By Kristian Cuaresma
Here are five things to highlight from NetsGC’s 63-60 loss to Heat Check Gaming.
1 – They Bring The Heat on Defense
Heat Check Gaming’s General Manager and Head Coach Famous Enough deserves credit for getting his team on track after years of disappointment. Almost halfway through Season Five, Miami is in the race for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference. The main takeaway from this new roster is their suffocating defense. They specialize in cutting off their opponent’s go-to reads in the halfcourt and are equally impressive coming back in transition. In two games against Heat Check Gaming, NetsGC is averaging ten turnovers per game. Miami’s MVP has arguably been rookie power forward DTrick, who has accumulated eight steals and seven blocks in these two contests.
2 – NetsGC Kept Fighting Back
Morale victories do not count towards the standings but NetsGC displayed plenty of resolve last night. Unlike in their previous matchup against Wizards DG, the team did not foldwhen they trailed. It could be argued that NetsGC did not have a choice as they immediately fell into an early hole, making last night’s game script a complete reversal of how their bout with Wizards DG went. However, it cannot be denied that there is a glimmer of hope somewhere in the rubble, with the team demonstrating on multiple occasions a desire to claw their way back into the game. The moment that stood out the most was NetsGC’s gritty comeback from down 11 points in the third quarter. It was capped by a three-pointer by King Haad that gave NetsGC its first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter. Despite the loss, the team should realize they were once again there until the end against a contender.
3 – A Disjointed Offense
While the team deserves acknowledgement for nearly overcoming a sizable deficit, there is a justifiable concern for how they ended up in that situation in the first place. The NetsGC offense has been unable to put together four quarters of above average play since their 92-62 landslide victory over Magic Gaming back in mid-April. The sporadic offense predates the trade for King Haad, but the acquisition of the new point guard has added another hurdle for the team to overcome. Statistically, NetsGC never was an elite offense before their current six-game losing streak, but they rarely questioned themselves on that side of the court. It could be that opposing teams have locked in on the team’s tendencies but there is evidence that the team has yet to play to their full potential.
4 – Rebounding Concerns
The defense has rediscovered its confidence in the last two games. This is important because it has come against two contenders in Miami and Washington, and the defense is what carried the team to a dominant 4-0 start to the season. Unfortunately, securing rebounds after defensive stops have become an issue lately. While Heat Check Gaming and Wizards DG may have spectacular players in the front court, it does not excuse the amount of second chance opportunities NetsGC have been giving up, particularly in the most crucial moments of the game. Some of these rebounds are the result of the players being victims of the game’s animations and physics, but there are several instances the team realizes they can clean up.
5 – Streetz Still Adjusting
One player that has struggled offensively in THE TURN is rookie small forward Streetz. While he has been exceptional on the defensive end, his offensive skill set had separated him from his peers earlier in the season. In THE TURN and including the team’s elimination game against Heat Check Gaming, Streetz is averaging just 4.4 points on 42 percent shooting from deep. By comparison, the lockdown was averaging 13.8 points on nearly 70 percent shooting from the perimeter in five games prior to that stretch. Streetz has proven he is an elite shooter, and he will need to regain his form if NetsGC wants to stop its downward spiral.