Bubble teams fight for their playoff lives in tonight’s NBA 2K League action, with Pacers Gaming, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai and Bucks Gaming all desperately in need of wins to stay alive.
Pacers Gaming (4-8) vs. Raptors Uprising GC (12-0)
The schedulers didn’t know it yet, but they indirectly provided the league with a moment to breathe when they put Raptors Uprising GC on a bye for early July. When Toronto was last in action, they had set a record for the best start in league history while also being the first team to clinch a playoff spot—all in the same week. But now the kings up north are back to remind other teams that any current race for the top seed falls in line with second place.
Meanwhile for Pacers Gaming, its offense continues to slow burn but we’re not quite sure it’ll ever figure it out in time. When it comes to improving the quality of the league, Indiana is an elite organization. Off the court, its content game—specifically on YouTube—is extremely strong. On the court, it takes risks and thinks outside the box, providing the league with much-needed variety. Unfortunately, especially during this time of year, what matters most are wins, and those seem too difficult to come by for Indiana.
Key Matchup: Pacers offense vs. Raptors transition offense
The only way Indiana can make this somewhat competitive is to limit Toronto’s fast break opportunities. The best way to do this is to take care of the possessions and to score the ball. This will be easier said than done, especially against the Raptors. But teams that have found success against Toronto forced them to work in the half-court as often as possible.
— Kris Cuaresma
Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (5-7) vs. Mavs Gaming (9-5)
The Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai don’t have anyone to blame for being in its current position but itself. Make no mistake about it, Gen.G has an elite offense and has the firepower to keep up with every team in the league, but its inconsistencies have resulted in an underwhelming 5-7 record. There’s time to crawl back to .500 and chase the final playoff spot, but it must begin tonight.
Mavs Gaming is coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to Jazz Gaming a few days ago and now finds itself in that third tier of contending teams. Outside of a time where they were one of three undefeated teams, the Mavs have been steady and solid, but just haven’t been able to maintain an elite level of play. Moving Dimez to sharp yielded an initial positive return so it’ll be interesting to see what a larger sample size indicates.
Key Matchup: Mo vs. Shiftykaii
The Mavericks’ lock had a bit of difficulty containing Splashy during critical moments in their series against the Jazz. And while it takes a complete effort to stop whichever archetype Kaii is rolling with, it’ll likely be up to Mo to stop him in late game or clutch situations.
— Kris Cuaresma
Bucks Gaming (6-6) vs. Kings Guard Gaming (9-3)
For Bucks Gaming, this is potentially its last chance at salvaging a possible playoff run. Truthfully, Kings Guard Gaming would be one of the last teams I’d want on my schedule with playoffs on the line, but that’s the reality of Milwaukee’s situation. Regg, who’s enjoyed plenty of individual success this season, aims to rally his troops and lock in for the season’s final push.
Kings Guard Gaming knocked off Dat Boy Shotz’s former team, Hawks Talon GC, in week nine. With a win tonight, Sacramento can clinch their playoff berth. Paired with a dominant defense and a matchup against a team that has cooled off after a hot streak, Kings Guard Gaming should claim the win, but with this league, you never know.
Key Matchup: Sacramento’s team defense vs. Regg
Between Dat Boy Shotz, Crush and Yusuf_Scarbz, Kings Guard Gaming flaunts a vicious trio, making opposing point guards feel their defensive pressure all 94 feet of the court. Regg will need to put on a top-tier performance in order for his team to have success tonight.
— Aaron Fox