After a series of crucial wins in Week Nine, NetsGC heads into Week Ten with two matchups against 76ers GC and Grizz Gaming with hopes of solidifying their chance at a playoff appearance – for the first-time even in franchise history.
Brooklyn enters the week with a 7-4 record, currently tied with Hornets Venom GT for seventh place in the NBA 2K League standings. The top nine teams receive an automatic postseason berth and a shot at the NBA 2K League Championship.
A couple of wins in the coming weeks could all but clinch a playoff spot for the squad but standing in the way is a pair of foes who won’t go down without a fight.
The week starts with a rematch against Group 1 TIPOFF opponent 76ers GC, a team that has had a surprising season for all the wrong reasons. Philly proved to be a powerhouse franchise in the first two seasons of the league, winning multiple tournaments and making the Finals last year. However, season three has so far gone the opposite direction as 76ers GC holds a record of 4-8 and will likely need a win in THE TICKET to qualify for its third-straight postseason.
However, that doesn’t mean NetsGC can take its opponent lightly. Philadelphia still poses a potent threat with the likes of Radiant in the lineup. The 76ers are also on a three-game win streak, matching Brooklyn’s own streak following wins over Celtics Crossover Gaming, Lakers Gaming and Knicks Gaming.
Brooklyn should note that Philly could line up in a number of different ways in Week 10. In the past two weeks alone, the backcourt duo of Radiant and Steez—who has traditionally run at center the past two seasons—has remained untouched as the team reconfigured itself at small forward, power forward and center.
The aforementioned duo of Radiant and Steez will have to be the focus for NetsGC if they want to secure the win. Radiant is a season two MVP ballot finalist and though he hasn’t had the season most would expect him to, he can still put up numbers on any given night. During 76ers GC’s current win streak, the point guard has averaged 34.1 points and 6.3 assists per game, including a 54-point performance on 81% shooting in the series clincher against Knicks Gaming last Wednesday.
The good news is Brooklyn has shut down Radiant before. At THE TIPOFF tournament in June, NetsGC held him to just 24.5 points per game on 42% shooting across two games. Though it’s likely NetsGC will face a new line up on Tuesday, tight defense and greater offensive output against 76ers GC could lead to success for Brooklyn.
The following night, Brooklyn faces off against Grizz Gaming in a series with major playoff implications. The 6-6 Grizz are in a logjam with several other teams for an automatic postseason spot. A loss for Memphis would likely spell doom for its regular season and force the team to fight in THE TICKET for the franchise’s first-ever playoff berth.
As its .500 record suggests, it’s been an up-and-down season for Grizz Gaming. The team has a solid résumé but has struggled to establish momentum thus far in the sesao. In Week Seven, Grizz Gaming split its series with a loss to the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai and a win against Knicks Gaming before coming off a bye and losing to Mavs Gaming last Tuesday followed by a rather comfortable win over Blazer5 Gaming.
On paper, Grizz Gaming has an excellent roster with a top-notch core trio in Vandi, AuthenticAfrican and GOOFY757. Grizz Gaming’s struggle has mostly been on the defensive side as Memphis currently ranks the sixth-worst scoring defense in the league, giving up an average of 71 points per game. The lack of defensive cohesion has forced Grizz Gaming to try and put up big numbers on the offensive end.
That means NetsGC will have to take advantage of Memphis’ leaky defense. In general, Grizz Gaming has trouble containing opposing point guards, regularly allowing 30+ points from that position (though it has been able to hold Duck to 15 points and Mama Im Dat Man to just 11 points in recent weeks). Choc, averaging 31.3 points per game in the regular season, will have to be up to the task and aim for his usual scoring numbers.
Down low, guarding GOOFY757 will be a formidable challenge. The season one champion is capable of just about anything on any given night, whether it’s 20+ points, a 20-rebound game or even a triple-double. Brooklyn can’t forget AuthenticAfrican either, who’s currently shooting over 70% at shooting guard and is a threat to put up big scoring nights of his own.
“This is a huge week for us, taking on two really tough opponents, even if their records don’t totally show it,” said NetsGC Assistant General Manager Wael Ankouni. “76ersGC is starting to look more like its old self and Grizz Gaming is a team fighting to keep its playoff hopes alive. It’d be huge to come out of this week being 9-4, but we’ll take it one game at a time.”
NetsGC faces off against 76ers GC on Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. ET before taking on Grizz Gaming on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. Both games will be aired on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.