NetsGC Drops Round of 16 Matchup at THE TURN

NetsGC dropped its rematch against T-Wolves Gaming at THE TURN on Thursday, falling behind in two tightly contested games in the tournament’s round of 16.

Brooklyn was seeded ninth for the competition based on its regular-season performance, meaning it had to take on the defending NBA 2K League 2019 champions, and current eighth seed, Minnesota.

THE TURN had a prize pot of $260,000 on the line, plus a piece of the Banner Chain up for grabs. This year’s tournament also reintroduced archetype bans, similar to last year’s format, allowing each team in every series to block three archetypes for the players to choose from.

It didn’t take long for NetsGC to experiment with its lineup in the face of the archetype bans. With the point guard scoring machine build banned by T-Wolves Gaming prior the series tipoff, Brooklyn moved Randomz to point guard to act as a two-way slashing playmaker, and slotted Choc at the small forward to advance on the position of two-way finisher. The moves left Wavy as the primary ball-handler at shooting guard on an offensive threat archetype.

Minnesota made some adjustments of its own, swapping BearDaBeast back to point guard and moving JMoney to small forward, returning to its original lineup this season . JMoney had taken over point guard duties midseason for T-Wolves Gaming, up until the team’s last regular-season series, which ended in a 2-1 loss to NetsGC in Week Eight.

The moves worked just fine for both teams offensively. NetsGC’s Choc didn’t look to skip a beat at his new position, ending the half with 15 points. However, it was T-Wolves Gaming who entered the break with a 40-34 advantage, as BearDaBeast looked comfortable as ever running the Minnesota offense—ending the game with 15 assists to prove it.

The third quarter proved to be a tighter matchup in comparison to the first half, however it looked like T-Wolves Gaming was ready to run away with it in the final frame by building a double-digit lead. Randomz, still tasked with guarding BearDaBeast even at point guard, helped lead the way on defense with crucial steals to keep NetsGC in the running, making it a close game up until the final moments.

Unfortunately, Brooklyn couldn’t convert on a crucial possession in the late minutes of the game and ultimately run down the shot clock allowing T-Wolves Gaming to close out a tight 71-68 Game One.

Choc finished the game with 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting from his new position. Wavy added 19 points and eight assists on the offensive end.

T-Wolves Gaming carried its momentum into Game Two. The difference-maker in the first half was Minnesota’s Feast as he grabbed 12 rebounds in the opening 12 minutes and added eight points to the board. Big Saint continued to thrive in the new-look Minnesota offense, leading the team with 11 points as it went into halftime up 34-28.

Minnesota held onto its lead in the second half, maintaining offensive momentum behind the playmaking efforts of BearDaBeast to end the third quarter with a 51-44 lead.

NetsGC immediately responded to open the final frame, first with a 3-pointer from Randomz in the corner, followed by Choc stealing the ensuing inbound pass for a slam and score, suddenly cutting the lead to just two points. After some traded baskets back and forth, Brooklyn sunk a 3-pointer to tie it at 55-55 with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

But it was all T-Wolves Gaming from there. Minnesota’s shooting showed out in the closing stretch, with BearDaBeast and Feast expertly working in tandem—the former with 18 assists and the latter with 18 points and 21 rebounds on the game—to regain the lead and eventually win 73-62, advancing to the quarterfinals with a series victory.

Four NetsGC players found themselves earning double-digit point totals for Game Two: Wavy with 18, Potts with 16, Choc with 14 and Randomz with 10, while Shuttles tacked on 17 rebounds.

“It’s been a rough two weeks for us, but our focus is on finishing this season strong,” said NetsGC’s Jackson “Potts” Potts. “The playoffs are what we are working toward and if we play these final three games how I know we can play, we will make the playoffs.”

Brooklyn now turns its attention to the playoff push with three series remaining on its regular season schedule. The team takes on Wizards District Gaming on Tuesday, July 28 at 9 p.m. ET in a matchup that will be aired on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.