Week six wrapped up on Friday night as teams now turn their attention toward the Tipoff tournament next week. Raptors Uprising GC kept its record unblemished, Bucks Gaming made its way back to .500, Kings Guard Gaming bounced back and Wizards District Gaming picked up a clean sweep in its touted rivalry matchup.
Raptors Uprising def. Celtics Crossover, 2-0
Game One: 109-51
Game Two: 64-54
Just a few minutes into game one, Scott Cole could already see where this series was headed. “Just another day at the office for the Raptors,” about sums up their entire season so far. Game one was record-shattering, as Kenny (34 points, 13 assists and 10 steals) and Sick (10 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists) both dropped triple-doubles, which marked the first time for a pair of teammates to ever do so. A total of 109 points also breaks the league single-game points record.
In addition, TimelyCook flirted with dropping his own triple-double, recording 39 points (most ever by a lock), 7 assists and 9 steals. Game two was more competitive, as Celtics Crossover Gaming managed to slow the pace down, but the Raptors walked away with a double-digit win anyway. Toronto, now perfect through nine, heads into the Tipoff with supreme confidence they’ll walk away with some cash.
The losses keep piling up for this Celtics team. Tonight’s game one with the Raptors was like a bad car crash you just couldn’t look away from. Anything that had the potential to go wrong, did go wrong for Boston, as the team recorded 29 turnovers and shot just 45% from the field. Their offense was a mess, sometimes struggling to advance the ball past halfcourt due to Toronto’s smothering full-court press, which in turn resulted in easy baskets for Toronto in transition, and Boston never managed to stop the bleeding.
Game two felt like Fab just trying to will his team to victory single-handedly for 24 minutes, but what choice does he have? Another Celtic player hasn’t stepped up offensively all season, and it was no different tonight. MelEast did make an appearance back in the starting lineup, suiting up as a three-level scorer small forward (first-time appearance as a sharp) for game two, but only attempted four shots. Heading into the Tipoff with plenty of questions—experience too—we may see more lineup tinkering in the future.
Bucks Gaming def. Pistons GT, 2-0
Game One: 82-72
Game Two: 67-61
Bucks Gaming sweeps Pistons GT, evening its record at 4-4 in the process. The majority of game one seemed to be out of reach for the Bucks, until a dominant fourth-quarter performance. It felt like Ty (5 steals) got a million rips in the final frame alone as Milwaukee went on a 21-3 fourth-quarter run, stealing a game one victory from behind.
Game two was another closely fought game, but the Bucks rode a hot third quarter to the series sweep. Detroit did make a comeback bid, but anytime they got close to finally getting over that 6-8 point hump, Regg (38 points per game and 8 assists per game) would sink a basket to preserve the Milwaukee lead. Plondo continued to enjoy his switch back to center, averaging 14 rebounds per game. In addition, Arooks quietly had a solid series, averaging 16 points per game on 64% shooting from deep. Bucks Gaming will participate in the Tipoff as part of Group 5.
Now winless in its last five, and 1-7 overall, Pistons GT needs something to give. It feels like the team plays good basketball for 80% of their games, but their opponent always goes on a game-deciding run. It happened in both games last night, and Detroit even went scoreless for 5+ minutes in game one’s meltdown. The team had a five-point lead heading into game one’s fourth quarter and they lost the contest by double digits.
Something has to change. As we mentioned, Detroit did attempt a comeback in game two—there is no quit in this group—but it was a classic case of too little, too late. Ramo and DemonJT combined for 23 series turnovers and the offense was just inconsistent, which has been a trend for this squad. It feels as if the coaching staff has exhausted all lineup options, tinkering plenty of times early in the season. I’d imagine, if the trade window was open, Detroit would be more than open to shaking up their roster. Nonetheless, Pistons GT moves on to compete in the Tipoff as a part of Group 1.
Kings Guard Gaming def. NetsGC, 2-0
Game One: 107-63
Game Two: 84-54
Prior to the game, in what turned out to be a little foreshadowing, NetsGC point guard tweeted out a video of noticeable internet delay. And there really is no nice way to say this, but Brooklyn got absolutely flooded. We can blame connection issues, whatever, but the truth of the matter is last night was a night Choc and co. would like to permanently forget. The rookie point guard turned the ball over 19 times in two games and shot a pedestrian 50% from the field. Their recent sharpshooter acquisition never got comfortable, as Chess shot 1-for-10 from the field, recording just three points in the series. Wavy, now starting at power forward, did shoot 55% from three-point range, including 24 points on 8-for-12 in game one. With momentum currently stalled in Brooklyn, the team looks to rebound in the Tipoff against their Group 1 opposition.
Kings Guard Gaming was firing on all cylinders. Bash, averaging 28 points per game on 63% shooting last night, couldn’t have played any better against his rookie counterpart. His backcourt mate somehow outdid him, as Seem shot 83% (!) from 3-point range while chipping in 27 points per game. Crush and Yusuf continue to be the backbone of arguably the best defense in the league. Sacramento’s defense smothered the Nets ball-handlers all night, and in Raptors-fashion the Kings were forcing turnovers and scoring in transition en route to two blowout victories. After splitting their matchups this week, the Kings record sits at 6-3 heading into the Tipoff, where they will go head-to-head with Group 4.
Wizards District Gaming def. Mavs Gaming, 2-0
Game One: 83-54
Game Two: 85-50
After being canceled and rescheduled, the people finally received the matchup they’d been salivating over: Mavs Gaming vs. Wizards District Gaming. Dayfri vs. Pete. JBM vs. Dimez. For Washington, the series didn’t disappoint, as all five players contributed each game, and the team walked away with a clean series sweep. I just noted a few star Wizards players in Dayfri and JBM, but it was really Washington’s role players that made the difference last night. Awkward, assuming the lockdown role for this team, averaged 21 points and 5 steals per contest. If you’re strictly a box score watcher you wouldn’t believe me but Newdini has a huge impact on this team’s success. He’s a reliable corner shooter that’s always ready for the kick-out after a Dayfri offensive board. The former Philly forward also allows his other teammates to play loosely on the defensive end. While the other Washington defenders take chances on passing lane steals and other opportunities to create big plays, you’ll notice Newdini always covering in the background. Impressive series for the now 6-1 Wizards, who are a part of Group 7 next week.
This series certainly could have gone better for Mavs Gaming. Late in game one, Washington’s press forced a turnover in Dallas’ halfcourt. The Mavs fouled to avoid a fastbreak score, but it was called a clear path, resulting in two free throws and Wizards’ possession. That’s basically how this series went for the Mavs. Sherm could never get it going, averaging just 16 points per game on 44% shooting from the field.
Across the board, Mavs players struggled to produce as they usually do. Dallas aims to put this series behind them, as they look forward to the Tipoff where they will participate as a part of Group 2.