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.
Bucks Gaming (3-1) 80, Heat Check Gaming (1-1) 57
First half: An interesting note: Heat Check Gaming elected to sit Lotty on SlayIsland, not ARooks. I wonder if they’re just daring ARooks to show them something before they give him that kind of respect on the defensive end. It’s not really a gamble, ARooks’ performance on Wednesday left a lot to be desired, and the Heat play some of the best team defense in the league. They seemed to switch him on to ARooks after a couple of made buckets but then switched him off again. A noticeably rough half for JMoney, who couldn’t hit his open shots and passed up a wide open lane to the basket at the end of the first quarter.
Halftime score: Bucks Gaming 31, Heat Check Gaming 20
Second half: A less interesting note, only because it’s so obvious: Plondo is so good. I was among the 98% of people who questioned that pick. I said he would have to be a top-seven or so center for that pick to be worth it, and he has easily cleared that benchmark. It is very hard to outplay Hotshot and he did just that in this game. I wondered if the Bucks needed ARooks to score 20+ a night in order to win, but this game proved that not to be the case. I’ll also continue to cape for Big Meek as one of the best shooters in the league and without a doubt the best stretch-4 in the game. The Bucks are a good team from top to bottom, and this is a signature win for them.
Player of the game: Plondo; 17 points, 19 rebounds, 9 assists, 7-for-8 from the field
Lakers Gaming (1-2) 56, Grizz Gaming (0-2) 52
First half: The battle of the basement, as Scott called it. The Lakers stick to the KontruL point guard, Vert lock lineup which had very mixed results the night before. I don’t think I have to be sold much more on Vert but KontruL definitely needs to show something in this game. Speaking of a point guard needing to show something: Vandi. He had 6 assists in the first 12 minutes but only 2 points on 1-for-5 shooting. Someone who has shown plenty, though, is Kev. His play is the only reason the Lakers are competitive at this point. They need him because I’ve also lost count of how many wide-open corner 3-pointers Detoxys has missed off of offensive rebounds.
Halftime score: Grizz Gaming 30, Lakers Gaming 28
Second half: All Lakers Gaming in the third quarter. Kev really is their best player at this point, and the team works a lot better when Mootyy is aggressive as he was in this one. Really not a great indictment of either team though when the lockdown defenders are leading the scoring charge. Signs of life from Vandi, who right on cue waits until the fourth quarter to make his biggest impact. Not that the stale Grizz system does him any favors. But point your fingers wherever, it’s another poor offensive showing for Memphis. Their point totals in their three previous games: 39 (the lowest of any team this season), 60 and 45. It’s probably about time to bring in a coach. And let’s just forget that mid-free throw pause situation ever happened, please.
Mavs Gaming (2-0) 63, Jazz Gaming (0-2) 58
First half: Well I’m glad Scott said it because it’s true: Yeah I Compete has been vastly disappointing this season. He needs to figure it out at point guard. He was good there last year but I also would have liked to see him be a more aggressive scorer. Last week he was a disaster. He finished this half with 2 points and 5 assists. On the plus side for the Jazz, their shooters were on their game in the first 12 minutes (and you can certainly give Compete some credit for that, he’s a great playmaker with top-notch vision). On the flipside, it wasn’t Dimez’s finest half. It really came down to PeteBeBallin and Mo to keep the Mavs in this one. That’s not the worst thing because you want to see your rookies live up to their status as top-15 picks, and you gotta figure Dimez should be better in the second half.
Halftime score: Jazz Gaming 29, Mavs Gaming 26
Second half: Without checking previous box scores, this felt like Pete’s breakout game. A double-double against number one pick Ria is nothing to sneeze at. Doesn’t hurt that Dimez was indeed better in the second half. The Jazz kept playing their game pretty well but boy did they get killed in transition, more than I can recall any team recently. And credit Sherm for doing a great job covering Compete, this was his best game of the season. All-Around great team performance for the Mavs, probably their most complete game of the young season so far. For the Jazz… I’m not saying go in full-on panic mode, but there should at least be some concern there. Adjustments will have to be made if they want to turn their season around.
Player of the game: PeteBeBallin; 25 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 11-for-12 from the field
Pacers Gaming (3-0) 60, Pistons GT (1-2) 53
First half: What a blistering pace this game started out on. The first timeout of the game came less than three minutes in and it was 12-9 in favor of Pacers Gaming with neither team missing. A surprising start for Matty, who certainly doesn’t need to score a lot of points for the Pacers to be successful but it’s always nice when he does. Even better when Ramo and Swizurk do Ramo and Swizurk things on offense. The Pistons didn’t play poorly by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just that the Pacers are that good, and the defense was as suffocating as ever. An entertaining first half even if the halftime score doesn’t quite show it.
Halftime score: Pacers Gaming 33, Pistons GT 26
Second half: Did not take long at all for the Pistons to tie this one up. By the end of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them become one of the better shooting teams in the league. I had just started thinking to myself that I completely forgot iiNsaniTTy was on the court when Scott mentioned how little of an impact he was making. No points, rebounds, assists or even steals for him midway through the fourth quarter. (Note: I mistakenly attributed Matty’s early scoring to iiNsaniTTy guarding him in a previous version of this. He was not guarding Matty. Apologies to him). And I shouldn’t have to tell you what happens if you can’t play defense to match the Pacers. The Pacers pulled away but I’ll reiterate that the Pistons didn’t play poorly for the most part. If moral victories exist in the NBA 2K League, this certainly counts as one for Detroit.
Player of the game: Ramo; 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal