Teams look to climb out of the basement on the third night of NBA 2K League week four action, with three winless teams taking to the sticks and just one series featuring two teams above .500. Games tonight are viewable on ESPN2, ESPN.com and the ESPN App, as well as the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Lakers Gaming (0-6) vs. Grizz Gaming (0-4), 7 p.m. EST
Lakers Gaming fell to 0-6 last night after blowing two fourth quarter leads to the new-look Pistons. Mootyy made his season debut on a two-way stretch at power forward, but failed to make an impact, recording just two points and four rebounds during the series. Sav continued to score at will, averaging 45 points per game, but other Lakers role players were unable to chip in offensively. With point guard Sav already suggesting this will be another series hosted on East servers, will we see Lakers Gaming begin their season winless through seven?
The Grizz have had early season woes of their own, failing to win a series in four tries. Blockbuster offseason acquisition Goofy hasn’t quite panned out yet. Point guard Vandi, while averaging nearly 28 points per game, has struggled with efficiency (40% from three) and taking care of the ball. The Memphis schedule wasn’t forgiving, as the team was forced to play Kings Guard, Raptors Uprising, and Hawks Talon to begin the season. Are the 0-6 Lakers exactly what the Grizz need to turn around their season?
Key Matchup: Lakers vs. Fourth Quarter
Realistically, the Lakers should have a few wins on their record, but the fourth quarter hasn’t been forgiving for LA. The team is losing the fourth by an average of 6 points, the second-worst mark in the league, behind only the struggling 76ers.
Gen.G Tigers (2-3) vs. Bucks Gaming (2-3), 7 p.m. EST
Gen.G, despite being swept, played the reigning champions tight last night. In game one, the team was down one point entering the fourth, but pulled a Lakers Gaming and lost by 13. In game two, Gen.G pulled off a late run of its own, forcing overtime, but ultimately fell short in the extra frame. ShiftyKaii, the No. 5 pick, has been impressive for the expansion franchise, averaging 35 points and 8 assists per game heading into the team’s second matchup of week four. Playing a Bucks Gaming team with pronounced defensive issues, ShiftyKaii should take advantage and pour in plenty of points.
This will be Bucks Gaming first series since… well, you know. Last time out, the Bucks team defense (no, it’s not all on Ty), was virtual swiss cheese, as Blazer5 point guard MamaImDatMan averaged 50 points per game in their series. Tonight, Bucks Gaming will face off against talented rookie ball-handler ShiftyKaii. If the defense hasn’t figured out its problems, it could be another long night for the Bucks, as Shifty has no issue scoring against weak defensive coverage.
Key Matchup: ShiftyKaii vs. Regg
Arguably the 2020 draft’s two best point guards go head to head tonight. Which rookie can score points most efficiently while still taking care of the ball for his team?
Jazz Gaming (1-0) vs. Kings Guard Gaming (3-2)
After finishing 8-8 last year, Jazz Gaming made its season three debut last week with a win over Magic Gaming. While Splashy, drafted No. 10 overall in 2020, had an inconsistent shooting night, he was backed by a deep supporting cast. Former first-round picks Lotty, Compete, and Ria accounted for 95 of the team’s 127 total points. That type of production may be necessary against the Kings, who entertained viewers with a dramatic last second win against Grizz Gaming.
Sacramento’s success has also hinged on the production of their own first round picks. Lockdown defender Crush, the third overall pick in 2020, continued his efficient shooting and bedevilment of opposing point guards last week. Taken 17th overall, point guard Bash looks to continue his fearless play against the Jazz, who are intent on improving their defensive production from a year ago in a West Coast clash of two strong teams.
Key Matchup: Ria vs. Dat Boy Shotz
Ria’s momentum from last year carried over into his season three opener, where he finished with fantasy basketball-esque numbers. The former No.1 pick did not quite meet expectations early in his rookie season and is driven to flip the script this year. Up next is a date with Kings Guard center Dat Boy Shotz, who is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. Paired with Crush in pick-and-roll defense, his 1.8 steals and 1.4 blocks per game helps explain why the Kings are so good in the fourth quarter this season.
Heat Check Gaming (1-4) vs. 76ers GC (0-6)
Both Heat Check Gaming and 76ers GC are at a crossroad, and tonight’s matchup could steer the two teams in opposite directions.
Miami finally earned its first win of the season against Grizz Gaming. Their stagnant offense received a facelift last week, with rookie point guard GlennRatty finding the perfect balance between looking for his own shot and involving his team. Glenn is averaging 5.3 assists per game, and the continued increase in that number will likely correlate with future success for the team as a whole.
For a moment, it appeared as if the 76ers found their confidence after taking a game from T-Wolves Gaming in a 2019 title rematch. But any momentum from that series, however, was lost after dropping two straight to Pacers Gaming and Gen.G last week. Entering the 2020 season, the 76ers were the winningest team in league history, and now, without a single win to their name in season three, Philadelphia is swimming through uncharted waters desperately seeking a win onto which to cling.
Key Matchup: 76ers supporting cast vs. Heat Check supporting cast
We know how dynamic Radiant and GlennRatty are at point guard, so tonight’s matchup could be determined by what their teammates contribute instead. Look for Scretty to relieve any pressure off Radiant, and the 76ers have needed Steez to step up his game all season. We know what we’ll get from Hotshot, but if two of TBShiftay, Delusion, or King Peroxide can efficiently cross the double-digit scoring threshold, then Miami may end the night with a two-game winning streak.