By Kristian Cuaresma
An Unexpected Plot Twist
Once NetsGC found out it wouldn’t have its superstar point guard for Game One against the Gen.G Tigers, General Manager and Head Coach OG KING CURT worked with his team to figure out a game plan. . The impromptu brainstorming and tinkering led to Faiz making his debut at the one, causing a chain reaction down to the rest of the roster, with SlayIsland going to sharp and Legit to power forward.
Unfortunately, the Tigers came out victorious in the first of two contests. Early in Game One, NetsGC understandably leaned heavily on Shotz as the star center as he is unanimously seen as one half of the team’s dynamic duo. By the end of the first quarter, Shotz had 10 of the team’s 14 points and accounted for half of Brooklyn’s shot attempts. However, once Gen.G took that option away, NetsGC struggled to keep pace.
Point guard is viewed as the most important position on the floor and without any prior meaningful reps at the one, Faiz was given an unenviable task. The rookie struggled early on, especially with his reads in the pick and roll. From a scoring perspective, he finished 1-of-6 from the field by halftime of Game One, but eventually settled in, specifically during a 10-point third quarter in which he confidently called his own number, but by then the damage had been done. While the Tigers secured the win, Faiz’s enhanced workload would ultimately lead to a productive Game Two.
Choc’s Revenge Tour
As offensively deep as NetsGC may be, there is still a difficult threshold to cross. That crossing point is further exacerbated when the position change happens at point guard, the most vital position in the NBA 2K League, not to mention Brooklyn’s point guard isn’t like the leads found on other NBA 2K League teams.
Choc has put together an MVP-worthy season this year, averaging 30.2 points and 13.7 assists prior to his suspension. While Faiz found some confidence in the second half and SlayIsland shot well at sharp, NetsGC just couldn’t keep up with the Tigers’ firepower in Game One.
Fast forward to Game Two, and Choc let his game speak for itself, exploding for 46 points (a new Season Four best) and 13 assists. The sophomore also hit a season-best nine three-pointers on 14 attempts, tying his own performance earlier in the year against 76ers GC, but this time on better efficiency (9-of-14). Choc saved the best for last by throwing down a game-winning dunk to complete his comeback.
While NetsGC would certainly have preferred to have its starting point guard for both games, specifically pertaining to its chances in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the events that unfolded that night could have tipped the MVP award in Choc’s favor.
Gen.G and the Rest of the East Logjam
Despite a roster change, Gen.G was unable to exorcise its split demons and continue to remain anchored to its .500 record. However, had it not been for Choc’s last-second heroics, the Tigers would have secured their second consecutive sweep. This hypothetical scenario would have put the team in a great position in the final weeks of the regular season. The Gen.G backcourt of JMoney and Bsmoove were electric from deep, posing problems for NetsGC’s perimeter defense through both games. The pair were also impressively in sync, eerily both scoring 23 points in Game One before dropping 28 points each in Game Two. It will be interesting to see what happens with the frontcourt of BxmpyDon, Feast (now at power forward), and Sawc as TURNUPDEFENSE had played in each of the team’s prior 18 regular season games.
With only two games left on the schedule, NetsGC will have its eyes on the Gen.G Tigers, Knicks Gaming, and Celtics Gaming in the coming weeks. All three teams are at least .500, with Knicks Gaming currently the closest in the standings with a record of 12-10. At 15-11, NetsGC will need a bit of help while taking care of its own business if the team wants to hold onto the final playoff spot. Regardless of what unfolds, it will surely be another exciting finish to the NetsGC season.