A Midwest showdown, an Atlantic battle and two East-West matchups are on the menu for tonight’s NBA 2K League action, plus a surprise inclusion of a previously postponed series that will surely be highly anticipated by fans.
Pistons GT vs. Bucks Gaming, 7 p.m.
Pistons GT is coming off a series sweep at the hands of Mavs Gaming earlier in the week. We saw Detroit stray away from the double-lock lineup, with DevGoss moving back to a secondary ball-handler role and Joseph assuming the duties of sole lockdown defender. Most importantly, we saw Ramo back at his familiar center position, which is where I’d assume we’ll see him the remainder of the season. While the lineup changes didn’t produce a win immediately, the games were competitive, and Detroit was just a run or two away from stealing both games. Tonight, they look to put it all together against Bucks Gaming.
The Bucks looked like a completely different squad on the defensive end of the ball last night. With Plondo back to manning the center position and Squidris playing power forward, the team’s play just looked smoother against Pacers Gaming’s defense. Heading into last night’s matchup, Milwaukee ranked dead last in points allowed per game (74.3). Versus Pacers Gaming, the team didn’t allow over 59 points in either game, leading to a clean, comfortable sweep as the Bucks pushed momentum back in their direction.
Key Matchup: DemonJT vs. Ty
Opposing point guards had been able to run wild on the Bucks Gaming defense in recent weeks, but last night could have been a momentum swinger for the team. Ty and the Bucks played solid team defense, smothering rookie point guard Bohio. DemonJT will have to produce against the defense that suddenly has life if the Pistons want to avoid 1-7.
Celtics Crossover vs. Raptors Uprising, 7 p.m.
In a trend we continue to see with struggling squads, Celtics Crossover Gaming also shook up its starting five last time out. MelEast sat out against Hornets Venom GT, with Bulley taking over the lockdown defender assignment. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Celtics were very competitive, even winning game one by a 15-point margin. oFab went for a casual 44 points and 11 assists, turning the ball over just two times, and it felt like the Celtics were finally back. But, the team suffered a reverse sweep and are winless through six and squaring off against the best team in the league tonight.
Just when Raptors Uprising GC looked human last night, Toronto somehow finds a way to elevate to another level, stifling a few Blazer5 Gaming comeback bids en route to 8-0. Obviously, Kenny’s play is the first thing most people talk about when it comes to this team—deservedly so—but the entire starting five really deserves a round of applause. Just go down the line, this is one of the few teams in the league where everybody plays their role at an elite level. TimelyCook, Reece and Legit fill in incredibly well next to Toronto’s superstar duo Kenny and Sick. This team is just that, a team, and it shows with their gameplay.
Key Matchup: Winless vs. Flawless
Toronto is the last remaining undefeated team while Boston is one of two teams still searching for their first win. Boston has been competitive, forcing four game threes, but never clinching a series win. The Raptors have simply been dominant, possessing an extra gear other teams don’t. Winless vs. flawless tonight.
Hornets Venom GT vs. Jazz Gaming, 9 p.m.
Hornets Venom GT is another one of those squads who have a complete starting five that contribute consistently. In its most recent series against Boston, four out of five starters averaged double-digit points, as Charlotte revere swept the Celtics for their fifth win of the season. Coach West deploys the perfect gameplan for his starting five, playing against the league’s meta through their two big men, Type and Zae, but have a pair of first-round perimeter scorers in Snubby and Expose who always seem to make the right decision with the ball. Tonight, Charlotte has their eyes set on a possible sixth win against elite competition.
Jazz Gaming has added some impressive wins to its resume in recent weeks, beating Blazer5 and handing Warriors Gaming Squad its first L of the season. Splashy has come into his own during these series, averaging 33 points per game against Golden State and 27 versus Portland. Combine the rookie’s improved play with the team’s vetertan trio of Lotty-Beezus-Ria plus lockdown defense from Compete (happy birthday!), and this is another team with a well-rounded starting lineup. The schedule hasn’t been forgiving, other than the Lakers game (sorry L.A.), and tonight it doesn’t get much easier as the team takes on a confident 5-2 Hornets squad.
Key Matchup: Type/Zae vs. Ria/Beezus
Both Charlotte and Utah flaunt two of the best frontcourts in the entire NBA 2K League. Tonight it’ll be a hard-fought battle in the trenches between these two elite power forward-center duos.
NetsGC vs. Kings Guard Gaming, 9 p.m.
In a surprising upset, Kings Guard Gaming dropped its series against Magic Gaming on Thursday night. As we highlighted in the recap, the team looked like a pair of different squads. In both losses, hosted on East servers, the offense showed inconsistency and struggled to put points on the board. While in their one win, hosted on West servers, the team nearly scored triple digits and shot the ball 75% as a team. The team looks to regain momentum against NetsGC tonight, before entering the Tipoff next week.
The Nets have won four of five matchups, with their lone loss being against the perfect 8-0 Raptors. Most recently, the team swept Hawks Talon GC, and their 2020 first round pick just keeps getting better. After struggling with turnovers in week five, Choc recorded just six in two games against Atlanta while averaging 39 points per game on 65% shooting from the field. Talk about efficiency from the former ninth overall selection. In the same series, we saw Brooklyn opt for a lineup change that moved Wavy to starting power forward and Potts to the bench. We’ll see if this switch continues to work and if Choc can keep up this level of play against a vaunting Kings defense.
Key Matchup: Crush vs. Choc
A pair of 2020 top-ten overall picks, Crush (3rd) and Choc (9th) have both tasted early success in their careers. Crush, already considered a top lock in this league, aims to slow down Choc’s scoring (32 PPG) in a clash of talented rookies.
Note: The Wizards District Gaming-Mavs Gaming series originally scheduled to be played on June 11 was moved to June 12. You can find a preview for that game in our June 11 preview.