the media, but definitely the unsung workhorse on the court.

C Jason Marshall - Marshall was one of a double-handful of minimum contracts signed this year, but is one that is worth more than the salary. Marshall has a strange inside-outside tactic in his gameplay: strong inside on offense, and a great outside presence on defense. Add in some good ball control, and you have a serviceable center to spot Malone some minutes.

PG Joshua Rollins - Rollins has the unfortunate task of running the plays when Howse needs a breather. Relatively untested, he only managed 4 games in D before a dislocated knee sidelined him for the season. Lucky for him, though, his only real need is 'get the ball to Emmert.' 

With a handful of other minimum contracts to fill out the roster, the Snipers have great talent and depth to work with, and the prospect of taking the division is easily to believe.

Season Prediction: 56-26 record, Division Champions.

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