The second night of week six features four high-profile matchups tipping off at 7 p.m. All games are viewable on ESPN 2, ESPN.com and the ESPN app, as well as the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Celtics Crossover (0-5) vs. Hornets Venom GT (4-2), 7 p.m.
Celtics Crossover’s first few weeks of remote play have been shaky at best. Winless through five series, it almost feels impossible that this is the same core that finished last year’s regular season on a 9-1 tear. But it is, and the team is facing a reality that could require them to make a similar run or see their 2020 playoff fate come down to the Ticket tournament. Fab and co. look forward to another challenge against a successful Charlotte team tonight.
I’m not sure anybody envisioned immediate results from this expansion Hornets Venom squad, but they’re 4-2 and play a style no other league team can mimic. Charlotte enjoys going against the meta, playing heavily through their big men Type and Zae. In their most recent series, a sweep of Knicks Gaming, Type nearly averaged a triple-double while Zae chipped in 25+ points per game. You can try, but you won’t find another PF/C duo producing as much as these two are. After taking week five off, the team gears up to face a winless, but improving, Celtics squad tonight.
Key Matchup: Old vs. New
Celtics Crossover is an O.G. NBA 2K League team, experiencing plenty of success in its first two seasons, but ultimately falling short of its championship aspirations. Charlotte will play in just its seventh contest all-time tonight but has already turned some heads in its brief existence. Tonight is a clash of the old era against the new era.
Pacers Gaming (3-3) vs. T-Wolves Gaming (5-2), 7 p.m.
The Pacers return from their bye week and prepare for the wounded T-Wolves tonight in an intriguing best-of-three matchup. While most observers did not give Grizz Gaming much of a chance against the defending champions, there could be room for Indiana to take advantage of the situation if Minnesota isn’t available to recover from its loss to Memphis.
Despite obliterating the Grizzlies by 39 points in game one, T-Wolves Gaming dropped the next two games due to untimely mental lapses and an inability to contain the point of attack. While Pacers point guard Bohio has struggled at times, Indiana’s gritty defensive play and grind-it-out style could prove troublesome for Bear and company.
After some initial lineup shuffling, Indiana has currently decided on a trio of Wolf, NateKahl and Swizurk at the wings and corners. The three have proven their worth on both sides of the ball and have been Bohio’s security blankets during the team’s last two wins.
Key Matchup: Feast vs. Jomar
Indiana has found success since moving Jomar to center. In the last game against Pistons GT, the former power forward averaged 8 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. The veteran also injected some much-needed playmaking from the center position, adding in 10 total assists. The level of success he has against Feast will be a determining factor in the game’s outcome.
Warriors Gaming Squad (6-0) vs. Jazz Gaming (3-1), 9 p.m.
The Warriors will put their perfect record on the line when they take on Jazz Gaming tonight. Golden State is coming off a competitive best-of-three series with Blazer5 Gaming, defeating Portland 2-1 and proving last year’s playoff success was not a fluke. While CB13 continues to excel at point guard, Warriors Gaming Squad experimented at the wing position, and it will be interesting to see if the team continues to tinker with the lineup against Utah.
Like Golden State, Utah’s entire roster can put up scoring numbers. The trio of Splashy, Lotty and Yeah I Compete combined for 51.9 points per game on 61% shooting in their last game against Los Angeles. Outside of a disastrous half against Kings Guard, Utah’s offense has been one of the most diverse in the entire league.
Key Matchup: Slaughter vs. Ria
While the 2019 No.1 pick has gotten off to a great start in his sophomore season, Ria still trails in the rebounding department to the league leader Slaughter—himself a former Jazz Gaming center. Though the Jazz are capable of lighting it up from the outside, it’s Ria’s ability to affect both sides of the ball that make Utah an elite team. Keeping Slaughter off the glass and limiting CB13’s success at the rim will be a deciding factor in tonight’s outcome.
Blazer5 Gaming (4-3) vs. Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (3-4), 9 p.m.
After finishing with two losses in each of the first two seasons of the league, Blazer5 Gaming heads into week five with a record of 4-3. During this three-series losing streak, Portland has allowed opponents to average 71.8 points per game in losses. On the offensive end, a series of miscues has also led to 11.5 turnovers a game. Despite the talent on the roster, Blazer5 Gaming will need to patch up the holes in its defense while also doing a better job of preventing opposing defenses from gaining confidence.
Recently, Gen.G has struggled against dynamic backcourt duos like those found in Minnesota and New York. While Portland doesn’t pack a 1-2 punch in the backcourt like those teams, the Tigers will need to game plan for a different breed of point guard with Mama Im Dat Man. ShiftyKaii will have his hands full when trying to keep up with the host of Freak Show.
Key Matchup: Mama/Walnut Vs. ShiftyKaii/Deadeye
Both the Blazers and Tigers’ offenses are designed to heavily rely on its one and five. So this matchup may hinge on which of these duos are able to execute the high screen more effectively, especially during short clock and late game scenarios.