There was no highly anticipated Wizards District Gaming-Mavs Gaming duel last night, but two series going to three games, including a third game overtime thriller, were still enough to sate NBA 2K League viewers.
Magic Gaming def. Kings Guard Gaming 2-1
Magic Gaming debuted a new starting five last night as DJBama took the reigns at point guard and Reizey moved to shooting guard. Additionally, ToXsiK moved back to his familiar lock role with Profusion manning the power forward spot. On the surface, it looks like a demotion for last year’s Rookie of the Year winner but it’s similar to what Mavs Gaming is doing with Sherm and Dimez. Orlando hasn’t received consistent production from its secondary ball-handler, whatever player or archetype has been tasked with the job. Last night they did, with Reizey averaging 16 points and 3 assists per game. Profusion quietly enjoyed the power forward position, knocking down 7 of his 12 3-point attempts. Orlando picked up its second win of the season and will participate in the Tipoff next week as part of group four.
Kings Guard Gaming looked like a pair of different teams tonight. In both losses (games one and three, on the Magic’s host), the offense struggled mightily to score the ball consistently. In game two, Shotz flirted with a triple-double, Bash scored 40 points with just one turnover, and Sacramento won by 50 (!) points. The most telling—and shocking—stat of this series: the Kings walk away with the loss but win the series point differential +44. Bash and co. have an opportunity to regain their momentum against NetsGC tomorrow night before entering the Tipoff tournament. Ironically, the tourney will not only offer a chance of winning some cash but also a shot at revenge against Magic Gaming.
Bucks Gaming def. Pacers Gaming 2-0
Bucks Gaming improved to 3-4 after a sweep of Pacers Gaming. The Bucks opted to move Plondo back to his traditional center position, with Squidris sliding to power forward. Plondo switched back seamlessly, snagging 20 boards in their first game and averaging 17 for the series. In the same game Arooks caught fire, shooting 5-for-7 from deep while scoring 17 points as the Bucks won 73-59. Game two was Regg’s show as the rookie point guard dropped 42 points to complete their sweep. Milwaukee was able to win the second half by at least eight points each game, flashing improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Bucks Gaming can even its record at 4-4 tomorrow with a win against Pistons GT.
Pacers Gaming could never quite get its offense flowing in this series. The team scored under 60 points (59 and 54) in both contests, and as the empty Pacer possessions piled up, the Bucks took advantage. Game one was defined by Bohio’s inefficient shooting (31%), and the team as a whole scored just 23 second-half points. Game two brought similar results, but Bohio did record a double (11 points and 10 assists). Wolf continues to be a constant for this team, playing lockdown defense and averaging 15 points per game on 62% shooting this series. Last night’s sweep marks the end of a three-game winning streak since the Pacers introduced the double-lock. The Pacers will carry a 4-4 record into the Tipoff, where they will face off with the Warriors and Grizz in Group 3.
Raptors Uprising def. Blazer5 Gaming 2-1
This was an incredible series, with both teams showcasing their talent really well, but someone has to lose, and this time around it was Blazer5 Gaming extending its unimaginable losing streak to five games. Portland held Raptors Uprising GC to just 50 points in game one and finished on a 15-4 fourth quarter run to take a 1-0 series advantage. Game two got ugly for Blazer5 quickly and the team never recovered, setting the stage for a decisive third game. Mama (44 points) and co. trailed most of game three, but erased a double-digit deficit late in the fourth to force overtime. The team ultimately ran out of gas as the Raptors looked unstoppable in the extra frame, but it truly was a heavyweight fight all the way until the end. Nobody saw it coming, but Blazer5 is suddenly 4-5 heading into next week’s tourney.
Well, if the Raptors weren’t already in a tier of their own, they certainly are now. Kenny continues to just be better, averaging 34 points and 3 steals per game against Blazer5. Their lockdown defender, TimelyCook, averaged 21 points per game last night. And we saw just how dangerous this team is when they hit their peak in game two of this series. Kenny logged 45 points, 11 assists and 4 steals while his big man Sick dropped a 20-rebound triple-double. After stifling a couple of vicious B5 runs late in game three, and convincingly winning overtime, Toronto is flawless through eight. Celtics Crossover lies ahead as the final test before a chance at a $160,000 pot next week.