As we reached the finals of the EBL Invitational Tournament, this matchup looked like it had the potential to go either way. Supremacy (SY), led by star point guard xLyvs-0, faced off against a star-studded Team Blitzers lineup, featuring the likes of xDavid7-, RafaelTGR and AveMario32.
Both teams ran almost identical lineups in all three games, with a sharpshooting playmaker at the point guard spot, and a sharpshooting rebounder at power forward, as well as the usual sharpshooter shooting guard and lockdown defender at small forward. At the center spot, however, Supremacy ran a sharpshooting rim protector while Blitzers played with AveMario32 on a pure rim protector.
Game one featured lots of 5-Out, especially for SY who had capable shooters all over the court. Both point guards were fantastic at making space off the dribble, and there was no need for either team to introduce anything more complicated than an isolation or pick and roll since the scoring was constantly back-and-forth. There was great spacing from both teams, and both took good care of the ball. The excellent spacing from the bigs allowed the guards to get to the basket frequently, which made a big difference to both team’s scoring. On defense, xAdaax- did well when stepping up on 3-pointers off the pick and roll or wraps, saving SY from conceding more points and allowing them to come out on top, 57-53.
Game two featured more of the same, although I saw flashes of great defense from SY. HENNi_0 and xAdaax- were more aggressive in the passing lanes and caused plenty of turnovers, although as a team they still gave up lots of points. I’ve made a video breaking down some of SY’s plays on that end of the floor, which you can check out below. This game was a very close one, and it came down to the wire. Blitzers led 39-38 with just 30 seconds left, while SY’s star point guard xLyvs-0 was on a cold ring. xLyvs-0 and Blitzers point guard xDavid7- traded 3-pointers, making the score 42-41 with 15 seconds to go. SY had a massive lapse of concentration, as they didn’t foul early, letting 10 seconds drain from the clock. This mental error let them down as, despite using two timeouts to get the ball inbounds, they couldn’t get a shot up, allowing Blitzers to take the win 44-41.
With the series tied at 1-1, game three was the decider. With the tournament at stake, SY started strong on both ends of the floor, finishing the first quarter up 18-10. RIIM__ did an excellent job rebounding, allowing them to run out on the fast break on one end, and get second chance points on the other. However, on the defensive side, they continued making the same mistakes on switches, giving up a big 3-pointer to tie the game coming into halftime. If you didn’t watch the video from earlier in this post (which you really should!), it’s clear that their communication needs some work.
This continued into the second half, as Blitzers gained momentum and went on a run. Not only were they consistent on offense, they forced turnovers which allowed them to score in transition which made a huge difference. While the other four Blitzers players contributed, pocholo-FIESTA showed his quality on that end of the floor, ripping the ball from Lyvs in 5-Out and showing us all why he was included in the NBA 2K League’s Top 150 for season two. As in game two, the action continued right up until the final seconds. With 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter of play, xDavid7- uncharacteristically missed a 3-pointer for Blitzers, giving SY the ball while they trailed 46-45. They managed to force a switch, allowing iBraxO___ and xAdaax- to run the pick and roll on pocholo-FIESTA and xDavid7- while AveMario32 was forced to guard xLyvs-0 off-ball. In a thrilling ending, xAdaax- scored at the rim, making the score 47-46 with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. Blitzers couldn’t get the ball inbounds, and with that, Supremacy took home the series, and the honor of being your EBL Invitational Champions.
This series was really exciting to watch, and I had a lot of fun analyzing and writing about it. With the NBA 2K European Pro-Am Summer League (@2K_EUSL) just kicking off, hopefully we see more of the same!