We march ever closer to the playoffs. An upper crust is starting to take form, but beneath the surface lies an all-out battle for limited space in July’s postseason action. 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.
Kings Guard Gaming (9-4) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (7-6)
Wednesday, June 26, 6 p.m. ET
Kings Guard Gaming enters week 10 with the NBA 2K League’s third-best winning percentage and more wins than all but two teams so far this season, making them a heavy favorite to lock up one of the league’s remaining five playoff spots. A win over Warriors Gaming Squad, which is already in the playoffs by virtue of their victory in the Ticket, would increase that likelihood which already sits at 96%.
Warriors Gaming Squad has lost both of its two games since winning the Ticket, including a lopsided 48-point loss to Celtics Crossover Gaming. Getting a win over Kings Guard Gaming would not only help improve their seeding in the playoffs (they would currently be the eighth seed) but help them regain their confidence as well.
Grizz Gaming (5-6) vs. 76ers GC (7-4)
Wednesday, June 26, 7 p.m.
Grizz Gaming is currently part of a seven-team log jam of six-loss teams that sit just out of playoff position, trailing three five-loss teams that would currently make up the bottom of the playoff bracket. If Grizz Gaming could win out and get to 10-6, that would put them in a position likely to qualify for the tournament.
Before they can worry about five consecutive wins, however, they need to get the first one. That will prove difficult over a 76ers GC team which is also fighting for playoff positioning. 76ers GC point guard Radiant is fourth in the league in scoring average and third in assists per game, while BreadWinnerLA leads the league in steals per game.
T-Wolves Gaming (5-6) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (7-6)
Wednesday, June 26, 8 p.m.
Another part of the aforementioned group is T-Wolves Gaming. To get this win, T-Wolves Gaming will rely upon BearDaBeast and JMoneyRep817, who are both shooting around 57% from the field including 47% from 3-point range so far this season. They come in having won their last two regular-season games, although that was before the Ticket as T-Wolves Gaming had a bye last week.
In order to get this win, Warriors Gaming Squad will need to bring back the trademark defense that propelled it to two consecutive tournament wins this season. Though they have players like Type who are capable of taking over a game, this team goes as its defense goes. If BearDaBeast and JMoneyRep817 get going, Warriors Gaming Squad could be looking at loss number seven or eight in this one.
76ers GC (7-4) vs. Hawks Talon GC (4-6)
Wednesday, June 26, 9 p.m.
See the two games above and apply those circumstances to Hawks Talon GC. While they have more opportunities left with six games remaining over the final three weeks of the regular season, that also means more opportunities to lose their shot at making the playoffs.
If Hawks Talon GC sends 76ers GC to its fifth or sixth loss of the season, it will be because DatBoyShotz goes toe-to-toe with Radiant and gets Arsonal involved. Arsonal will likely be the focus of the defensive effort by 76ers GC, as he is one of an elite group of players in the league averaging a double-double (16 points, 12.5 rebounds).
T-Wolves Gaming (5-6) vs. Kings Guard Gaming (9-4)
Wednesday, June 26, 10 p.m.
If 76ers GC loses both of its games on Wednesday, Warriors Gaming Squad defeats Kings Guard Gaming to start out Week 10 and T-Wolves Gaming wins its first game, this contest will be huge. T-Wolves Gaming could in that scenario vaunt itself into the playoff mix with another win to close out Wednesday night.
This game could end up being important should both of these teams end up with a similar record at the end of the regular season. It’s the only time they will play each other and after winning percentage, the head-to-head record between teams is the next thing that decides which team makes the playoffs.
Raptors Uprising GC (5-6) vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming (6-5)
Thursday, June 27, 6 p.m.
One of the many matchups this week with major playoff implications, consider this game a must-win for both teams. Raptors Uprising currently holds an uninspiring 7% chance to qualify for a playoff spot according to our (not definitive) playoff odds. We should still expect the Uprising to give their all until they are officially eliminated from contention. Last year, we saw this Uprising team (albeit with a slightly different roster) rattle off a win streak and qualify for the playoffs. We will need to see something similar this year.
Celtics Crossover comes into this game as arguably the hottest team in the league. Currently riding a five-game win streak, the Celtics look like a team primed for a playoff spot this year after blowout wins over two of the best teams in the league. However, they still sit at only 43% to qualify for a spot this year, according to our odds. With that said, the Celtics could use every win possible.
Hawks Talon GC (4-6) vs. Magic Gaming (6-5)
Thursday, June 27, 7 p.m.
Hawks Talon GC looks like a longshot for a spot in this year’s playoffs. They currently sit at 4-6 and it’s hard to imagine any team qualifying with fewer than nine wins. If the Hawks can somehow show some consistency, one of their biggest issues this year, we could potentially see them continue to play after week 12. It still seems like extremely long odds.
Magic Gaming, on the other hand, can really use every possible win to continue its hot stretch. They have looked like an elite team since acquiring ToXsiK from Grizz Gaming. Every part of this team seems to be peaking at the perfect time. Don’t let that dilute the importance of every game for them in these last weeks: this is a major must-win to make the playoffs.
Grizz Gaming (5-6) vs. Blazer5 Gaming (12-1)
Thursday, June 27, 8 p.m.
Grizz Gaming is going to need more than results to prolong their season this year. The Grizz are currently at a measly 15% to qualify for the playoffs this year, according to our odds, and this week will prove vital to whether or not that number rises or completely falters. Grizz Gaming should hope Blazer5 comes into this matchup not worried about seeding implications.
Blazer5 is officially a playoff team for the second year in a row. With the shortcomings of all their recent tournament appearances, it should be interesting to see if the Blazers take these games seriously to iron out all the necessary kinks to ensure success in the playoffs. Grizz Gaming is now playing with a “win or go home” mentality and that can definitely be dangerous.
