Regular season action returned last night to the NBA 2K League last night. Some of the league’s best didn’t miss a beat in their return to action, while one or two surprising results were mixed into the night’s events.
Gen.G Tigers def. Grizz Gaming, 2-1
It took the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai a game to wake up, but the team was able to complete the reverse sweep of Grizz Gaming to improve to 5-4. For a moment, it looked like Gen.G would suffer from a Tipoff tournament hangover, dropping game one 77-67. Grizzlies point guard Vandi struggled from deep but finished with 33 points. Additionally, Goofy was brilliant at center, finishing with a triple double in points (11), rebounds (16) and assists (10).
Game two initially looked like the Grizzlies would complete the sweep, being up 46-29 at half. But in the third quarter, Gen.G immediately turned on a switch we’ve usually seen reserved for the elite teams, and the Tigers began to claw their way back behind a barrage of 3-point attempts. ShiftyKaii completed the comeback with two minutes left in the game, tying the score after stripping Vandi of the ball. A few possessions later, Gen flashed to the top of the arc and hit a three to give the Tigers a lead they would not surrender.
Gen.G would carry that momentum into game three, where the team pulled out the series win behind Kai’s series-high 37 points and strong team defense that forced Vandi into seven turnovers. Memphis will regroup and take on Knicks Gaming next, while the Tigers will match up with Jazz Gaming on Friday.
Lakers Gaming def. Pacers Gaming, 2-1
Lakers Gaming officially has two wins so far during the NBA 2K League’s third season. I’ll tell you what, after seeing the borderline troll performance L.A. put on in the Tipoff, I’m impressed with how the team played tonight. Coach Kris Dellarciprete, the NBA 2K League’s first player-turned-coach, shuffled his starting five yet again: Sav at point guard, Tactuk played lock, Kev reclaimed his sharpshooter role, and Vert and Dweq manned the customary four and five spots. The important switch was Sav making a ShiftyKaii week six-esque transformation. Not only did the Lakers point guard trot out the offensive threat build, but he shined doing so, averaging 29 points and 12 assists per game on 60% shooting. Kev chipped in a steady 12 points per game and Dweq may just have found a permanent home at center. The new-look Lakers square off against the reigning champion T-Wolves Gaming later tonight.
Pacers Gaming ditched its double-lock lineup—and 2020 fourth overall pick—in favor of a more traditional NBA 2K League starting five. With Bohio sent to the bench, Swizurk took over primary ball-handling duties, and Bobby Buckets made his second straight appearance as an off-ball scorer. After handling game one in traditional Pacer fashion—tough defense and transition offense—the team dropped two straight contests. In both games the defense allowed 74+ points, which definitely doesn’t meet Indianapolis’ standards of hard-nosed, gritty, defensive-minded gameplay. Swizurk is probably better-suited as an off-ball scorer, and a really effective one, but I’d imagine we see Bohio back in the lineup sooner rather than later. The Pacers gear up for a quick turnaround, clashing with Hornets Venom GT at 9 p.m. this evening.
Raptors Uprising GC def. Magic Gaming, 2-0
Another series for Raptors Uprising GC. Another pair of incredible Kenny Got Work showings. Another convincing sweep. Like clockwork, Toronto is flawless through 10 regular season matchups, not even including its recent Tipoff tournament success. Kenny averaged 39 points and 13 assists per game while shooting 83% on 3-point attempts in Toronto’s swift sweep of Magic Gaming. The team as a whole shot a remarkable 39-of-49 from deep in the series. Throw remote play out of the window, I don’t care if you think their success deserves an asterisk next to it: we are currently witnessing the most dominant stretch of NBA 2K League basketball to ever be played. Next on the slate for Toronto is Heat Check Gaming on June 29.
The Raptors are the last team a struggling squad wants to see on their schedule. Magic Gaming discovered that the hard way last night, suffering back-to-back blowouts in its series with the league’s best. The issues remain the same in Orlando, as the team isn’t getting enough offense out of its secondary scorer. Reizey continues to muster what offense he can, including going for 40 points in game two and averaging 32 for the series. His partner in crime, May, stuffed the stat sheet (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and blocks per game apiece) and flashed dominance in the paint, but Orlando was simply outmatched by the Raptors. Check out Magic Gaming back in action Friday evening against Warriors Gaming Squad.
Pistons GT def. Celtics Crossover Gaming, 2-0
Pistons GT carried its newfound momentum and confidence into week seven and swept the Celtics 2-0. Since the beginning of the Tipoff tournament, the Pistons have taken advantage of their facility and have gone 5-4 in individual games. Ramo was two assists shy of finishing with a triple-double in each of the games. The Pistons’ defense was on point, with each player executing the game plan on their way to nabbing 30 total steals.
Meanwhile, Celtics Crossover Gaming remains winless this season and there does not seem to be an end in sight for its miserable play. At this pace, Fab may end up leading the league in scoring after averaging 51 points tonight. However, the problem is that he had to put up 64 total shots to do so. When the score tightened up in game two, Detroit encouraged the other Celtics to make decisions with the ball and forced Boston into 22 turnovers. Celtics center No Autographs led the way with 10 of those miscues.
Detroit doesn’t have much time to celebrate the win and will take on 76ers GC next, while Celtics Crossover will search for some answers before playing Mavs Gaming later this week.
Jazz Gaming def. Hornets Venom GT, 2-0
Just when you think this league can’t surprise you any further, Hornets Venom GT shockingly benched superstar center Type in favor of sixth man Gliz. Hornets Venom held a lead for the majority of game one with Snubby (31 points) and Expose (26 points) taking over the offense in the absence of Charlotte’s star big man. In the end, the team allowed Utah to take over in overtime, ultimately going down 0-1 in the series. Charlotte never recovered, and the team didn’t receive the same production from its backcourt in game two, which led to things getting out of hand early. The Hornets, suddenly with plenty of question marks surrounding the team, see their record fall to 5-3 but look forward to regaining momentum against Pacers Gaming at 9 p.m.
After surviving a game one scare and convincingly winning the overtime period, Splashy and co. cruised to a sweet Charlotte sweep. Ria took advantage of the suddenly favorable matchup down low, dominating to the tune of 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals per game. In game one’s comeback victory, Splashy recorded 37 points on 15-for-22 shooting while dishing out 6 assists. Game two was pure dominance from Jazz Gaming’s top two defenders. Yeah I Compete went for 29 points on 100% shooting from the field while Ria flirted with a borderline quadruple-double (26 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals). Jazz Gaming is now 5-1 and will meet with the Gen.G Tigers of Shanhai on Friday night.