By Kristian Cuaresma
Just a week ago, NetsGC began their tournament run in THE SWITCH against Hawks Talon GC. The team was coming off a lackluster showing in THE SLAM, during which they finished 2-4 and bowed out of the tournament before the bracket round. With a new lead guard in Jyden, there were more question marks surrounding the team’s 3v3 status.
Tonight, as Brooklyn prepares for its final game of group play, the team will again match up against its rivals in Atlanta. However, this time NetsGC will not only be guaranteed a spot in bracket play, but they will also be fighting for the group’s number one seed. It is a complete turnaround of their 3v3 prospects and a testament to the team’s dedication to revive their season.
With NetsGC and Hawks Talon GC being the only teams still within striking distance of the group’s number one seed, it is fitting that they play each other at this point of the season. Hawks Talon GC has rediscovered their killer mentality since their 3-1 defeat to NetsGC by defeating Green Beanz twice and Grizz Gaming.
Hawks Talon GC Expected Lineup
Players to Watch
Ceez – 12.4 points, 2.4 assists, 0.7 turnovers, 66% field goal, 53% three-point
The sophomore guard has been on an absolute tear in 3v3 play this season, and his showing in THE SWITCH has not been the exception. When he is firing on all cylinders, Hawks Talon GC is difficult to defeat in series. In wins during this tournament, Ceez is averaging 15.3 points on 8.4 attempts per game. The offense begins and ends with Ceez, and despite defenses realizing this, not many teams have been unable to do something about it. The classic sports adage “you cannot stop him; you can only hope to contain him” certainly applies to Ceez.
Witness – 3.1 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 56% three-point
While all three players for Hawks Talon GC have been respectable on defense, Witness will be tasked with and best equipped to slow down Jyden, the reigning NBA 2K League Player of the Week. NetsGC’s last two opponents – Grizz Gaming and Green Beanz – have done a better job in their second game against the rookie, and it will be interesting to see how Hawks Talon GC approach it. Witness had his hands full in their previous game, allowing Jyden to average nearly 12 points per game in his NetsGC debut.
With bracket round now a certainty, NetsGC next set their eyes on the group’s number one seed. A victory tonight would mean the team is likely placed on the opposite side of the bracket of Celtics Crossover Gaming, who are currently 5-0. This does not mean Brooklyn’s side of the bracket will not be challenging, as a matchup with either the vastly improved Lakers Gaming or a fun date with Doc and Cavs Legion GC awaits. Currently, the undefeated Pacers Gaming would also be a potential opponent in the second round.
Regarding the bigger picture, NetsGC is currently seventh in the 3v3 Eastern Conference standings. With just one point separating them from a playoff spot, NetsGC needs to treat tonight like another must-win situation. A win tonight in combination with a respectable run in Indianapolis will resolve the team of its transgressions from THE SLAM.