NetsGC received a setback in its playoff push after dropping two series in Week 10 to 76ers GC and Grizz Gaming.
Brooklyn entered the week with a 7-4 record and tied for seventh place in the standings, and though the losses dropped them to 7-6 and pushed the team into a logjam with a few others, the postseason still remains within reach with three series still to play.
The squad tipped the week off on Tuesday against a resurgent 76ers GC side that came into the series on a three-game winning streak.
Radiant was the player to watch as he pushed along the Philadelphia offense at a breakneck pace in Game One. The point guard scored 55 points to help propel the 76ers to an advantage in the first three quarters, eventually leading to a 71-53 lead entering the final frame.
Choc had a game of his own with 31 points and 11 assists, while Shuttles and Randomz were able to add on 16 and 15 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 76ers GC’s sizeable lead. Despite a solid fourth quarter from Brooklyn, Philadelphia would go on to win the first match, 82-71.
Brooklyn looked more up to the task in Game Two. The team swapped in Potts to the power forward position and shifted Wavy to small forward, a move that paid immediate dividends. NetsGC controlled the tempo of the game in the first half, entering the break with a 40-27 lead after holding Radiant to well below his Game One-level.
76ers GC tried to stay in it and launch a comeback attempt, but Brooklyn did well to squash any momentum that Philly may have had. Choc dropped another double-double, this time with 37 points and 11 assists, and Shuttles did the same with 12 points and 12 rebounds. It was enough to earn a comfortable 68-58 win to tie the series at one-all and head to a decisive Game Three.
It would hardly be a NetsGC series without a little bit of drama, and the final game delivered on that front. Neither team could do anything to separate itself, as a one-point NetsGC advantage after one quarter was maintained with a 34-33 halftime lead.
Philadelphia did enough to garner a three-point lead by the time the third quarter ended, and held on to an even slimmer two-point advantage near the end of the game thanks to more offensive output from Radiant, who ended Game Three with 53 points. 76ers GC would have taken the win in regulation after an errant Brooklyn alley-oop attempt somehow didn’t convert, but Choc, as he so often has, had other plans, drilling a mid-range shot from the right corner to tie the game as time expired to send it to overtime.
The overtime period was just as tight as the previous four quarters. It was a 72-70 lead for 76ers GC with just over a minute left when Philly got another two quick baskets, but Brooklyn responded with two buckets of its own to make it a 76-74 game with less than 15 seconds remaining. Radiant, however, was able to make his free throws following an intentional foul, and Philadelphia would end up with an 80-74 win and 2-1 series victory for its fourth win in a row.
NetsGC had little time to dwell on the narrow loss and headed into a matchup against Grizz Gaming the following night. Game One started well for Brooklyn, who found an early, albeit narrow lead and held on to the slim advantage throughout the first half, going up 33-28 after 12 minutes. Choc did well to run the offense, delegating most of the scoring duties to Wavy, getting another start at small forward, and Shuttles who each had 10 points at the break.
Brooklyn kept its small cushion for most of the second half, until Grizz Gaming made a run to tie it and even take the lead late in the fourth quarter. The two teams battled back and forth until Memphis led 62-61 with less than a minute left. Choc hit a late 3-pointer to regain the lead, but AuthenticAfrican scored with just three seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Wavy started the extra period off right for NetsGC with a deep 3-pointer, and some well-executed offensive possessions, along with a series of Grizz Gaming miscues, gave Brooklyn a lead it would not relinquish. Randomz put the icing on the cake with a green 3-pointer as time expired to give NetsGC an 80-72 win in Game One.
Though Vandi carried the offensive load for Grizz Gaming in Game One, he struggled at the start of Game Two. His teammates helped to pick up the slack, however, giving Memphis an early 17-14 lead over Brooklyn after one quarter.
The offensive surge wouldn’t last long. Grizz Gaming’s shooting faltered, ending the half with just 40% efficiency from the field, allowing NetsGC to come back and take the lead at halftime 30-27. The third quarter was kept close, but it was Brooklyn’s offense that withered in the final frame, letting the Grizz get all the way up to a double-digit lead with only a few minutes remaining.
The advantage was too great for NetsGC to overcome, especially as the team allowed Memphis to go on a 20-2 run, eventually losing Game Two 64-52.
Brooklyn looked hungry to start Game Three and rode three Wavy 3-pointers in the first quarter to a 21-18 lead. But Vandi once again led the scoring for Grizz Gaming, almost single-handedly carrying his team to a 43-32 halftime lead with 27 points to his name.
His offensive outburst continued into the second half, and NetsGC couldn’t keep up. The season two first-round pick finished the game with 54 points on 22-of-34 shooting, leading Grizz Gaming to a 90-69 Game Three win, securing the series victory for Memphis.
“It was definitely a tough week for us, but we’re a good team and we’ll end the season strong,” said NetsGC power forward Jackson “Potts” Potts. “I’m looking forward to competing in THE TURN and finishing our playoff push.”
NetsGC will play in THE TURN tournament next week, a single-elimination event with money on the line. Seeding for THE TURN, and consequently Brooklyn’s first-round opponent, will be revealed after the conclusion of Week 10. The tournament begins Wednesday, July 25, and will be broadcast on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.