By Kristian Cuaresma
After splitting games with a pair of Eastern Conference rivals last week, NetsGC prepare for a Jazz Gaming team that many expect to finish near the top of the Western Conference. NetsGC is currently one spot out of the playoffs with a 4-4 record but will be given another opportunity to secure its first sweep of the season.
Jazz Gaming return to action for the first time since May 28 when it swept Lakers Gaming in convincing fashion by scores of 92-62 and 100-58. Utah is one three teams to have hit the 100 point-mark in a regular season game, and its lightning paced offense is one of the reasons why the team is 3-1 to begin the year.
Jazz Gaming Expected Lineup
PF: Lord Beezus
Players to Watch
Splashy – 30.8 points, 10.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.8 turnovers, 54% 3P
Ever since being selected No. 10 overall in the 2020 draft – one spot after NetsGC point guard Choc – Splashy has made it rain on opposing defenses on a nightly basis. The energetic guard took advantage of an NBA 2K League broadcast hampered by the pandemic last season and still found a way to connect with fans. Often, his personality gripped viewers, whether it with one of his signature dances or a simple look into the camera. Splashy is also coming off a finals appearance in the NBA 2K21 MyTEAM Unlimited tournament as well as a stint with the USA Basketball E-National team.
Expose – 15.5 points, 1.3 steals, 54% FG, 58% 3P, 100% FT
Selected higher than either of the point guards starting in tonight’s games, Expose was taken by Hornets Venom GT with the sixth pick in last year’s draft. Despite both parties deciding to go its separate ways, Expose landed safely on his feet with Jazz Gaming, a legitimate title contender from season three. Surrounded by new teammates with championship aspirations, Expose slides into the two spot left vacated by Lotty. Regardless of his seniority, Expose will play a considerable role in breaking through the glass ceiling that capped the team to a semi final finish in last season’s playoffs.
Bridge to Victory?
Brooklyn won’t have the luxury of comfortably figuring out its defensive concerns with Utah up next on its schedule. After a season opener hiccup against Blazer5 Gaming, Jazz Gaming throttled Lakers Gaming to the tune of 192 points through two games.
Jazz Gaming can reliably choose between weapons one through five on the roster, but its attack is led by flamethrower shooter Splashy. In his last three games, Splashy is averaging 35.3 points while shooting 61% from outside. For those keeping count, that sample size would put Splashy at the top of the league for points and would also be good enough to lead all point guards in long-range shooting. When factoring in how the league build plays this year, it may not matter what NetsGC decide to do on the defensive end, meaning all hands will have to be on deck as both squads likely race to be the first to 100 points.
Keep an additional eye down low as two of the league’s top centers in NetsGC’s Shotz and Jazz Gaming’s Ria fight for every inch of the painted area. The former number one pick is a stat stuffing headache, averaging 16.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 1.8 blocks a game. When Jazz Gaming’s half court offense fails to produce a look early in the shot clock, it will occasionally ask Ria to bail the team out underneath the basket.
NetsGC and Jazz Gaming tip off tonight at 7:00 p.m. (EST) for game one and then at 8:00 p.m. (EST) for game two.