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.
Jazz Gaming (1-2) 70, Hawks Talon GC (1-1) 68
First half: Same lineup for Hawks Talon GC which secured them a win over Celtics Crossover Gaming last week (sans Dat Boy Shotz, of course), and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Rando has been good so far and has brought a lot of energy to this Hawks team, but most importantly he looks to be adjusting well to point guard. He had a shaky shooting performance last week and started out with a few misses tonight, but he started to settle in as time went on. On the flipside, loved the aggression from Yeah I Compete to start. He got the first bucket with a nice drive and ended the first quarter doing the same. Can’t stress enough how much better he makes this team when he does that. Gliz also makes this team a lot better. His scoring has provided this team with the kind of boost that makes you think they can turn it around. Both of the aforementioned point guards finished the half with 14 points, by the way.
Halftime score: Jazz Gaming 37, Hawks Talon GC 30
Second half: The Jazz’s hot shooting gave them a bit of a lead in the third quarter. But the Hawks battled in the fourth quarter after going down a bit in the third frame, to their credit, and mostly due to the defense. The Jazz cooled off, especially once the Hawks switched some things around with their defensive setup. It didn’t help the Jazz either that they had horrendous shot selection down the stretch. But the early lead they banked was the difference, and a couple of clutch shots late was enough to give them the win–their first of the year, and plenty of reason to hold off on slamming that panic button. What a shooting performance from Gliz, he’s going to be crucial for this team.
Player of the game: Yeah I Compete; 18 points, 13 assists, 7-for-8 from the field
Mavs Gaming (3-0) 61, Wizards District Gaming (0-2) 53
First half: Anything interesting happening with this game? Can’t think of anything. Oh wait, there’s Dimez and Dayfri jawing at each other during player introductions. Yeah, now I remember. From the moment Mavs Gaming–and basically, by extension, Dimez–traded Dayfri for a draft pick, everyone and their mama wanted to see this game happen. A notable lineup change for Wizards District Gaming: ReeseDaGod moves to point guard while Demon JT goes to small forward, an interesting and maybe even necessary change due to JT’s lack of production so far this season. By the way, it took all of one bucket from Dayfri for him to take his headset off and scream at Dimez, tempting fate with the benevolent Gabe. Aaaaand nevermind, he got one anyway, the first technical foul of NBA 2K League history. Really weird sequence after Dimez got up and walked around. In non-Dimez and Dayfri news, Gilly showed up ready to play today, finishing the first half with 11 points.
Halftime score: Mavs Gaming 30, Wizards District Gaming 29
Second half: Things died down a lot in the second half, it seems both teams either let out all of that emotional energy in the first half or the coaches/admins told them enough is enough. And speaking of showing up ready to play, Mo had without a doubt the best game in his young career. His shooting is the reason the Mavs came out with this one, and his big late 3-pointer sealed the deal. The Mavs are 3-0 now but they still have plenty to prove; those three wins came against some weaker competition. They have Lakers Gaming next week before facing off against Heat Check Gaming, so we’ll be able to get a real glimpse at what they’re about in week three.
Player of the game: Mo; 22 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 3 steals
Hawks Talon GC (2-1) 66, Kings Guard Gaming (1-2) 54
First half: Shotz is back! He returns after serving a one-game suspension for his role in the altercation between the Hawks and the Celtics. Also, he’s on the shot creating post scorer…? Sure, why not? But it was the BP and Rando show early on. Both rookie point guards were on their game; BP had a few assists early while Rando was knocking down his shots. BP’s dribbling continues to be up there with the best in the league. Kings Guard Gaming did a good job of setting screens to get BallLikeSeem open. The BP-to-Seem connection has the potential to be absolutely deadly, and they should go to that as much as they can. He got away from his man multiple times, and BP was able to pick him out. On the whole Shotz-shot creating post scorer front, he had some nifty moves where he backed down his man and pulled a turnaround fadeaway, to pretty good effect. I like it.
