The NBA 2K League continues with remote play in week five as eight more teams take to the sticks Wednesday night. Tonight’s games are viewable on ESPN.com and the ESPN app, as well as on the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels (the former of which offers Command Center, a way to watch all ongoing games).
NetsGC (1-1) Vs. Heat Check Gaming (1-4), 7 p.m. EST
NetsGC squares off against Heat Check Gaming tonight in search of a second series win. Last night, Brooklyn pulled off an impressive sweep behind Choc’s 34 points and 7 assists per game. Sharpshooter Chess seemed much more comfortable on the league build, making half of his three-pointers on a high volume of attempts. Shuttles, meanwhile, corralled over 20 boards per game down low. Tonight, Brooklyn aims to earn a winning record in a matchup in virtual South Beach.
Last time out, Miami secured its first win of the season against Grizz Gaming and started building momentum to finish remote play strong, despite several technical postponements. GlennRatty shined against the Grizz, averaging 38 points per game at an efficiency level we hadn’t seen before from the rookie point guard. Glenn shot 63% from the field and limited himself to just three turnovers per game. The only problem is, they played that series two weeks ago, so all momentum may have potentially fizzled out.
Key Matchup: Choc vs. GlennRatty
The 2020 point guard class has been unbelievable to begin their careers, posting high scoring totals and carrying high offensive workloads. Tonight we have an opportunity to see two top-ten selections go head-to-head.
Pistons GT (1-3) Vs. Cavs Legion GC (2-4)
Pistons GT experienced mixed results last week after shuffling its starting lineup. Detroit opted for a defensive-minded starting five, replicating the Pacers Gaming double lock gameplan and moving Ramo to power forward. After a sweep of LA thanks to a couple of ferocious fourth-quarter comebacks, the team flat-out struggled against the Pacers. Ramo and co. have had the last five days to readjust their gameplan, so hopefully we see a Detroit team with more life tonight.
Cavs Legion split their matchups last week as well, defeating Orlando but losing to Knicks Gaming. Last week seemed like a turning point for oLarry and Strainer as the two really came into their own on the league build. We’re going to talk about role players though; JoshJay made his season debut at power forward, noteworthy for his long-range importance. In the Knicks series, Josh shot 10% from three-point land and the Cavs lost a tightly contested series. Against Orlando, JoshJay shot 50% from deep and the Cavs were able to hold off the Magic after dropping game one. It’s the little things sometimes.
Key Matchup: Ramo vs. oLarry
I know they don’t play the same position anymore, but any time these two face off against each other, it’s going to be my key matchup. The success of their teams fall directly on the shoulders of these two 2018 draft selections.
Celtics Crossover (0-3) Vs. Lakers Gaming (0-8), 9 p.m.
Celtics Crossover will play Lakers Gaming in a matchup of two winless teams. As talented as the Celtics are, someone must consistently step up alongside Fab for them to stand a chance. Boston dropped its third straight game to begin the season last night, losing 2-1 to Grizz Gaming despite cruising to victory in game one. The dynamic backcourt of Vandi and AuthenticAfrican proved too much and combined for over 51 points a game in the best of three series. The Celtics started last season 1-5, so they know how to climb out of a hole, but they also know that it’s more comfortable to be on level ground than digging themselves deeper.
A similar issue resides in Los Angeles, where Sav takes most of the shots on offense while the rest of the cast scrambles to fill various roles. As the No.7 pick in this year’s draft, the polarizing point guard has proved he can shoulder the offensive load, but it has not yet yielded positive results. Lakers Gaming has now been swept in six of its eight series.
Key Matchup: Kev vs. Bulley
There are two guarantees tonight. The first is that one of these teams will end the night with their first win of the season. The second is that both point guards will carry their respective offenses. The tipping point may come from which of the supporting casts steps up. The sharpshooter battle between Kev and Bulley is the likeliest to show some sparks.
Blazer5 Gaming (4-1) Vs. Kings Guard Gaming (4-2), 9 p.m.
In what could be the game of the night, Blazer5 Gaming looks to rebound from its first loss of the season against Kings Guard Gaming. Portland had its hands full last week against Utah’s balanced attack, and it likely does not get easier against an equally comparable style in Sacramento. The Kings smothered Utah in the half court, in their own matchup, and held them to seven points in one half, while the Blazers gave up 139 total points while being swpt by the Jazz.
Kings Guard will likely deploy a similar defensive scheme that the Jazz utilized, and hope that reigning regular season MVP MamaImDatMan coughs up the ball during pressure situations. The Kings will rely on the duo of Bash and Crush, a pair of first round picks in the 2020 draft, to respectively lead the offensive and defensive side of the ball. In their previous two sweeps, Bash is averaging 21.7 points and 5.2 assists per game, while Crush is averaging nearly 4 steals in the same span.
Key Matchup: Dat Boy Shotz vs. OneWildWalnut
Jazz Gaming’s center Ria played a pivotal role in handing Portland its first loss. The former No.1 pick was a terror on the glass and provided his team with two opportunities at a game winning bucket. OneWildWalnut will need to prevent Sacramento’s Dat Boy Shotz, two years removed from his own spell as a dominant Blazer5 big man, from making a similar impact.