We’re back to your regularly scheduled regular season action. There were plenty of twists at the Turn, with Warriors Gaming Squad ultimately bringing home its first piece of hardware. Here are some quick breakdowns of every matchup of NBA 2K League action this week, capping it all off with a Game of the Week and a Player to Watch. Games are sorted in chronological order, with the Game of the Week bringing up the rear.
Pistons GT (1-4) vs. Magic Gaming (2-3)
Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m. EST
We get our first look at a team who made an official move in the 2019 NBA 2K League trade window The Pistons look to right some wrongs in their backcourt with the addition of DevGoss. The most interesting take from this move is DevGoss’ relationship with a Pistons retained player from season one, iiNsaniTTy, with whom Dev has been Pro-Am teammates for years, most notably in the 2K17 Road to the All-Star Game Finals. So the Pistons come into this matchup with some much-needed chemistry among their backcourt already.
At the Turn, the Pistons deployed a lineup that saw Jaacko utilized at the lockdown position, and with the history between the new Pistons backcourt, Pistons GT may feel that is how the lineup is best suited.
Magic Gaming was considered a sleeper by many to make some noise at the Turn tournament last week in Las Vegas. Although the Magic didn’t make it quite as far as some may have expected, they still remain consistent in winning games they should win. They can continue that trend this week. TuckerLocksUp has been the center of choice lately and his chemistry with DT, on and off the court, has proven vital to the Magic so far.
Kings Guard Gaming (4-2) vs. Pacers Gaming (4-0)
Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m. EST
Kings Guard Gaming never ceases to disappoint in the department of being unpredictable. Just as the Kings seemed to be trending upward, both on and off the court, BP drops another hint that he is unhappy and wants out of Sacramento. The silver lining in all of this: Kings Guard has looked progressively better as each week passes.
Not knowing how the off-the-court issues truly affect this team is tough. But the Kings still have one of the more talented rosters, and if they can somehow get a grip of the “she loves me, she loves me not” fiasco, Kings Guard could really contend for something this season.
Expect the Pacers to come into this matchup looking for blood. The Pacers, albeit not the only ones, disappointed a lot of people at the Turn in Las Vegas. Unable to shake the demon of Celtics Crossover Gaming, the Pacers lost in the first round of the tournament as the number one seed. The Pacers have proven they can look past the woes of tournament shortcomings, as they started off the regular season 4-0 after losing in the quarterfinals of the Tipoff.
Heat Check Gaming (3-2) vs. Cavs Legion GC (3-3)
Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m. EST
We have quite an interesting set up for this one, with Hood going against his old team. No, not that old team. His old, old team: the Cavs!
Hood was acquired by his hometown team, Heat Check Gaming, this week. He’s set to be their new point guard and potentially be the offensive spark the Heat have needed pretty much all season. This Heat team is filled with big names from top to bottom, but—as we’ve seen a lot this season—names don’t win games.
Even though Cavs Legion GC has acquired an elite talent themselves, they are still dealing with the suspension of LYKaPRO, who is out for the next three weeks. The Cavs have seemed to adjust fairly well to the news. If the Cavs showed any of its hand at the Turn, Strainer looks poised to be the new point guard with All Hail Trey, newly acquired from Raptors Uprising, taking on secondary ball-handler duties. Losing Sick is going to be a huge loss, but with the early-season backcourt woes, it’s worth the risk in a year where backcourt play is so important.
T-Wolves Gaming (2-4) vs Pistons GT (1-4)
Wednesday, May 15, 9 p.m. EST
We are getting to see all of the new-look rosters bright and early this week. The T-Wolves acquired JMoneyRep817 from Heat Check Gaming for Hood. The most interesting part about T-Wolves newly-acquired asset in JMoneyRep817 is that he has also been a point guard all season, a position which the T-Wolves don’t need. Many expect the Wolves to try JMoney at the shot-creating sharpshooter small forward this week.
JMoney has proven to be a versatile player over his years of playing competitive 2K in the Pro-Am game mode. This would be another opportunity for him to prove that.
Hopefully, by the time of this matchup, the Pistons will have figured out what did and didn’t work with their new roster. If the Pistons do decide to deploy Jaacko at the lockdown position in its first game and, similar to last week at the Turn, it doesn’t go well, hopefully they will make the necessary adjustments and put him back where he has thrived the most this season. To counter that, if the lineup does work, expect them to carry it over into this matchup as well.
Jazz Gaming (3-2) vs. Cavs Legion GC (3-3)
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. EST
Jazz Gaming has played at a very high level recently, making a semifinals appearance
in the Turn and carrying a three-game regular-season win streak into this matchup.
