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.
This week we’re going to try something a bit different, talking about general topics for each game rather than the old format. Let’s get to it.
Mavs Gaming Proves its Legitimacy
Wait, the 4-0 team needed to prove itself? Well, I’m a process over results kind of guy, and while Mavs Gaming was indeed 4-0, which no doubt about it is ideal for any team in the league, the results weren’t exactly compelling. Consider this: the four teams the Mavs beat prior to tonight—Grizz Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Wizards District Gaming and Lakers Gaming—are currently a combined 2-8 excluding their losses to Dallas (one of those two wins, by the way, was the Lakers 56-52 win over the Grizz). Needless to say, they haven’t had the strongest strength of schedule. Furthermore, the average margin of victory for the Mavs in those four games was an unconvincing 4.25 points on average.
So it’s safe to say Heat Check Gaming is by far the strongest opponent the Mavs have faced so far. But give credit where it’s due: they came to play tonight. It was a total team effort, with only pure lockdown defender Sherm the only player to not eclipse the double-digit scoring mark in the 57-52 win. Mo continues to improve with every week after a rough Tipoff, sinking the dagger 3-pointer with seconds left in the game to secure the victory. Dimez hasn’t put up otherworldly numbers, but continues to prove his worth as one of the best point guards in the league.
Make no mistake, 5-0 is where every team wants to be. But it’s time to close out the season and stay consistent. Let’s not forget last season’s collapse after a 5-2 start. The new version of the team does have a sort of youthful exuberance to it, though, and confidence is good. Now they just have to make sure it doesn’t manifest into cockiness.
76ers GC Has Hardly Had it Easier
This isn’t a shot at Celtics Crossover Gaming, because losing your best player, as they did with a one-game suspension of oFAB following an incident after the team’s season-opening loss to Hawks Talon GC, is hard enough for any team to overcome, much less against 76ers GC.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Celtics made it close with a lineup that saw Bulleyy move to point guard, MelEast to the pure lock and sixth-man Suavy to power forward. But you can’t phase this 76ers team, whether you’re winning and yelling in their face or you’re just playing them unexpectedly tight. A one-point deficit after one quarter turned into a 71-48 drubbing.
It’s mostly a shame for the viewers, as anyone would have much rather preferred to see Fab and Radiant go at it, instead of the blowout we got. For now, though, both the 76ers and Celtics will take on Kings Guard Gaming tomorrow, with Boston getting their star point guard back and the 76ers trying to keep their so-far perfect season alive.
The Defending Champs are Finally on the Board
It has been a slow start for Knicks Gaming so far—not too unlike season one actually—but the defending champs secured their first win in the regular season with a win that was a little uglier than the 62-48 final score indicates. They’ll take that every day of the week, though, and boy did they probably need it. It’s a good win too over a Pistons GT team that was looking for a turnaround of its own heading into week three.
iamadamthe1st’s performance in this one was truly a personification of season one: a slow, low-impact start before hitting his shots when they mattered most. He had only six points but nailed a couple of 3-pointers late as the Knicks pulled away. First-round pick OriginalMalik had one of his best games of the season, scoring 19 points on 50% shooting from beyond the arc.
The star tonight was Goofy—just two assists shy of a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 8 dimes. It’s going to take those kinds of performances from the big man for the Knicks to win more games.
Disappointing from the Pistons’ perspective was the performances of MrStylez, May and Jaacko. Just one week removed from heroic efforts for each, the three didn’t have nearly the same impact as they did in week two. That’s more than enough to ensure a loss. They have a chance to regroup against Cavs Legion GC tomorrow.
Raptors Uprising GC Pulls Back to .500
Toronto did not look good in any way in its first two games of the regular season. First-round pick Doza couldn’t find his scoring touch and the team fell to a disappointing 0-2 start after winning a tough Group 1 at the Tipoff.
But if you had to pick any team to climb back from 0-2, it would definitely be the team that made the playoffs after a 1-5 start last season. The benching of Doza this week was a surprise, but it turned out to be a calculated move on the part of the Raptors. Kenny looks more comfortable running the offense from the point than Doza has so far.
That means, for now, it looks like Doza will stay as the sixth man. This brings up some very interesting questions with the trade window coming up, but I don’t actually expect the Raptors to try and move him. It wouldn’t hurt to put out some feelers and see what kind of offers you can get, but having Doza is a pretty good ace in the hole should he return to his 2K19 Pro-Am form.
Let’s not forget the efforts of KingQuai614, who somehow had 10 rebounds in the first quarter alone (???) and became the first player this season to snag 20 of them in a game.
The Nets, to their credit, made it close toward the end, but this wasn’t the team effort or even defensive effort that they need to win games. Their four-point first quarter matches Grizz Gaming for the lowest of any team this season. They’ll have to pull one out against a hot Blazer5 Gaming team if they want to avoid pulling a reverse-Raptors.