The final week of the season is finally here, and after over a month of playoff speculation, we will get answers to the big question: who’s in? 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.
T-Wolves Gaming (10-6) vs. Blazer5 Gaming (14-1)
Wednesday, July 17, 6 p.m. ET
What better way to start off the most important week of the season than with a must-win scenario for T-Wolves Gaming? The Wolves are currently riding an impressive six-game win streak and are suddenly on the verge of turning what was once considered a lost season into a potential playoff berth.
Don’t expect Blazer5 to come into this one any different, however. The Wolves beat Blazer5 earlier in the year, at the Turn tournament in Las Vegas, and Portland has been vocal in its desire to get revenge. This game looks to have fireworks from the jump.
Knicks Gaming (3-11) vs. Bucks Gaming (8-7)
Wednesday, July 17, 7 p.m. ET
To follow up such a big game, this one doesn’t hold as much luster. But Knicks Gaming won’t let that stop them from entertaining until the final game. The Knicks are coming off a week in which they split both of their matchups, so that speaks to their desire to try until the very last whistle.
The Bucks are considered a bubble team, and this game should be considered a must-win for them. But the Bucks really blew their chances two weeks ago with a loss to Cavs Legion GC. The numbers will need to significantly fall in their favor if they intend on competing in the playoffs this year. Still, not to entirely overlook Knicks Gaming, the Bucks need to win this game first before worrying about other pieces falling in place.
Lakers Gaming (3-12) vs. Jazz Gaming (6-8)
Wednesday, July 17, 8 p.m. ET
Lakers Gaming should understand this year was a disappointment and there isn’t much left to play for. But a win here could always be a boost to morale, and one last chance to play on the stage before a long offseason shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Jazz Gaming is in a similar situation like Bucks Gaming. Although they are technically considered a “bubble” team, the Jazz are going to need more than a win here to have any chance of playing in the postseason. But also similar to Bucks Gaming, Jazz Gaming needs to take care of business first before looking elsewhere around the league.
Warriors Gaming Squad (7-8) vs. Grizz Gaming (7-7)
Wednesday, July 17, 9 p.m. ET
One of the more scrutinized teams as of late, Warriors Gaming Squad can still use this opportunity to iron out the kinks as we head into the postseason. The Warriors look like they are locked into the 8th seed and a first-round matchup against Blazer5 Gaming, and one last test drive before what will surely be a grueling three-game series with the regular season champs is needed.
Grizz Gaming, on the other hand, really needs this game. It’s becoming redundant but the numbers also don’t favor their situation. But as we said for the last two games, you have to win here to even consider the number possibilities.
Kings Guard Gaming (10-5) vs. Jazz Gaming (6-8)
Wednesday, July 17, 10 p.m. ET
According to our playoff odds, Kings Guard Gaming has officially qualified for the playoffs. However, similar to Warriors Gaming Squad, the Kings shouldn’t take the foot off the gas quite yet. They haven’t been at their best in any of the tournaments this year, so any and all practice available to get right for the playoffs seems necessary.
We will also have a better understanding as to what Jazz Gaming’s chances are by the time this game is set to tip off. If the Jazz lose the earlier game against the Lakers, this game pretty much means nothing. So keep in mind the earlier result when you get ready to watch this one. The Jazz need two wins to even consider its playoff probabilities.
Hawks Talon GC (5-9) vs. Wizards District Gaming (6-8)
Thursday, July 18, 6 p.m. ET
The Hawks picked up a stunning win over Pacers Gaming in week 11, and they’ll continue to play for pride against another spoiler team in Wizards District Gaming. Their 3-point heavy attack gave teams problems in week 11, but Knicks Gaming stymied it, begging the question of whether or not the same philosophy will work against another team playing with nothing to lose.
Wizards DG dealt NetsGC a crippling blow in week 11 after losing to 76ers GC earlier in the week. Gilly has emerged as one of the most improved players in the league, and there’s a lot to look forward to in 2020. Can the Wizards get there on a high note by finishing .500?
Raptors Uprising GC (7-8) vs. Knicks Gaming (3-11)
Thursday, July 18, 8 p.m. ET
Last year’s magical run didn’t materialize again for Raptors Uprising, who’ll nonetheless want to finish at least .500 for the second consecutive season. It’s been a year of inconsistency for the Uprising, but they’re facing a team that’s been consistently underwhelming for the majority of the season.
The Knicks are already looking ahead to next year after a disappointing season one year removed from glory. They’ll have a lot of options in the offseason, but one player who shouldn’t be overlooked is 75th overall pick Hazzaa, who has turned in a very strong campaign and has most likely earned the right to represent Europe for the third consecutive season.
Magic Gaming (8-6) vs. Wizards District Gaming (6-8)
Thursday, July 18, 9 p.m. ET
This is one of many “must-win” games in week 12, with the Magic needing to avenge their week 11 loss to Celtics Crossover. That starts against the Wizards, on their second game of the night, whom the Magic obliterated in the first game of the Turn tournament in Las Vegas. The Magic will be looking for another performance like that, but this isn’t that version of the Wizards team.
After beating the Nets in week 11, the Wizards can play spoiler once again, knowing that defeating the Magic—and gaining some revenge for their meeting at the Turn—would severely damage Orlando’s playoff hopes. If nothing else, it’ll be a chance for Dayfri to topple his Pro-Am teammate Reizey, recently announced as one of five finalists for MVP.