Gliz and Compete are carrying the scoring load, while first overall pick Ria has had a
sneakily good season at center. It may be the defense of Deedz, however, against
Cavs Legion’s new-look lineup, that proves pivotal in this matchup.
For Cavs Legion, expect new acquisition All Hail Trey to make an immediate impact
as the team’s featured scorer. Strainer at point guard didn’t pan out in the Turn,
thanks to a discombobulated starting cast, but the third-round pick has proven
himself in the league and should mesh well with Trey. Larry, likely making his first
start of the season at center, is also a player to watch.
Bucks Gaming (4-2) vs. Kings Guard Gaming (4-2)
Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m. EST
This could be an all-time Plondo performance. The Bucks Gaming pivot is one of the
best big men passers in the league, and his facilitation from the top of the arc could
wreak havoc against a less-than-stellar Kings Guard defense. Will anyone be able to
stop Arooks, either?
Kings Guard has had an, uh, interesting week after nearly making the semifinals of
the Turn. But they’ve so far consistently been able to put all the noise in the
background and get out to a 4-2 record. But with the Pacers, Bucks, Mavs, and
Blazer5 all looming overhead in the next three weeks, getting off to the right start to
the middle period of the season is absolutely crucial.
Warriors Gaming Squad (3-2) vs. Magic Gaming (2-3)
Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m. EST
The Turn champions are riding high after taking home over $90,000 from Vegas.
BSmoove is playing his way into MVP contention, birthday boy Type snagged his
first tournament MVP award and Gradient has cemented himself as one of the best
locks in the league. Perhaps most dangerous, however, is that Kina appears to be
taking the next step, making Warriors Gaming Squad that more dangerous.
Don’t sleep on the Magic. They’ll be better with their normal lineup back, and we
could see KingCamRoyalty make a big impact on the boards. First-round pick Reizey
is finally playing up to his billing, and if the Magic can get consistent secondary
scoring from fellow draftees DT and KelMav, they’ll have no reason to fear Warriors
Grizz Gaming (1-3) vs. T-Wolves Gaming (2-4)
Thursday, May 16, 9 p.m. EST
The pieces have never come together perfectly for the Grizz, who fell to this very T-
Wolves team in the Turn while running—due to the archetype ban—a double lock
meta. DDouble offered a brief spark off the bench, but the team needs to get
consistent pick-and-roll production from Vandi and Authentic while increasing
JRod’s efficiency. Can they turn it around in a week?
More JMoney, more lineup problems? The T-Wolves seemed to gel in the Turn, and
they’ve gone 3-2 in the five games since Hood requested a trade. How will JMoney
contribute to the lineup without messing with the team chemistry? All involved
have high hopes, made easier by the emergence of BearDaBeast as one of the best
rookie point guards in the league. This team still has plenty of talent, Hood or not,
and working JMoney in against a team they’ve already beaten twice is the perfect
Hawks Talon GC (3-2) vs. Grizz Gaming (1-4)
Friday, May 17, 6 p.m. EST
The Hawks have been on the brink of being considered a contender during the regular season. Although the result wasn’t nice to them in their one game at the Turn, Hawks Talon has a lot to be optimistic about moving forward. The Hawks struggled to find sufficient point guard play early on, and even though Rando provided a stop-gap at the position, the Hawks were in dire need of a true point guard. The Hawks potentially found that in MrStylez from Pistons GT. Rando and MrStylez have a history as teammates in Pro-aAm and he seems primed to be the perfect complement to the scorers that Hawks Talon possesses.
The consensus opinion at DIMER, early in the season, was that Grizz Gaming was for real this season. We loved the way they drafted and thought everything was trending in the right direction. Outside of a couple bright spots, the Grizz have been everything but. For Josiah’s sake—being the last of a dying breed as a Grizz Gaming believer—hopefully the Grizz can right the ship sooner rather than later (editor’s note: I’m getting hammered on the podcast for this, give me one here.). It seems to be the “broken record” opinion but Vandi needs to figure it out. We’ll wait and see if maybe this is the lucky week for that.
Wizards District Gaming (0-4) vs. Jazz Gaming (3-2)
Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. EST
There isn’t anything left to try for the Wizards as they trudge through this putrid season. Dayfri at power forward, Demon JT at small forward, ReeseDaGod at point guard. It’s all the same result, the one we all expect at this point. Even when the team tries to do the obvious and put players in their natural positions, they still look lost. There’s no semblance of an offense and not enough defense to make up for that (though not even a Pacers-like defense could make up for this stuck-in-cement attack). The only option is simply to play better. We’ll see if they can muster up even a respectable effort against a surging Jazz team to get their first win of the regular season.
