Welcome to Late Night Notes. We’ll be recapping every night’s matchups in a more casual style than our previews. These will be stream of consciousness ramblings about the games as they happen: snap judgments, quickfire analysis and little editing. Let’s get to it.
Pacers Gaming (2-0) 51, Cavs Legion GC (2-1) 47
First half: Cavs Legion is one of those teams that looks to match up well against Pacers Gaming’s frontcourt. Early on they bullied the Pacers on the boards and gave themselves a lot of extra possessions. Scott Cole pointed out at one point near the end of the first quarter that the rebound advantage was 7-0 in favor of the Cavs. Sick is a horse. Meanwhile, LYKaPro and Matty, normally role players on their respective teams, looked more comfortable as scorers. That was good for the Cavs because the Strainer-Sick pick and roll did not look as effective as it has early on this season, which isn’t all that surprising considering the strength of the Pacers defense, but the Cavs defense looked just as good. Tough battle early.
Halftime score: Pacers Gaming 24, Cavs Legion GC 20
Second half: Aaaaand there’s the Swizurk run. Relatively quiet in the first half, he got some buckets in the third quarter, enough to get his takeover anyway. As Dirk astutely pointed out, the Cavs deployed oLarry on Swizurk, a good move in theory with Larry on a build that has defense in it, but maybe too slow to keep up with small forwards. The insane rebounding advantage for the Cavs continued, but even then you still have to score against one of the best defense’s in the league when you get extra possessions. On the other hand, the Pacers shot immaculately but didn’t enough possessions for that to give them a big lead. Turns out hitting your shots with fewer possessions wins out against missing your shots with more possessions: the Pacers went 20-for-33 from the field while the Cavs went 19-for-44. A good, albeit ugly, win for the Pacers.
Player of the game: Swizurk; 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 4-for-5 3-pointers
Blazer5 Gaming (1-1) 64, Warriors Gaming Squad (1-1) 53
First half: History as Chiquita took the court, the first woman to play in the NBA 2K League. An auspicious start as she hit her first shot from the corner a couple of minutes in, and then another soon after. Interesting setup on the defensive end as the Warriors opted to keep Chiquita in the corner on Daveed 3x and let Jin on a power forward guard OneWildWalnut, to little effect early. Walnut had his way on the boards and Jin could do almost nothing about it. Are the Warriors trying to ease Chiquita in? Is she that much of a liability on defense? Or do the Warriors just believe in the defense of Jin that much? For that matter, they ran the pick and roll with Jin as the roller instead of Chiquita. (This has been done by both Wizards District Gaming and Grizz Gaming, I was told by Jonah Edwards of Magic Gaming, so maybe not as weird as I initially thought). Both configurations hurt the Warriors in the first half.
Halftime score: Blazer5 Gaming 31, Warriors Gaming Squad 24
Second half: It was much of the same in the third quarter for the Warriors. They’re going to miss Type a lot for however long he’s out. He would have made a real difference if he was the one guarding Walnut. At any rate it’s a good win for Blazer5, even against a Warriors team not at full strength. This could be one of those situations where it just takes one win to boost the confidence before the team comes into its own. Double-doubles for both Mama Im Dat Man and Walnut. For everything that has been said about how Blazer5 doesn’t look as good in season two as it did in season one, those two still look like one of the deadliest duos in the league. Final rebounding advantage for Blazer5, by the way: 21 to 14.
Player of the game: Mama Im Dat Man; 16 points, 15 assists, 4 steals
Pistons GT (1-1) 76, Bucks Gaming (2-1) 68
First half: Well this is probably the Pistons GT lineup you can expect for most of the season. MrStylez at point guard, Insanitty at the lock, Jaacko on the shooting build, Joseph the Truth on a stretch-4 and May at center. A good start for the New Zealand man Jaacko with the fadeaway 3-pointer to get things going. Interesting to note that the Pistons made the (probably correct) decision to sit their lock on the hot ARooks, switching him onto SlayIsland when the point guard had takeover going. It paid off in that ARooks didn’t get his first points until the very end of the first quarter, but Stylez had mixed results guarding Slay, who had 11 points at halftime. It can be forgiven because Stylez was a force on the offensive end as both a scorer and a playmaker, exactly what the Pistons need him to be.
Halftime score: Pistons GT 39, Bucks Gaming 34
Second half: What a game this turned out to be. From what we’ve seen so far this season few would blame you for writing this off as an easy Bucks win. But the Pistons looked legit. Stylez and May were the duo that the team wants, and needs, them to be, Jaacko was the shot in the arm the offense needed and the team kept pace with the Bucks’ high-powered offense. This now makes three straight weeks the team ranked 21st in the DIMER power rankings will get a big win and climb out of the basement, which is to say you’re welcome, Pistons (kidding). A potentially big turning point for Detroit’s season.
Player of the game: Jaacko; 21 points, 5 assists, 5-for-10 3-pointers
Warriors Gaming Squad (2-1) 74, Cavs Legion GC (2-2) 55
First half: Hey that looked more like what we know this Warriors team can be. The team made its first 10 buckets and forced plenty of turnovers to start this one. CB13 looked to wake up a bit and finally look the part of a 10th overall pick. On the other end, not much seemed to be working for the Cavs. Strainer continued his woeful shooting night, but it’s pointless to pick on him because no one could get going outside of Sick, who finished the half with 12 points. The Cavs ended up with nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes.
Halftime score: Warriors Gaming Squad 41, Cavs Legion GC 23
Second half: Not much to talk about here. Even the broadcast team realized there was nothing interesting going on in the second half. I used the third quarter as time to walk my dog. At one point Sick was blocked by the backboard. Yep.
Player of the game: BSmoove; 30 points, 3 assists, 12-for-19 from the field
Blazer5 Gaming (2-1) 81, Lakers Gaming (0-2) 62
First half: Finally the lineup change some (me) have been clamoring for from Lakers Gaming: KontruL moves to point guard and Vert goes to the lockdown defender. The reverse just wasn’t working for the Lakers. On that front, the results were okay. On the plus side for the Lakers, Mootyy was grabbing offensive rebounds like a mad man. On the downside, Detoxys couldn’t hit a shot to save his life, going 2-for-6 from 3. It was your typical performance from Blazer5, with Mama and Walnut carrying the load.
Halftime score: Blazer5 Gaming 32, Lakers Gaming 25
Second half: Well it didn’t take long for this one to get out of hand. I talked about Mama and Walnut but Daveed has finally arrived it seems. Either him or King Peroxide needs to step up every game to give this team a third option. You can pencil in the MVP candidates for big scoring performances, but this team will thrive if someone else steps up. That’s what worked last season for them and that would work just nice for them this season. Point guard KontruL watch: 6 points, 5 assists, 5 turnovers, 1-for-8 from the field. Lock Vert watch: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal.
Player of the game: OneWildWalnut; 26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 12-for-15 from the field