Week four of the NBA 2K League rolls right along, as the reigning champions polish off their second night of back-to-back, Mama takes on the season one champs after a historic night, player-turned-coach Insanity takes on his former team, and the Celtics look for their first win of the year against an emergent title contender in Wizards District Gaming.
Check out the updated standings heading into tonight’s matchup, as well as last night’s recap and the power rankings from earlier this week.
Knicks Gaming (2-3) vs. Blazer5 Gaming (3-0)
Coming off an eventful night, to say the least, Blazer5 aims to keep its record flawless in its fourth series of the season. If last night didn’t prove it, I don’t know what will, but MamaImDatMan is still the league’s reigning MVP. Scoring 77 points, 71 of which came in the first three quarters, was good enough to break the regulation record for most points scored. Mama and co. will surely keep their foot on the pedal tonight against a Knicks Gaming team that’s coming off a rough start to week four.
The Knicks look to rebound after suffering a beatdown at the hands of Hornets Venom last night. New York failed to score more than 12 points in three out of eight quarters during the series with Charlotte. Stagnant offense paired with a shaky defense (allowing 84 points per game last night) is not a winning combination. In order to avoid a 2-4 start, the Knicks must beat a Blazer5 team loaded with confidence and motivation.
Key Matchup: Mama vs. Rookies PGs
Mama is already 3-0 against the 2020 rookie point guard class, including wins against Bohio, Sav, and Regg. As he makes his way through the first round of February’s draft, No. 2 overall pick Duck is up next.
Lakers Gaming (0-5) vs. Pistons GT (0-2)
The losses keep piling up for LA, and Sav is slowly starting to realize he can’t pro-8 his way out of every sticky situation. While the rookie guard has been able to score at an impressive clip, averaging 34.2 points per game on solid 55% shooting, another Laker player will need to step up offensively for this team to be successful. With Dweq at the official point guard spot, playing the role of sharpshooter, my eyes are on him.
Will Pistons GT resort to more early season lineup changes? After moving Ramo to a popper build at power forward in their last series against the Wolves, the offense still proved to be inconsistent. To the Pistons’ credit, it was a tough opening week, as Detroit drew the schedule short stick: Raptors Uprising on opening night and reigning champion T-Wolves Gaming the very next night. Ramo and his Pistons teammates will have an easier matchup tonight as they take on the winless Lakers.
Lakers Gaming on Twitter
Today’s matchup has some history. From a player for @PistonsGT to #LakersGaming Coach.
Key Matchup: Lakers Coach Insanity vs. His Former Team
As if the Lakers needed any extra motivation after starting the season 0-5, here’s some more: Kris “Insanity” Dellarciprete, the Lakers’ first-year Head Coach, is the first player-turned-coach in the NBA 2K League after spending two years with his opponent tonight, Pistons GT.
Wizards District Gaming (4-1) vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming (0-1)
With each passing week, Wizards District Gaming continues to prove itself a top team, winning four straight after dropping their season opener against Raptors Uprising. After taking care of business against Pistons GT, Washington followed up with a tightly contested win over Hornets Venom GT, finishing the series with an average point differential of 4.5 points. JBM, drafted No. 1 overall in the 2020 draft, has finally settled into his key role at point guard and is averaging 23.4 points per game on 57% shooting and also ranks highly in the rookie class with 7.1 assists per game. Meanwhile, Newdini looks like he’s adjusting to life outside of Philadelphia, finishing the last game shooting 54% from the field and 50% from three.
For Celtics Crossover Gaming, until a fix is made, they may have to consistently game plan for both their opponent and their wi-fi connection until plans for live play are made official. While it’s difficult to assess this team on both sides of the ball, it does look like a majority of the offense will continue to run through Fab, with Bulleyy and Easy chipping in when the opportunity presents itself. Mel East’s energy will certainly prove more useful on stage than in the team apartments.
Key Matchup: No Autographs vs. Dayfri
While shooting can be difficult on an unreliable connection, rebounding too can be tricky. The battle between No Autographs and Knicks Gaming center CantGuardRob ended up having a significant impact on the series, and Auto’s matchup only gets that much tougher this week against Wizards star Dayfri.
Gen.G Tigers (2-2) vs. T-Wolves Gaming (4-1)
Both T-Wolves Gaming and the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai are coming off week three wins headed into their matchup tonight. For Minnesota, the team made a case last night for being one of the strongest defenses in the entire league, showing off crisp rotations and instincts resulting in 24 Dallas turnovers and just 47 points per game. The offense has always been there, but if the defense stays at a high level… well, we already know this team’s ceiling.
On the other side, Gen.G is led by explosive rookie point guard ShiftyKaii, who has dropped over 40 points in his last two games. If he can continue his dominant offensive play against a stifling T-Wolves defense, it will continue to prove the Tigers made the right choice in selecting him. After the controversy surrounding his destination and position of choice, it looks like Kaii has accepted his role as the face of the 2K League’s first non-NBA franchise.
Key Matchup: Turnupdefense vs. BearDaBeast
Turnupdefense finally faces off against the T-Wolves, with whom he won a championship in 2019. Now in his third season in the league, he’s taken on a bigger role off the court with Gen.G, but it’ll be his knowledge of his former teammates’ tendencies on the court—star point guard BearDaBeast chiefly among them—that could prove decisive.