There’s no shortage of top teams in tonight’s NBA 2K League action, with seven of eight squads entering the night at or above .500. The new T-Wolves Gaming lineup should be in for an especially interesting clash with fellow 6-3 team Kings Guard Gaming, while 6-3 Mavs Gaming takes on 6-1 Warriors Gaming Squad.
Heat Check Gaming (1-5) vs. Jazz Gaming (5-1), 7 p.m.
The first few weeks of remote play weren’t exactly forgiving to Heat Check Gaming. Cancelations, shaky connection and questionable lagouts about sum up its season so far. Miami’s Tipoff performance was lackluster, at best, losing three out of four games and being bounced without advancing. Tonight, the team will have its hands full with a Jazz Gaming squad that has been on a tear lately.
Utah is now 5-1 after taking down Hornets Venom GT on the opening night of week seven. While game one needed overtime, game two was a breeze, and Utah just continues to build on its 2020 success. Both Ria and Splashy have ramped up their quality of play in recent weeks, but Utah’s 2019 No. 1 overall selection has been especially dominant, including flirting with a quadruple-double on Monday evening (26 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals). The Jazz aims to keep this level of play going against Heat Check Gaming tonight.
Key Matchup: Hotshot vs. Ria
Two high-profile big men squaring off will always be by key matchup if given a choice. Ria has enjoyed a ton of success halfway through his season, while Hotshot is still trying to get things going for his Miami teammates.
Mavs Gaming (6-3) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (6-1), 7 p.m.
Mavs Gaming was a team I envisioned making noise during tournament play, but it failed to make it past group play. Dallas even suffered a blowout loss to Celtics Crossover Gaming, whose struggles have been well-documented this season. After beginning the season atop the NBA 2K League standings, Mavs Gaming may be quietly fading into the background. Dallas has won its favorable matchups and struggled with elite competition, but tonight is an opportunity to prove they belong in the conversation as one of the top teams in this league.
Warriors Gaming Squad was another roster that simply disappointed during the recent Tipoff tournament. Despite receiving impressive play from CB13—including a 54-point performance—Golden State failed to take advantage, leaving tournament play empty-handed. The Warriors remain a force to be reckoned with, and tonight’s game vs. Mavs Gaming is their first opportunity to move past their mini “slump.”
Key Matchup: PeteBeBallin vs. Slaughter
More upper-echelon big men battling down low. I don’t think we’ve received a centers pyramid courtesy of Twitter yet, but these two would certainly rank highly. Last year’s No. 5 overall pick matched up with this year’s best rebounder. Who comes out on top?
T-Wolves Gaming (6-3) vs. Kings Guard Gaming (6-3), 9 p.m.
T-Wolves Gaming introduced a shock lineup change last night, letting BearDaBeast, last year’s Finals MVP, take a backseat to talented scoring-guard JMoney, who seamlessly took over the primary ball-handling duties. JMoney averaged 35 points and 6 assists per contest while shooting 66% from the field at point guard against Lakers Gaming. Whether or not we’ll continue to see Bear appear off-ball is unapparent, but having two talented ball-handlers is a supreme luxury in this league.
Kings Guard Gaming made a lot of noise during the team’s tournament run. Ultimately falling to Raptors Uprising GC in the finals, Sacramento ran through its competition in the rounds beforehand. Led by a suffocating defense—a trend among top NBA 2K League teams—this Kings unit often looks frustrating to play against. The 2019-2020 offseason is the gift that keeps on giving in Sacramento, as the blockbuster DatBoyShotz-BP trade has reaped benefits, while its most recent draft class keeps exceeding expectations.
Key Matchup: Crush vs. T-Wolves ball-handlers
Crush has been one of the best lockdowns in the league, and if not for Timelycook’s absurd play, the No. 3 overall pick may have already been the best. T-Wolves Gaming flaunts a pair of highly talented ball-handlers in JMoney and BearDaBeast. Elite defense vs. elite offense always makes for a good showing.
Knicks Gaming (5-5) vs. Wizards District Gaming (6-1), 9 p.m.
Knicks Gaming had taken game one of its series with the Grizz on Wednesday, Duck was on fire and it seemed like New York was ready to move up in the power rankings. Then, all momentum disappeared and here New York is: with a middling 5-5 record, getting ready to take on one of the better teams this league has to offer. Duck will need more performances similar to his game one vs. Grizz Gaming, in order for Knicks Gaming to move past its recent struggles.
Dayfri and co. wasn’t pleased with how the team played down the stretch during the Tipoff. While Washington did have a chance at stealing the wildcard spot, its efforts fell flat and it was back to the lab for JBM and his teammates. Tonight, JBM will have an opportunity to further prove the Wizards made the right choice with the top selection in February’s draft.
Key Matchup: No. 1 vs. No. 2
The 2020 draft saw a pair of talented ball-handlers go back-to-back in picks one and two. While both have experienced success in their own right, tonight will be the first episode in what should be a long series of JBM vs. Duck battles.