It’s always a fun night when Dayfri faces his former team, but tonight will be made all the more fun by the presence of numerous other top teams in action. All games are viewable on ESPN.com and the ESPN app, as well as the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Wizards District Gaming (5-1) vs. Mavs Gaming (6-2), 7 p.m.
Last time out, Mavs Gaming put a stop to a couple of Detroit comeback bids. Sherm (32 points per game) and Dimez (16 PPG) combined to score nearly 50 per game in the series, while Pete averaged a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds per contest. As long as this trio remains hot, Dallas is going to be a tough team to match up against. Tonight, their opponent may have the firepower to combat the three.
Wizards District Gaming has been one of the best teams in the league as we near the end of our first stint of remote play. JBM has more than proven that he was the right choice at number one overall. Washington runs one of the smoothest offenses in the league and JBM’s floor general style of play, paired with his ability to dictate the pace of any given game is a huge reason why. The 2020 top pick and Dayfri will star in what may be the showdown of the week vs. Mavs Gaming.
Key Matchup: Dayfri vs. Pete
Dayfri and Pete will two square off in a battle between two elite big men. Pete leads the league in blocks per game (3.5), while Dayfri ranks top ten in both rebounds (12.4) and blocks (2.6). The Maverick-turned-Wizard center is all business heading into his second-ever homecoming:
Kings Guard Gaming (5-2) vs. Magic Gaming (1-5), 7 p.m.
Magic Gaming definitely left more to be desired in its most recent series against Knicks Gaming. Starting point guard Reizey struggled to hit his jumpers, shooting 15% from deep. Orlando attempted to involve Profusion more offensively to ease Reizey’s workload, but the New York defense was too much for both players. I’m not sure when we’ll see DT back in play but I’d imagine the team misses the lineup versatility he enabled. For now, it feels as if their hands are tied in regards to shaking up the starting five.
Kings Guard Gaming plays a stifling style of defense, led by No. 3 overall pick Crush. Paired with Yusuf in the pick-and-roll, the two flash impressive defensive chemistry while Sacramento as a whole boasts one of the best defenses in the league, allowing just 59 points per game. Coming off a resume-bolstering win against Blazer5, the Kings look to keep momentum rolling against a struggling Magic Gaming squad.
Key Matchup: Reizey vs. Crush
Reizey has struggled in recent games, and tonight he draws another challenging lockdown. Can the 2019 Rookie of the Year win his matchup with this year’s No. 3 overall selection?
Bucks Gaming (2-4) vs. Pacers Gaming (4-3), 9 p.m.
After dropping both week four series (vs. Blazer5 and Gen.G), Bucks Gaming had a much-needed bye in week five. The Bucks were able to win game one against Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai but suffered a reverse sweep in the end. Milwaukee’s Achilles heel is team defense, as they allowed the Tigers to score totals of 98 and 85 in games two and three respectively. Even with a near perfect offense, it’d be hard to combat that many points game in and game out. The Bucks allow the most points on average in the league, at 74.3 per game.
Last night, Pacers Gaming swept T-Wolves Gaming behind solid defense from their two veteran locks NateKahl and Wolf. Since switching to the double-lock lineup against 76ers GC, Indianapolis has rattled off three straight wins and possesses all of the momentum in the world. Their defense is smothering, often forcing opposing ball-handlers to shoot poorly. Last night Nate and Wolf teamed up to stop Finals MVP BearDaBeast, forcing the T-Wolves point guard to shoot 41% from the field and make just 2 out of 13 attempts from 3-point range. Tonight, they’ll attempt to do the same against Regg and the Bucks.
Key Matchup: Regg vs. Double-Lock
No matter which way Regg decides to venture off of Squidris’ screen, a lockdown will be waiting to challenge him on the other side. The No. 12 overall pick faces a tough assignment tonight, but will need to find a way to produce offense for Bucks Gaming regardless.
Raptors Uprising GC (7-0) vs. Blazer5 Gaming (4-4), 9 p.m.
Raptors Uprising GC has carved out a tier of its own, sitting atop the rest of the league teams. KennyGotWork is my clear-cut MVP pick through the first five weeks, as the point guard hit his stride on opening night and hasn’t looked back since. Toronto plays a smothering defense that forces teams to turnover the ball at a high clip. In return, the Raptors score a ton of easy transition buckets, often leading to blowouts. Tonight, they’ll put their flawless record on the line against a dual-MVP lineup.
This Blazer5 Gaming team finds itself in uncharted territory in the 2020 season. Portland hadn’t lost three games in an entire season before this year, but after last night’s loss to Gen.G the Blazers have dropped four straight. The team tried moving Hood to lockdown, creating offensive opportunities for Majestic as a secondary ball handler, but in return their defense allowed 179 points in two contests and Majestic shot just 25% from the field on 20 attempts. Will we see more lineup changes against the best team in the league tonight or does Portland try to avoid a sub-.500 record with the same starting five?
Key Matchup: Mama vs. Kenny
Two of the best to ever do it squaring off tonight makes for a must-watch point guard matchup. Kenny looks to take advantage of a struggling Portland defense while Mama aims to get his troops—and his season—back on track against the player quite possibly coming after his MVP crown.