Week eight of the NBA 2K League wraps up before the Fourth of July weekend with playoff hopes, Ticket Tournament preparations, and a high-octane Tipoff Tournament rematch all in the cards.
76ers GC (1-8) vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming (0-10)
With their eyes set on building momentum before their inevitable Ticket Tournament berths, 76ers GC and Celtics Crossover Gaming face off tonight in a matchup between the bottom two teams in the standings. Philadelphia and Boston are a combined 1-18 and have fallen far from the thrones they sat on just last season.
For the 76ers, there has been a noticeable difference in their compete level since the Tip Off. Philadelphia had only won one game – against T-Wolves Gaming – and had been swept in its five other matchups. However, they have been a respectable 6-7 in the last few weeks. While maintaining a .500 record is an incredibly low bar for this once great franchise, credit to the 76ers for continuing to fight.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, they still are searching for their first win of season three. Fab has been phenomenal – both on and off the court – but has had to deal with a fair share of criticism for the team’s roster. Barring a memorable turnaround in the Ticket Tournament, Celtics Crossover may go down as a season three/remote play casualty.
Key Matchup: Radiant’s Support Cast Vs. Fab’s supporting cast
In any other season, these two point guards would have been the main draw, but just like with everything else in 2020, Radiant and Fab’s plans have turned upside down. With Scretty expected to miss another game due to personal reasons, the 76ers will need the other players to step up. Breadwinner is an obvious candidate after living up to his claims in a previous episode of MamaImDatMan’s Freakshow. For the Celtics, they’ll hope Mel East can continue his efficient shooting from their last series against Dallas.
T-Wolves Gaming (6-4) vs. NetsGC (5-5)
T-Wolves Gaming is coming off a tough series against Kings Guard Gaming. Despite making a pair of comeback bids, the team fell short in back-to-back contests, suffering a sweep. Minnesota received less-than-stellar production from a few positions throughout the series, which leads me to believe we might see more lineup changes. Jojo sliding back to his spot at power forward seems to be a done deal. Additionally, maybe we see a familiar face back at point guard?
NetsGC will attempt to rebound after a disastrous series against Cavs Legion GC. A lot of talk preceded that matchup, and a lot of it was not backed up on Brooklyn’s end. It seems early, but with a 4-4 record, the team needs to string together wins to claim a playoff spot. Beating a team possibly fighting for the same playoff spot would be a good start.
Key Matchup: Saint vs. Choc
Saint draws the assignment of another fellow 2020 first-round rookie tonight, polarizing NetsGC star Choc. Choc is coming off a tough series, in which he shot poorly and struggled to take care of the ball. The T-Wolves lockdown will look to give the Brooklyn point guard similar troubles tonight.
Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (5-6) vs. Raptors Uprising GC (11-0)
The Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai and Raptors Uprising GC are finally ready to deliver on a sequel to their thrilling Tip Off Tournament series.
Toronto has successfully overcome every challenge thrown its way, and with each passing week, the lone team north of the border continues to add to its list of accomplishments. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the Raptors’ winning ways, but one team that has proven capable of pushing them to the limit is Gen.G. With Toronto blowing teams out of the water on a weekly basis, its seven-point differential in the previous Tigers series speaks volumes to how close that contest actually was.
Having lost two of their last three—including a bizarre letdown against Heat Check Gaming—the Tigers haven’t exactly set the stage for their rematch against Toronto. The expectations for this expansion team may be high, but that’s a result of Gen.G’s performance during the Tipoff. If Gen.G is one of those teams that plays to their opponent’s talent level, then we may still get another classic between these two high-octane teams.
Key Matchup: Three-point shooting
There aren’t many teams that shoot the three ball like the Tigers and Raptors. It isn’t just the frequency with which they shoot it, it’s the way they create opportunities and the confidence with which they take them. When the Tigers heat up—especially when ShiftyKaii is using his playmaking takeover—they are one of the few teams that can keep up with Toronto.
Knicks Gaming (5-6) vs. Lakers Gaming (2-9)
Knicks Gaming is coming off a week seven loss against Wizards District Gaming. New York is a team that I feel is better than their 5-6 record. The Duck and Malik duo is as talented a backcourt as any team has to offer league-wide and one that consistently produces results. Yet New York claims a record below .500 more than halfway through the season. While the schedule hasn’t exactly been forgiving, excuses aren’t what grant you access to the playoffs. This evening, the Knicks have a perfect opportunity to turn this season around in their favor against a struggling opponent.
Lakers Gaming is what their record says they are. Outside of Sav, no player has consistently played well, and it shows. Sav has recently tried reinventing himself into more of a playmaker, attempting to get his teammates more involved. While LA did beat Pacers Gaming with this strategy last week, the team couldn’t keep up the momentum, getting swept by the T-Wolves to conclude their week seven. Tonight, the Lakers will need to knock off another talented backcourt in order to claim the win.
Key Matchup: No. 2 vs. No. 7
Anytime we have a pair of top-ten draft picks going head-to-head, especially at the point guard position, the viewers are in for a treat. Both guards have enjoyed plenty of individual success in their transition to the pros. Tonight, the two are in search of turning that individual success into team success.