There should be no shortage of confidence for Jazz Gaming going into week five. Utah has a semifinals appearance under its belt and finally looks like a team that has a first and third overall pick on its roster. A 2-0 week here could set them up at 5-2 heading into the halfway point of the season. Nothing bad ever happens at 5-2, right?
Lakers Gaming (1-4) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (3-2)
Friday, May 17, 8 p.m. EST
Speaking of putrid seasons, Lakers Gaming hasn’t done that much better in 2019. The point guard situation hasn’t improved, and one of the team’s main sources of offense is from its lockdown defender, which we’ll label as “not ideal” and move on. Things don’t get much better for the Lakers with their first matchup of week five, a date with freshly minted Turn champs Warriors Gaming Squad. Bowing out to lowly Knicks Gaming in Las Vegas is unlikely to spark much confidence heading into this one.
Not much left to say about the Warriors in this preview. Pretty good team. They should win this one.
Bucks Gaming (4-2) vs. Wizards District Gaming (0-4)
Friday, May 17, 9 p.m. EST
It won’t be an easy week for Wizards District Gaming. As a man well aware of the cursed state D.C. sports has been in for the past year, the Washington Wizards’ fall to ninth in Tuesday night’s draft lottery doesn’t give me much hope about their NBA 2K League counterparts turning it around.
But if you had to pick out one thing going for the Wiz Kids here, it’s that Bucks Gaming’s two losses so far this season have come to Grizz Gaming and Pistons GT, two teams not exactly possessing an abundance of quality. If enough things go right and the Bucks play down to their opponent again…
Lakers Gaming (1-4) vs. Nets GC (2-4)
Friday, May 17, 10 p.m. EST
This is Lakers Gaming’s best shot to pick up its second win of the season. The struggling Nets have followed up a hot 2-0 start with a 0-4 skid, and their dismantling at the hands of Celtics Crossover Gaming at the Turn will do little to instil confidence into this roster. But a win against the struggling Lakers would be a nice boost before they face cross-town rival Knicks Gaming in week six. It comes down to whether Wavy can find the ultra-efficient form of himself that carried the Nets to their initial success.
Game of the Week: Heat Check Gaming (3-2) vs Pacers Gaming (4-0)
Wednesday, May 15, 10 p.m. EST
It feels like we feature the Heat every week in this spot, but when you have two teams with championship aspirations coming off of disappointing Turn performances, it’s appointment NBA 2K League viewing.
Not only that, but we get our first look at new Heat man Hood in Miami. Expect him to slot in at point guard, but we’ll get to him in a minute. The fact of the matter is Heat Check Gaming can’t find a lick of consistency right now. The team lost heavily to the Bucks in week two, followed it up with a close win against the Wiz, followed that up by squeaking by the Lakers and then was subsequently taken down by Mavs Gaming and Warriors Gaming Squad at the Turn. So what happens when you take an inconsistent team and slot in a new point guard? Let’s find out.
Pacers Gaming should feel a little stung after bowing out in the first round of the Turn to Celtics Crossover Gaming, the only team they’ve lost to all season, both times in knockout tournament games. They’re not invincible. Matty looked human again after a couple of gargantuan weeks and it hurt. It wasn’t entirely his fault, though: Pacers Gaming got out-assisted and committed more turnovers than the Celtics, two things whose importance head coach Cody Parrent stresses constantly.
Maybe it was an anomaly. It probably is, actually. But nothing is guaranteed in the NBA 2K League. Going up against an inconsistent team that needs to adjust its chemistry and playstyle isn’t enough to give you a win on its own. Pacers Gaming will have to regroup and show up to this one. If they fail to do what they do best (again), don’t be surprised to see the Heat pull this off and end the Pacers’ undefeated regular season run. Can you imagine the takes if that happened?
Player to Watch: Hood, Heat Check Gaming
Obviously. All eyes will be on Hood as he dons his hometown Heat Check Gaming uniform and officially puts an end to his weeks-long trade saga. We’ll probably see him at point guard, as a move to put Majestic back at the 1 seems highly unlikely. How he adjusts to playing point guard on the league build will be the biggest question. He’ll also need to commit on the defensive end and buy into Heat Check’s system.
At any rate, make sure you check yourself before firing off that spicy take on Twitter no matter how his debut goes. The community will be watching for good reason, but one good or bad game won’t define how things will go in Miami for the rest of the season. There will be an adjustment period. For now, just enjoy the debut of what could be something special.