The Pistons recorded their first win of the season in dramatic fashion, Blazer5 Gaming stayed undefeated, Wizards District Gaming turned in yet another impressive performance, and T-Wolves Gaming swept Gen.G in a tight series that featured the Tigers’ second overtime game of the year.
Pistons GT def. Lakers Gaming 2-0
A story of two major comebacks, both by the Pistons to ensure their first win of the season. Detroit outscored the Lakers 30-9 in the fourth quarter of game one, coming back from a 20-point deficit to win by 10, before closing a 10-point fourth quarter deficit with two clutch steals late in game two.
Heading into this matchup, the Pistons did a complete lineup overhaul: LykaPro started at point guard duties; Ramo pulled out a three-level playmaking power forward build, and sharpshooter DevGoss moved to the bench. Similar to Pacers Gaming, Detroit ran a double-lockdown lineup with Charger and DemonJT using defending archetypes at the two and three, respectively. It worked to perfection. Ramo looked locked in and comfortable as ever back on a post-scoring archetype, averaging nearly 25 points per game and scoring the two that sealed the series. The Pistons began brewing confidence tonight and will look to carry it over to their matchup with the Pacers later this week.
The Lakers made adjustments of their own, with Sav actually starting at point guard and Dweq at the two, while Mootyy made his season debut at power forward in place of Kev. Sav seemed to enjoy the point-guard build, going for 30 points or more in the first half of both games and averaging 45 points per contest. Going into this series I said the Lakers needed somebody else to step up offensively. In return, however, Lakers players not named Sav or Tatuk scored 19 total points in two games, en route to a 0-6 start. Yikes. The Lakers, still in search of their first win, will face winless Grizz Gaming tomorrow night.
Blazer5 Gaming def. Knicks Gaming 2-1
Mama Im Dat Man continues to be that man, averaging 34 points and 7 assists per game while living up to the MVP hype night after night. After dropping game two, lockdown Lavish decided tonight wasn’t the night their record would be tarnished, recording TEN steals in the series-deciding game three. Throw in six blocks from OneWildWalnut, a light 36 points from Mama, and Blazer5 never really let the Knicks have a chance after winning the first quarter by ten points.
The Knicks avoided a sweep with an impressive, almost dominant game two performance. The team went up 20 points in the first quarter, and despite allowing a late-game comeback attempt never relinquished the lead. Malik moved off of the three-level scorer at small forward, opting for the shot-creating sharpshooter build at the two. The switch worked, as the second-year guard averaged 22 points and 6 assists per game on 72 percent shooting from deep. While his performance wasn’t enough to win the series, the Knicks flashed excellence, and that’s something New York can build on moving forward.
T-Wolves Gaming def. Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai 2-0
The Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai did an admirable job of hanging with T-Wolves Gaming, but just could not put together four quarters—plus one overtime—of consistent play, ultimately falling to the defending champions.
Opting against using former T-Wolves player Turnupdefense as their primary perimeter defender, Gen.G gave up 34 points on 60% shooting to reigning Finals MVP BearDaBeast in the opening game of the best-of-three series. After entering the fourth quarter up by only one point, Minnesota hit another gear and finished the game with a 13-point win.
The Tigers offense was efficient in game one, shooting slightly better than T-Wolves Gaming. Gen.G also went with a defensive adjustment, sliding Turnupdefense to the lockdown position, much to the excitement of viewers. The T-Wolves’ championship DNA was again displayed in the fourth quarter as the team responded to a Tigers 10-0 run with back-to-back three pointers and forced an overtime frame. It was then that Big Saint—Turnupdefense’s replacement—who put the finishing touches on the night with a big corner three.
T-Wolves Gaming has now won five straight and sits at 5-1 on the season. Meanwhile, Gen.G continues their up and down inaugural season at 2-3.
Wizards District Gaming def. Celtics Crossover Gaming 2-0
Another night, another win for Wizards District Gaming.
The men from the Metro ran away with game one in the second half, outscoring the Bostonians by 17 points in the final two frames to romp to a 77-58 win. JBM led all players with 41 points and also dished out 8 assists, while Dayfri posted a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double. The Celtics’ debut lineup, featuring fourth-round pick Tooxcool at power forward and Mel East at lock, looked promising for stretches but ultimately fell short.
Both defenses took it up a notch in game two, but the result was no different. The Wizards, who have only lost to league-leading Raptors Uprising thus far, held 2019 MVP runner-up Fab to 20 points and the Celtics to 45 points as a team for convincing 66-45 win to complete the sweep. Three players finished in double figures for the Wizards, and Dayfri once again posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics fell to 0-2 on the season, while the Wizards vaulted into the upper echelon of teams with the win.