In this 2K EU Summer League matchup, the star-studded Bayern Ballers Gaming (BBG) took on Russia’s KMS. I wanted to break down some plays from Bayern on the defensive end since I think it was the main reason for their success in this game. As the saying goes, “defense wins championships,” but only time will tell if Bayern Ballers Gaming will come out as winners of the 2K EUSL Competition.
This first clip is just a great defensive play. We see the communication and chemistry between Mario (AveMario32) and Rafa (RafaelTGR), as Mario is ready to defend either by stepping out to guard the three or by dropping back to pick up the roll man. There is a good switch between Rafa and Marcel (MGoCrzy), forcing the missed shot and leading to an outlet pass and a basket in transition.
This clip also shows their aggression in the passing lanes and full-court press. Following a fastbreak basket, BBG got a steal off the KMS inbound which led to an open 3-pointer for Lizanity (who was playing on GuardHimCoach’s account). Even though he didn’t make the shot, I loved their mental concentration and awareness to stay sharp after a score and come away with the ball.
This mental awareness and concentration can also be seen in this play, where Jannis (JLB_2K) stays awake and gets a simple steal. It’s not a particularly flashy play, but as the player defending the corner of the strong-side, it’s important to stay focused throughout the play as Jannis does here.
This particular play highlights the aggressive nature of Bayern’s play on the defensive end. Having committed a turnover, the BBG players stayed focused, which allowed them to get a steal off KMS’ fastbreak. After they got the ball back, they played unselfishly, making the extra pass to allow Lizanity to hit a 3-pointer.
As well as the aggression that I’ve already mentioned, Bayern often press their opposition full-court as you can see here. Mario tracks the KMS point guard StepKerr after he beats Rafa, ready to pick up and put the pressure on, which allows him to get a steal. Following the blitz from Mario, the other Bayern players are ready to run out in transition, which ends with Marcel getting a mid-range jumper to go.
This next clip also shows the effectiveness of the BBG press, as we see that Marcel comes away with an easy steal. KMS are forced to give their center, ItsMeDen1s, the ball off the inbound. The Bayern players are aware that he doesn’t want to dribble and bring the ball up the court, so both Mario and Marcel blitz StepKerr in anticipation of a pass coming. It works out that way, allowing them to easily score on the other end. It’s a great example of a smart play.
As well as their full-court press and aggression in the passing lanes, Bayern Ballers were able to put a tremendous amount of pressure on the KMS ballhandler. By playing the passing lanes aggressively and actively looking for steals as a team off-ball, it puts more pressure on the opposition ball-handler because they are forced to think more about their passes (the target, the defender, other off-ball defenders, etc.). Therefore, this might take their focus off of the on-ball defender, allowing them to poke the ball loose, just like Rafa does in this play.
Finally, for this last clip, I wanted to show Bayern’s communication on the defensive end. I’ve always said that communication is so important on defense, and this is common knowledge. Everyone being on the same page makes defense easier, and the way Rafa communicates with his teammates in this play is one of the main reasons why I believe Bayern are so successful on that end of the floor.