Clashes at the top of the table are all the rage in the third night of week eight action, as Jazz Gaming and Wizards District Gaming vie for second in the second and playoff-spot holders Mavs Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad and Hornets Venom GT take to the sticks as well.
Jazz Gaming (8-1) vs. Wizards District Gaming (8-1)
Wizards District Gaming and Jazz Gaming will put their respective winning streaks and $2500 on the line tonight in a highly anticipated best-of-three series. Washington has not lost since its season opener against Raptors Uprising, and Utah hasn’t dropped a game since its bout with Kings Guard—meaning the two teams are on a combined winning streak spanning over 90 days.
The Wizards are coming off a recent victory against Cavs Legion GC, when they were finally pushed to a game three. Outside of the being forced into 20 turnovers in game two, however, Washington was dominant throughout the evening.
Meanwhile, the Jazz continue to be led by charismatic rookie Splashy. The No. 10 overall pick’s dance moves have become the 2K League’s version of the Steph Curry shimmy. Splashy’s confidence on the offensive end consistently opens up the floor for the rest of the offense, and he has slowly built a reputation for being able to shoot from anywhere on the floor.
Key Matchup: Dayfri vs. Ria
Dayfri and Ria clash in what is expected to be one of the more exciting center matchups of the entire season. In last night’s series with Cleveland, Dayfri affected every facet of the game on his way to averaging 15.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Tonight, Dayfri will have to figure out how to negate the efforts of Jazz big Ria, who has quickly become a mirror image of the 2K veteran.
Mavs Gaming (8-3) vs. Blazer5 Gaming (4-5)
After a disappointing showing in the Tip Off Tournament, Mavs Gaming has quietly gone about its business and continues to win games during regular season play. Dallas went 2-0 last week with a buzzer beater win against Warriors Gaming and a landslide victory over Celtics Crossover.
Up next is a date with the freefalling Blazers, who are returning from their week six bye on a five-game losing streak. While the Tipoff Tournament was not kind to Portland, it did have the most difficult group play schedule, with home and away splits against the Raptors and Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai.
During the last episode of Freak Show, host and Blazer5 point guard MamaImDatMan guaranteed a win this week, so it’ll be interesting to see if the reigning season MVP can fulfil that promise against one of the league’s top teams.
Key Matchup: PeteBeBallin vs. OneWildWalnut
While there will likely be fireworks from both backcourts, the battle in the paint between Pete and Walnut will be just as significant. Walnut averaged 65% shooting on 12 attempts during last week’s tournament and should see the ball more inside to provide Mama moments to breathe.
Heat Check Gaming (2-7) vs. Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (5-5)
We’re not quite sure what we’ll get when the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai and Heat Check Gaming clash tonight, especially considering how difficult it is to get a read on either team. When that ‘Tiger Energy’ is flowing through the roster, Gen.G has been able to keep up with any team in the league, evidenced by its Tipoff performance and effort last week in snapping Grizz Gaming’s winning streak. But the Tigers have also gone Jekyll and Hyde on us before, and that’s why they have struggled to break through that glass ceiling into the next tier of elite teams.
The Heat played earlier this week in the league’s first cash game of the season, dropping its matchup with the undefeated Raptors. Miami’s turbulent season can be partly blamed on its inconsistencies on the offensive end. While center Hotshot has recently been a lone bright spot, shooting struggles from the rest of the team—particularly rookie point guard Glenratty—have held the Heat back.
Key Matchup: Coach Len vs. Coach Famous
While one coach is navigating through his expansion team’s inaugural season, the other coach is considered a founding father of the league and has seen all the ups and downs it has to offer. But despite their different timelines, both Len and Famous are a big part of their team on and off the court. How each of these coaches continue to guide their rosters mentally and physically tonight and during the rest of the year will impact how their respective seasons end.
Hornets Venom GT (7-3) vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (7-3)
Warriors Gaming Squad’s bounce back performance against Hawks Talon a few nights ago was a much needed confidence-booster after a letdown during the Tipoff Tournament and a few heartbreaks in week 7. Once on the heels of the undefeated Raptors, Golden State has dropped six total games in the last two weeks. A win against young but pesky Hornets Venom GT would help properly right the ship.
For the Hornets, they continue to inch towards the upper echelon of teams in the league, now with a 7-3 record matching that of the Warriors. The controversy surrounding their top pick in the expansion draft—and former Warrior—Type has quieted to a murmur due to the success Charlotte is having, but a loss to the Warriors would not only place a brighter spotlight on the topic, but would also hint that the inexperienced Hornets aren’t yet in the top tier of teams.
Key Matchup: Zae vs. Slaughter
Since moving to center, Zae is averaging a double-double in points (10.7) and rebounds (16.2) and the Hornets are 2-0. The switch hasn’t resulted in an increase in shot attempts but has put Zae in a position to be around the action and express his creativity. How Slaughter handles the Hornets’ new look will go a long way in keeping Charlotte’s offense on the perimeter.