By Kristian Cuaresma
For the second time in weeks, Nets Gaming Crew will race for one of two playoff spots within reach. The team is just one point behind of Knicks Gaming and two points behind of 76ers GC. While NetsGC fell short of qualifying for one of the guaranteed 5v5 playoff spots, their 3v3 odds are appealing because Knicks Gaming and 76ers GC are on the schedule this week. Before focusing on who they are chasing, NetsGC must fend off one of the teams behind them.
Raptors Uprising is currently ninth in the Eastern Conference and only one spot behind NetsGC. Like many of the professional teams, they have performed better in 3v3 as the season progresses. Unlike some of their counterparts, Raptors Uprising has suffered identity issues regarding which of their five players best fit their vision for 3v3. Before their only trade of the season, each player remaining on the roster has played in at least 19 3v3 contests. Their newest player Plondo has already appeared in 13 matchups with the team.
Guard: Kenny Got Work
Players to Watch
Kenny Got Work – 7.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 69% field-goal, 53% three-point
Kenny Got Work has played on Raptors Uprising for five years, but he is far removed from the time as the team’s undisputed point guard and the Season Three MVP. This past offseason, Toronto drafted FantaSZN to replace both Kenny Got Work and Dimez at point guard, signaling a new era for the franchise. In response, Kenny Got Work has proven how valuable he remains to the team. In 3v3, Kenny Got Work has already played all three positions on the court. Most recently, the team reached new heights with Kenny Got Work at point guard, evident by his season-high 17 points against Heat Check Gaming in THE SWITCH.
FantaSZN – 9.4 points, 2.1 assists, 0.8 turnovers, 62% field-goal, 55% three-point
FantaSZN was an attractive draft prospect, and one reason was his experience and familiarity with the 3v3 scene. However, even with the differences between the league and retail versions of the game, FantaSZN has been unable to secure a 3v3 playoff spot for Toronto. In the popular rookie’s defense, he has developed with each passing tournament, and he has mirrored his steady progression in 5v5. Recently, he helped lead Toronto to its best stretch of 3v3 games at the off-guard position. Developing a synergy between FantaSZN and Kenny Got Work likely dictates how far Raptors Uprising can go this year.