Heading into the Turn tournament, the NBA 2K League’s midseason (or, this year, late-season) tourney, there are still teams in search of earning their first extra cash of the year.
This year’s tournament will once again feature archetype bans, but the league remixed the rules a bit. In 2019, the first year archetype bans were in place, each team was allowed to ban one archetype (for both teams) for the single-game matchup. This year, rather than one ban per team per series, each series will feature six total bans:
Game 1: Each team chooses two archetypes to ban, resulting in four total bans for the first contest.
Game 2: Game one bans carry over, and each team chooses an additional archetype to ban, resulting in six total archetypes barred from use.
Game 3: No additional archetype bans, but all bans carry over. Six in total.
The stage is set for THE TURN Powered by @ATT! All the action tips off Wednesday at 6pm/et. #ThisIsNotAGameDay 1 match-ups⤵️https://t.co/expotP9eqj pic.twitter.com/FM3IgcIxOn
T-Wolves Gaming (No. 8 seed) vs. NetsGC (No. 9)
Both of these teams will be fighting for similar playoff seeding after the tournament, but for now, this matchup has the shadow of a measly $260,000 on the line.
Looking at it from T-Wolves Gaming’s perspective, it’s clear why this matchup may stand out to an NBA 2K League fan: for unknown reasons, we haven’t seen the T-Wolves play in nearly a month. Will there be rust? BearDaBeast is presumably reclaiming his starting point guard spot, but what does that mean for the remainder of the starting five?
For NetsGC, the team is coming off a pair of week 10 losses. Rather than locking up a playoff spot and building momentum for the Turn, Choc and co. failed to take advantage. Now, we get to see how the rookie and his teammates respond in the face of adversity, yet again, against a team they’ve already beaten in a crucial series.
Bucks Gaming (No. 10) vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming (No. 23)
The last time these two met, Bucks Gaming set the record (at the time) for the most points ever scored during regulation. Regg and Arooks scored, it seemed, a billion points on the Celtics Crossover Gaming defense. In fact, it was really that series that sparked Milwaukee’s recent string of success.
The Celtics have—finally—experienced their own success in recent play. With that elusive first win out of the way, Celtics Crossover has an opportunity to redeem itself against Bucks Gaming. The team’s defense has undoubtedly improved, and Fab remains a scary sight for opposing defenders, setting up this series to be primetime entertainment.
Blazer5 Gaming (No. 13 seed)* vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (No. 4 seed)
I could be getting ahead of myself, but Mama claimed on his most recent Freakshow that Pacers Gaming, whom Blazer5 Gaming plays in the play-in bracket, doesn’t stand a chance, so I’m taking the MVP at his word. If Blazer5 advances past Pacers Gaming in round one, they’ll have Warriors Gaming Squad waiting on the other side.
These teams are similar in many ways, yet so different. Both roster highly talented floor generals. Both point guards have experienced career success, but where the success came is the difference. CB13 has already added a pair of tournament wins to his resume. Can MamaImDatMan advance past the Golden State point guard to advance toward his first tournament win since the Turn in 2018?
Archetypes I Want to See
Point guard: Two-Way Slashing Playmaker
We’ve seen players joke around about using this archetype on Twitter. Known as the best archetype in retail, the league build’s two-way slashing playmaker carries an interesting badge setup: Hall of Fame clamps, pick dodger, downhill and floor general stick out to me the most. While I know it’s unlikely we’ll see it, that doesn’t change the fact I want to see this build in action.
Shooting guard: Shot-Creating Sharpshooter
… but as a number one offensive option. We’ve seen Dimez experience success in Dallas with this build and Reizey put together some of his best performances using this archetype. As for its badge layout: HOF quick draw, quick first step, difficult shots and green machine are eye-catching. Those badges paired with 85+ shooting ratings is a combination built for sinking plenty of shots. The top PG builds will likely be banned in every series and I wonder if we’ll see a team take a chance on this as its primary offensive weapon.
Small forward: Sharpshooting Defender
We just saw Killey trot out this build last week against Mavs Gaming. Not a ton success was had, but I think this archetype is worth another look. Here’s why: HOF quick draw, catch and shoot, and green machine paired with an 80+ 3-point rating should allow the build to pull threes comfortably. For reference, the oft-used two-way sharpshooter archetype at shooting guard has fewer shooting badges and lower shooting stats, yet we see players like TimelyCook shoot with ease. Defensive badges include HOF interceptor and gold clamps plus intimidator. The sharpshooting defender has potential.
Power forward: Paint Beast
The only time I recall seeing the paint beast was when Breadwinner brought it a couple of weeks ago against Magic Gaming. The Sixers lost the series and switched their lineup to one that didn’t include this archetype, but look at this Breadwinner stat line in his first game using it: 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and 7 steals. The league build paint beast features HOF intimidator, box and brick wall to pair with gold rebound chaser, moving truck and worm. With five additional silver defensive badges and plenty of gold finishing, the paint beast is a build that catches my eye.
Center: Sharpshooting Defender
From what I’ve seen on Twitter, it may be unlikely we see any popper in action, but if we do, here’s my choice. The sharpshooting defender definitely doesn’t possess the defensive prowess or finishing ability of the popular two-way athletic. However, it maintains an 80+ interior defense rating along with HOF rebound chaser and brick wall, while flaunting an additional eight defensive badges (five gold, three silver). As for shooting ability: 83 3-point rating, HOF quick draw, pick and popper, and catch and shoot to pair with four more badges (three gold, one silver). Much like its small forward twin, there’s potential in this sharpshooting defender archetype.
Teams to Watch Out For
This team has been on a scorcher recently, winning five series in a row. Radiant has looked and played like the Radiant MVP-finalist we all grew to know, and his two Tipoff MVP awards are certainly good credentials for any tournament. Breadwinner has excelled in his switch to center and 76ers GC looks like a completely new team. Now, as the team catches fire late-season, it could be just in time to earn a little extra cash.
Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai
I know it seems crazy because they’re slated to face off against Raptors Uprising GC if they even advance past Magic Gaming, but hear me out. Gen.G has versatile players, and many of them have been shuffled around the lineup this season, logging minutes at multiple positions. Their head coach, Len, has showed a willingness to be creative and the rules for this tournament reward those two things: versatility and creativity. The Tigers have also taken two games off Raptors Uprising this year, which is more than anyone else can say.
Players to Watch Out For
Dayfri, Wizards District Gaming
While always being a top player at his position, Dayfri hasn’t sniffed a whiff of team success in two years. Both seasons were losing ones, but they’re behind us and now we’ll finally get to see playoff Dayfri later this year. Before then, however, Dayfri has a chance to pocket some extra cash on the way. With a team around him built for success, will the Wizards District Gaming center take home his first career banner?
oFab, Celtics Crossover Gaming
Another vet with no hardware to show for his efforts in seasons one and two. While Celtics Crossover Gaming has definitely experienced stretches of success and even rode an insane hot streak to last year’s semifinals, Boston still has an empty trophy shelf despite making three tournament finals appearances. Fab has played out of his mind all season, leading the league in scoring at 34.3 points per game. Can one of the most talented players in the league claim his first tournament win after a season full of struggles?