NetsGC (7-7) vs. Pacers Gaming (8-6)
Friday, July 19, 6 p.m. ET
While this is the first contest of the regular season’s final week for NetsGC, it will be the last game of the regular season for Pacers Gaming. Depending on how earlier contests go, including Pacers Gaming’s Thursday night tilt against Celtics Crossover Gaming, it could be a win-or-go-home situation for them.
Assuming they defeat the Celtics on Thursday, a win in this game would put their record for the season at 10-6. That could be good enough to nab one of the five remaining playoff spots, depending on other results. Losing this game would put them at 9-7 and put them in a very dangerous position of needing to come out ahead on tiebreakers.
The game carries as much importance for NetsGC’s playoff chances. To get to that 9-7 record, they absolutely need to win both of their remaining games. A loss in either contest effectively ends their season.
Pistons GT (1-14) vs. Heat Check Gaming (5-9)
Friday, July 19, 7 p.m. ET
The 2019 season mercifully comes to an end for Pistons GT here. They will post the worst regular-season record in league history regardless of the outcome of this contest. In the first season, the worst records were 4-10 and no other team in the league has fewer than three wins so far this season.
Besides playing for pride and potential roster spots in the next season, neither team has anything to play for in this contest. Heat Check Gaming was eliminated from playoff contention last week.
Cavs Legion GC (8-7) vs. 76ers GC (10-5)
Friday, July 19, 8 p.m. ET
This game is a narrative of two teams with very different ambitions in the same contest. 76ers GC, by our calculations, is clinched for the playoffs even with a loss. They can, however, improve their seeding with a win. If Kings Guard Gaming and Mavs Gaming lose their last games and 76ers GC gets a win in this one, 76ers GC would enter the playoffs as the league’s second seed.
Cavs Legion desperately needs this win to enter the likely logjam of teams with 9-7 records that at least one could make the playoffs, depending on other results, based on head-to-head records and average point differential. A loss effectively ends their season.
NetsGC (7-7) vs. Mavs Gaming (11-4)
Friday, July 19, 9 p.m. ET
Replicate earlier storylines here for this contest. Mavs Gaming can lock up the second seed with a win and enter the playoffs with some momentum but either way, they’re already in. A loss could push them down to the third or fourth seed, creating a more difficult first-round matchup.
Even if NetsGC defeats Pacers Gaming earlier on Friday night, they need this game just as badly. A .500 winning percentage simply isn’t going to be good enough to grab a playoff spot this season given the number of teams still alive for a playoff spot with better or similar records.
Heat Check Gaming (5-9) vs. Hawks Talon GC (5-9)
Friday, July 19, 10 p.m. ET
This is anything but a climactic end to the 2019 regular season the league might have hoped for. Both teams in this one enter the contest already out of playoff contention.
Don’t expect the players to mail it in, however. There’s likely to be another expansion draft coming before the league’s third season begins. Players on both teams are fighting to impress coaches around the league to either be on protected lists or be selected for a spot on another team’s roster.
When the time runs out on this contest, all that will remain for the 2019 NBA 2K League season is the playoffs and Finals.
Magic Gaming (8-6) vs. Grizz Gaming (7-7)
Date & time TBD
This game was postponed from week 11, only adding to the drama of the season’s final week. The Grizz effectively need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs, and the Magic are in essentially the same situation. The league has not yet announced the date and time for this game. It’s the second straight year in which week 12 has had an extended schedule due to weather postponements in week 11.
Game of the Week: Celtics Crossover Gaming (10-5) vs. Pacers Gaming (8-6)
Thursday, July 18, 7 p.m. ET
The Celtics take the GOTW spotlight once again, this time solidified in their playoff ambitions and now with the chance of making Pacers Gaming’s rocky playoff hopes crumble.
No team took home a more high-stakes win than Boston in week 11, defeating Magic Gaming 53-48, and no team has been hotter than the Celtics, who have won nine straight.
No team with playoff hopes needs to rebound as much as the Pacers, who inexplicably dropped two crucial games in week 11 to the 76ers (understandable) and the Hawks (less so). Now at 8-6, the Pacers are far from secure in their search for the franchise’s first-ever playoff berth. The Pacers also have a week 12 game against the similarly reeling Nets, but this game has playoff and seeding implications alike.
Just one week ago, it seemed as if the Pacers were on solid ground and the Celtics needed a big win to stay in the playoff picture. Since then, the tables have turned, and it’s now the Pacers who need to turn them and regain a playoff spot.
Player of the Week: Swizurk, Pacers Gaming
Really, this slot could feature so many players playing in must-win games. The Magic, Nets, Grizz and Pacers all have two games remaining, and all four would be wise to win out to have a real shot at clinching a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history.
But the Pacers are the only team from that group to have lost twice in week 11, the only team resting on the perilous precipice of playoff purgatory. Their post-scorer driven offense sputtered. The front-running strategy hasn’t booked the team a playoff berth. So to whom can the Pacers turn when they need to catch up?
Swizurk is one of the best pure shooters in the league. His move to point guard, however, was born out of necessity. Matty, the Pacers’ third-round pick this season, wasn’t getting the job done. The team’s move to Ramo on the post scorer, in the grand scheme of things, was sensible—remember, he scored a season-high 43 points in a tournament win over the 76ers—in part because it lifted some burden from the point guard’s shoulders.
That burden is back. The post scorer needs help and balance. Swizurk, with the playoffs on the line, has to be the man in the team’s two remaining, ultra-important games.