Halftime score: Kings Guard Gaming 29, Hawks Talon GC 26
Second half: I just want to take the time to say I love the takeover cam where they show how much takeover a player has left on their screen. Anyways, a good win for the Hawks, who go to 2-1 probably to the surprise of a lot of people. It was always kind of a matter of them finding the optimal setup for their backcourt, and they got it with the move of Rando to point guard. It’s going to be a battle if they want to make the playoffs, but it’s looking less and less likely that they finish in the basement as a lot of people predicted. For the Kings, it feels like they’re close to putting everything together, it’s just not quite there yet. I think it mainly comes down to the defense. I mentioned they were getting some good offensive action in this game, but they have to put together a full 24 minutes consistently if they want to win more games. Shotz had 20 on the shot creating post scorer, by the way.
Player of the game: Dat Boy Shotz; 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals
Heat Check Gaming (2-1) 62, Wizards District Gaming (0-3) 56
First half: The Wiz stick with their point guard Reese, small forward JT lineup, despite Reese’s nine turnovers last game. The team looked nervy early. Lots of misplaced passes, turnovers and an awkward failed alley-oop on a breakaway. Amazingly, they stayed in it. Still, at this point I take back what I said earlier about this being a necessary change, because Reese does not look comfortable at all running an offense. The Wizards are trying to do too much I think. They tried switching Dayfri to power forward to start the season and are now making more changes to their lineup and moving people out of their best positions. Keep your key pieces where they fit best, figure out where everyone else goes and then try and make it work from there. Constantly having to adjust to new positions isn’t helping anyone when the team was already struggling, as evidenced by the Tipoff. (I swear I typed all of this out before Scott and Dirk started talking about this same subject, by the way).
Halftime score: Heat Check Gaming 35, Wizards District Gaming 27
Second half: Well I just said all of that but, like, the Wizards weren’t nearly out of it in the third quarter. The Heat for some reason could not pull away, and it got as close as a one-point game. But they pulled it out in the end, thanks in large part to stellar performances from Hotshot and 24K Dropoff, who was somehow perfect from the floor. Not what you would call a comfortable win for the Heat, but they all count just the same, and how many wins are actually comfortable in the NBA 2K League, anyway? For the Wizards, there’s a lot to figure out. I think it starts with going back to the obvious lineup and sticking with it.
Player of the game: 24K Dropoff; 21 points, 8-for-8 from the field, 5-for-5 3-pointers
Kings Guard Gaming (2-2) 64, Grizz Gaming (0-3) 46
First half: A predictably low-scoring game to start. A few weeks ago I saw this game on the schedule and was excited for it. Two top-seven draft picks going at it in BP and Vandi, two teams who I felt could be sneaky good and two teams I was very interested in seeing how they worked. Well, it kinda lost some of its luster in the weeks since for some reason. These two offenses haven’t lived up to the potential I thought they would have on paper. Even Dirk called this one ugly. Quietly, though, BP went for 15 points in the first 12 minutes. If he keeps this up I’ll feel very confident in my pick for him as Rookie of the Year.
Halftime score: Kings Guard Gaming 27, Grizz Gaming 20
Second half: I should also talk about Vandi, because he certainly didn’t play poorly. He shot efficiently and was finding his teammates, he just didn’t shoot enough. I couldn’t help but notice Dirk say the 1, 2 and 5 positions were safe for the Grizz, implying Jayrod could be moved or replaced in the lineup. I’m not sure how I feel about that. He hasn’t been lighting it up, but it’s hard to produce in this offensive system. Definitely agree that it couldn’t hurt to try out DDouble, though, but I don’t know if we’ve seen him play anything other than center so it would be a test of his versatility assuming you keep AuthenticAfrican at center. Point totals for the Grizz: 39, 60, 45, 52 and 46. Something has to change. The Kings, by the way, are kind of quietly 2-2.
Player of the game: BP; 26 points, 7 assists, 2 steals