After a thrilling Tipoff tournament, Raptors Uprising GC and the rest of the NBA 2K League is back to regular season play.
The first night of week seven features both the tournament champs plus a couple of semifinalists. The final matchup of the night in particular promises a fun matchup between expansion Hornets Venom GT and red-hot Jazz Gaming.
Grizz Gaming (4-4) vs. Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (4-4), 7 p.m.
Two of the hottest teams in the league clash tonight when Grizz Gaming takes on the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai. After dropping its first four games, Memphis has scratched its back way to .500. The turnaround has been spearheaded by Vandi, who has looked for his shot as of late. The point guard scored at least 30 points in all four of Memphis’ group play games but was stifled in the quarterfinals by Kings Guard Gaming. When Vandi is hunting for his shots, it opens things up for his teammates and turns the pick and roll with Goofy into a legitimate problem for opposing teams.
Meanwhile, Gen.G emerged on the other side of the Tipoff tournament in a brand-new light. While the Tigers remain at 4-4, their impressive showing last week against the eventual Tipoff champions in the semifinals provided fans with a glimpse of what this team is capable of. Head Coach Jordan “Len” Ross and the rest of the roster seem to have cracked the formula in regards to the right lineup makeup, and it’ll be interesting to see if their momentum carries into the rest of the regular season.
Key Matchup: Goofy vs. Deadeye
Goofy vowed that the Grizzlies would turn it around, and he and the rest of his team made good on that promise by reeling off four straight regular season wins and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Tipoff. On the other side, the versatile Deadeye has played various positions this year but his contribution at center has been huge for the Tigers. After averaging 9.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3 blocks per game against the Raptors, Goofy must minimize Deadeye’s impact tonight in order for the Grizzlies to continue their winning ways.
Lakers Gaming (1-8) vs. Pacers Gaming (4-4), 7 p.m.
Sitting at 1-8, Lakers Gaming has more losses than any other team in the league right now. Its performances in the Tipoff left plenty to be desired, where we saw L.A. post an 0-fer in four blowout losses. In the same tournament, we saw Sav move to center, with Dweq manning the ball-handling duties at point guard. Honestly, I’m not sure we see that lineup ever again, but you never know with how LA..’s season has gone. Tonight, the Lakers prepare to square off against a defensive-minded Pacers Gaming squad.
Halfway through its season, Indianapolis decided its success this year would start with its work on the defensive end of the ball. NateKahl and Wolf have been featured as the lockdown defenders while Jomar protects the paint and the Bohio-Swiz duo attempts to muster up some offense. Head Coach Cody Parrent saw a stagnant offense during tourney play and inserted rookie BobbyBuckets to the starting lineup in order to provide a spark. Bobby scored 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting in his lone appearance against Grizz Gaming. While the double-lock identity fits their personnel, the results aren’t there anymore, and after going 1-3 in the Tipoff, I wonder if we’ll see further lineup changes.
Key Matchup: Both teams vs. lineup shuffling
Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to which lineups we’ll see out of both teams tonight. Does L.A. move Sav back to the 1 or 2? Where does Dweq fit with this team and is Mootyy getting playing time now? We just saw Indy sub out longtime starter Swizurk in its final Tipoff game in favor of Twitter favorite BobbyBuckets. A lot of uncertainty going on between these two teams’ starting five heading into tonight’s matchup.
Magic Gaming (2-5) vs. Raptors Uprising GC (9-0), 9 p.m.
They are who we thought they were. Toronto is the best team in the entire league, comfortably sitting atop a tier of its own. The team went into tournament play and swept all competition until the semifinals, where Gen.G gave Toronto a run for its money, but in the end it was the Raptors who took home the 2K League’s virtual banner and—maybe more importantly—the cash. It feels like repetition, writing these Raptors sections, but the team is simply on another level compared to the rest of the league. Kenny is running away with MVP honors, Timelycook is doing the same with Defensive Player of the Year, and Toronto is 9-0 with a tournament win heading into the second stretch of remote play.
Magic Gaming just can’t figure it out consistently. It feels as if the team is the definition of mediocrity, despite its record placing it in the bottom leg of the standings. Orlando beat Kings Guard Gaming in week six, providing the team with much-needed momentum headed into the Tipoff. Unfortunately for Orlando fans, the mediocrity continued, leaving the team 2-2 and empty-handed leaving tournament play. Reigning Rookie of the Year Reizey receives nearly no support on the offensive end. The Magic defense, led by ToxSik and May, flashes stretches of excellence, but isn’t enough to win games alone. Tonight, both their defense and offense will have a hard time combatting the Raptors attack.
Key Matchup: Magic’s guards vs. Toronto’s press
It’s no secret that Toronto boasts the best full-court press in the league. It’s also no secret that Orlando’s guards have struggled immensely this year. Kenny and Timelycook vs. Reizey and DJBama… I know who I’m going with.
Celtics Crossover (0-7) vs. Pistons GT (1-7), 9 p.m.
While Celtics Crossover Gaming’s and Pistons GT’s potential playoff hopes may be fading, both teams can take the first step in turning things around in tonight’s best-of-three matchup. Celtics Crossover remains one of only two winless teams in the league and has struggled to adjust to remote play. While much has been made of oFab needing scoring support, Boston has also struggled on the defensive end and has been prone to giving up landslide runs, especially in the first quarter. Without live play, the Celtics need to figure out how to translate their stage presence online.
The Pistons have seen an improvement in play and energy since moving into their team facility. Demon JT ignored the criticism and had an impressive tournament, Ramo has settled back into being Detroit’s dominant paint presence, and the rest of the team is confidently chipping in. Detroit’s highlight of the past week came when it pummeled NetsGC into a disconnect.
Key Matchup: Bulleyy vs. DevGoss
While oFab did drop nearly 50 points, the Celtics only win of the Tipoff came when Bulleyy pitched in 17 points on 60% shooting, including 71% from deep. The small forward (assuming he reprises his start there) will continue to get open looks as opposing defenses converge on oFab. Meanwhile, DevGoss was the common denominator for Detroit’s success last week, finishing second in points scored on the team in both wins.
Hornets Venom GT (5-2) vs. Jazz Gaming (4-1), 10 p.m.
Hornets Venom GT went 5-2 during the first stint of remote play, but failed to advance past the opening round of the Tipoff tournament. With a gameplan unlike any other, coach Lawrence “Bigg West” West and the guys down in Charlotte have enjoyed their unexpected early success. Playing through Type and Zae has allowed them to slow down and control the pace of games. In DIMER’s recent interview with Zae, the power forward stated it may not be the most fun to watch, but that the team is willing to do whatever it takes to win games. Winning games will be tough tonight, as they’re slated to go against one of the league’s best.
Jazz Gaming has been a team plagued by remote play cancelations, but still ranks top five in the standings with a 4-1 record. Utah’s rookie point guard Splashy has come into his own in recent weeks, including 29+ points in seven of nine contests during tournament play. The Jazz advanced to the final four, but fell to the Kings in three games. Ria has been dominant all season, and Lotty has been there to pick up the slack on offense when needed. Tonight, the team clashes with a Hornets squad that shares a few similarities.
Key Matchup: Ria/Beezus vs. Type/Zae
Both teams flaunt top-tier talent at the power forward and center positions. Beezus, Utah’s fourth round selection, has paired well with 2019 No. 1 overall pick, Ria. Charlotte has an elite center of its own in Type, whom the team selected first overall in the expansion draft. Type is paired with rookie power forward Zae, whose aggressive playstyle out of the corner is unmatched. A battle of elite big men down low tonight.