Get ready as NetsGC prepares to make its first-ever playoff appearance this week. Brooklyn will make its NBA 2K League postseason debut on Thursday after automatically qualifying for a spot via the regular season.
As the ninth seed, NetsGC will have to play its way into the quarterfinals and will face a familiar foe in Hornets Venom GT along the way. The two sides met just a couple weeks ago in Brooklyn’s regular-season finale, a 2-1 series win for Charlotte.
NetsGC can learn plenty from its first encounter with the expansion team. The much-vaunted Hornets Venom GT defense came to play in Week 12 and gave Brooklyn fits. In five quarters throughout the series, the Hornets held NetsGC to under 15 points, forcing the team to go on big runs to stay in the games.
Especially troublesome was the lack of scoring for Brooklyn in the fourth quarter of each game in the series, in which they averaged just 14.3 points. Whether it was tight defense, poor offensive execution or somewhere in between, NetsGC will need a better scoring effort in the final frame to take down Charlotte in the upcoming debut.
That’s magnified in the playoffs, where teams can play more conservatively than normal. While the Choc and Shuttles pick and roll duo is the bread and butter of the Brooklyn offense, it will take playmaking and shot making on a team-wide level to clinch the win as the game gets longer and opposing defenses pick up on what the offense has been doing the previous 18 minutes.
To underline the point of team defense, Hornets Venom GT managed 22 steals and 20 blocks throughout the series compared to NetsGC’s 21 steals and 17 blocks. The turnover margin was also +5 in favor of Charlotte. On paper that doesn’t look like much of a gap, but there are fewer possessions in an NBA 2K League game than an NBA game, making every possession that much more important.
The anchor of the Hornets Venom GT defense, Type, is who NetsGC must key in on. He has a well-earned reputation as the best defensive center in the league and put up monstrous numbers two weeks ago: 26 points and 12 rebounds in Game One, an 11-point, 18-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in Game Two, and an eight point, 12-rebound, eight assist, five block and three steal effort in Game Three.
It’s nearly impossible to stop Type, but it is possible to contain him—T-Wolves Gaming’s Feast managed to do so when the two faced off in Week 11. Ensuring Type’s impact is more limited than it was two weeks ago will be a top priority for Brooklyn.
Elsewhere in the Charlotte lineup, NetsGC will have to keep the rookie backcourt duo of Snubby and Expose in check. The team did well in the first two games of the Week 12 series, but it was the duo’s 51 combined points in Game Three that propelled Hornets Venom GT across the finish line for the series win. Snubby isn’t always a volume scorer at the point guard position, but he can run an efficient and effective offense when given the space to do so.
Looking ahead, NetsGC will have as tough a path as any to the NBA 2K League Finals on Aug. 28. Lying in wait is the undefeated juggernaut, Raptors Uprising GC, for whichever team wins tomorrow’s matchup. Also squaring off in Brooklyn’s side of the bracket is Wizards District Gaming and Kings Guard Gaming, the number four and five seeds, respectively, who will play Friday night.
On the other side of the bracket, Mavs Gaming and THE TICKET winner Blazer5 Gaming face off in the first round with the winner taking on Jazz Gaming. In the other quarterfinals matchup, Warriors Gaming Squad will play Bucks Gaming.
NetsGC will face Hornets Venom GT in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. ET. The matchup will be a best-of-three series with the winner moving on to face first-seeded Raptors Uprising GC. Brooklyn’s series against Charlotte can be viewed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.