The following was written by afox96__.
Week three of the NBA 2K League season is here, with four tightly contested matchups on tap for Tuesday, May 19. Games tonight are viewable on ESPN2, ESPN.com, and the ESPN App, as well as the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Reminder: each matchup is a best-of-three series, with the series victor earning one win toward its regular season record. The first two matchups will tip off at 7 p.m. EST, while the latter two commence at 9 p.m.
76ers GC (0-4) vs. Pacers Gaming (1-3), 7 p.m.
Two struggling teams face off, and only one can use this series to spark an early season turnaround.
Pacers Gaming’s defense gears up to stop a 76ers offense that seemingly found life last week against the T-Wolves. Since winning their matchup against the Heat, the Pacers have dropped four out of five contests and two straight series. Rookie point guard BOHIO struggled last week, with 5.8 turnovers across five games and shooting just 36% from three. That level of play from your primary guard won’t earn you many wins in this league.
The 76ers were another team plagued by the turnover bug, as point guard Radiant recorded 45 (!) in the team’s first two series (four games total). Philly’s offense looked smoother, however, in Friday’s season two Finals rematch against the Wolves, and Radiant himself looked more comfortable, averaging 26 points and 7 assists per game in the series. However, the defense is still catching up, and center Steez looks like a shell of himself to begin the 2020 campaign. There are still plenty of questions surrounding this Sixers team.
Key Matchup: Turnover Battle
We talked about it above: both of these teams have struggled mightily with turnovers to begin their seasons. I’d imagine whoever wins the turnover battle, wins the series.
Knicks Gaming (1-1) vs. Raptors Uprising GC (4-0), 7 p.m.
New York’s tough week begins with a matchup against the red-hot, undefeated Raptors. For the Knicks, who are also slated to play undefeated Blazer5 later in the week, stealing a series is vital in order to avoid a one-and-three hole. The Knicks’ opening week had mixed results. They swept a struggling Heat Check squad behind strong performances from Duck and Malik. The duo didn’t fare as well against the Bucks, however, getting blown out in each game after Knicks center Rob suggested we’d see Bucks point guard Regg (his former Pro-Am teammate) “crumble” in the series.
Toronto has been the league’s best team, plain and simple. The Raptors have played ten games in their four series and lost just two, by a combined six points. In the eight wins, they’ve been victorious by an average of over 14 points. Pure dominance. Led by MVP-level play from point guard KennyGotWork (week one’s Player of the Week) and center Sick One (three triple-doubles), the Raptors will look to continue that dominance against the Knicks tonight.
Key Matchup: Sick One vs. CantGuardRob.
Rob struggled in his matchup against Bucks big man Squidris, and he has an even tougher assignment tonight. If Sick One takes advantage like he’s capable, it could be a long night for the Knicks center.
Pistons GT (0-0) vs. Wizards District Gaming (2-1), 9 p.m.
Washington has been playing quality 2K during remote play. In fact, they’re really the only team that didn’t get blown out by the Raptors, pushing that series to three games, and only losing by a point in one of their losses. Number one overall pick JBM continues to learn the ropes of the league, showing improvement each game. Dayfri has been one of the better centers to open the year. For the Pistons, this isn’t an ideal team to debut your season against.
Detroit opted for a roster overhaul after a disappointing (to say the least) season two. Bringing back veteran big man Ramo from Pacers Gaming and pairing him with former Wizards DG guard (and Pro-Am teammate) DemonJT was among the biggest storylines of the offseason. Now the Pistons have an opportunity to put their new-look starting five to the test against a talented Wizards team.
Key Matchup: Ramo vs. Dayfri
Two of the more outspoken players in this league, a big part of me wishes we could see these two on the stage tonight. Dayfri has settled into the season, looking dangerous on the league build. How will Ramo, now back with the team who originally drafted him, fare in his season three debut?
Lakers Gaming (0-4) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (4-0), 9 p.m.
While the Lakers are winless through four games, rookie guard SAV—and his 36 points per game—has been a bright spot and the squad has played competitive games with higher-tier teams. There are many factors that go into L.A.’s unsuccessful start. For instance, in wake of the pandemic, the Lakers players have been forced to compete on hotel WiFi. If you’ve played 2K competitively, or even just for fun, you know why that’s not an ideal setup; for those who haven’t played, let me assure you that it’s extremely unhelpful. The team is getting league-low production from their actual point guard position (10.6 points, 1.8 assists per game). Their defense hasn’t looked promising either. They look to fix all of this and more against one of the best teams in the league tonight.
Headed into their third week of remote play, the Warriors are looking to take advantage of a struggling Lakers team. The Warriors are a team that just does everything right. You won’t catch them turning the ball over a ton, they shoot a high number of 3-pointers and play quality team defense. While CB13 is undoubtedly playing at a MVP-caliber level, the perfect record stems from solid all-around team play.
Key Matchup: SAV vs. CB13
Two of the top scorers in the league clash tonight, making this a game you need to make sure you watch. Whichever point guard can minimize turnovers and hit more 3-pointers for their team wins this series. Check the box score after the series and tell me I’m wrong.