Raptors Uprising GC (5-6) vs. Jazz Gaming (6-6)
Thursday, June 27, 9 p.m.
By the time we get to this matchup on Thursday, we will know how important this game is for the Uprising. If they drop the first game against Celtics Crossover this week, there won’t be much more to play for. As noted earlier, the Raptors chances are slim and every win is needed at this point. But if they come into this game 6-6, it becomes one of the most important tilts of the week.
Jazz Gaming is also in no position to consider itself comfortable. If the Jazz have any aspirations to prolong their season, they NEED this win. The Jazz have a pretty favorable schedule, partly due to this specific matchup. If they can’t capitalize on a result here, consider their season pretty much finished.
Magic Gaming (6-5) vs. Mavs Gaming (11-2)
Friday, June 28, 6 p.m.
Magic Gaming, coming off a bye, knows that crunch time is here. It’s made all the more crunchy by a matchup against the imposing Mavs, who have essentially clinched the playoffs and are one of the best teams in the league. With former lockdown UCManny likely following Mo around the perimeter and mid-season pickup Toxsik on Dimez, the Magic might just be poised to slow down the Dallas juggernaut.
The Mavs, by contrast, come into this one sitting pretty at 11-2. They’re in the playoffs at this point, but they’d like to keep collecting wins, especially against former Mavs Gaming coach Jonah Edwards, now at the helm of the Magic. Pete in the middle is just the ticket against the suddenly varied offensive attack of the Magic Gaming pick and roll.
Blazer5 Gaming (12-1) vs. Mavs Gaming (11-2)
Friday, June 28, 8 p.m.
This bout, between two of the regular season’s heaviest hitters, is pretty unimportant as far as the playoff race is concerned. Both Blazer5 and Mavs Gaming are locked into the playoffs, and so this matchup is more about seeding and bragging rights for now.
The Mavs had an interesting week nine, while the Blazers extended their winning streak to 12 games. Will Dimez and the Mavs jeopardize the longest winning streak in league history–one that eclipsed their own record-setting 10-win start to the season?
Jazz Gaming (6-6) vs. Bucks Gaming (7-6)
Friday, June 28, 9 p.m.
Oh, man, is this game important. Jazz Gaming needs to get a win streak going if they want to make the playoffs. Lotty has looked good on a sharp after being acquired at the trade deadline, but Compete and Ria—two former top-3 selections–have to carry the Jazz as much as possible down the stretch.
The Bucks have a good number of tiebreakers, but they can put themselves in extremely favorable positions with a win over the Jazz to go to 8-6. Point guard Chaddynick had a good performance in week nine against the Lakers, but can he show enough consistency to get the Bucks over the finish line in crucial games against fellow bubble teams?
Cavs Legion GC (7-6) vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming (6-5)
Friday, June 28, 10 p.m.
Another incredibly important game in the week’s nightcap. The Cavs could, in one scenario, go to 9-6 with a win here, and in another scenario be fighting for their playoff lives against the threat of going to 7-8. Meanwhile, CLTX Gaming, winners of five straight, could pick up another important tiebreaker win and keep their late-season push going. Heady stuff for the 10 p.m. Friday game for the second consecutive week.
This game might make or break Godddof2K’s case for this year’s DPOY award. He’s merited discussion so far, and keeping CLTX star oFab in check in a huge game would be a terrific bullet point on his resume. If Fab goes off—and Fab tends to go off—then, unless the heady Cavs defense shuts down every other option, the Celtics have to feel good about themselves.
Game of the Week: Cavs Legion GC (7-6) vs. Bucks Gaming (7-6)
Friday, June 28, 7 p.m.
We’re picking this as the game of the week not because of the elite caliber of the two teams but because of the absolutely massive playoff implications contained within it.
Cavs Legion suffered a major setback last week when a suddenly surging Wizards District squad snuffed out the Cavs’ four-game win streak, putting the Legion’s playoff charge in jeopardy. a bounce back week is a must for last year’s semifinalists, and it’ll be tough to qualify without winning this game. The Bucks hold a lot of strong tiebreakers, and they’ll be in prime position to emerge from the tiebreaker bloodbath if they pick up a win over the Cavs and hand them their seventh loss.
But over the course of the season, the Bucks haven’t quite been the juggernaut of which they’ve shown flashes. Point guard is still a concern, as is the loss of BigMeek’s frontcourt spacing. Plondo has been hit or miss on the post scorer. Arooks is one of the best offensive players in the league. SlayIsland is one of the worst. They switch places—although to less of an extreme—on the other side of the ball. For all their inconsistency and flashes of dominance, they’re an understandable 7-6.
Cavs Legion, for one reason or another, wins a lot with Savage at point guard. Their last-round pick for two consecutive years has helped save the Cavs season at point guard. Godddof2K is the only other player back from the 2018 squad. All Hail Trey has been stellar since being acquired midseason. But the Cavs have a lot of breathtaking moments, not all in their favor, and have yet to cobble individually stellar games into the same game often together. They’re a deserved 7-6.
A playoff spot could well depend on which team makes it 8-6.
Player of the Week: Plondo, Bucks Gaming
Plondo continues to prove his high selection in this year’s draft. Some may argue he’s been the most impressive center this year, but riding the current trend of running the post scorer at the power forward, he had an amazing 36-point performance against Magic Gaming in week eight with pretty good results thereafter. Right now it looks like that’s the lineup the Bucks want to stick with, so more 20+ point performances for the big man will go a long way.
The Bucks need every win they can get right now in a tight playoff race. You can argue who is the best player on this team between ARooks and Plondo, but the latter is undoubtedly the most crucial performer in whether or not results go Milwaukee’s way.