By Kristian Cuaresma
Week One of THE SLAM did not go according to plan, but NetsGC is still in position to go on one final push in the second and final week of group play. With a record of 1-2, NetsGC needs to win two of their next three games to have a shot at qualifying for the bracket round, while sweeping the remaining schedule will guarantee a berth.
NetsGC opens the week against Dot Squad, one of the 3v3 community teams made up of standout amateur players. Unfortunately for Dot Squad, they are 0-3 and will likely bow out of the tournament barring a small miracle. One more defeat would officially crush their dreams of qualifying for the SLAM OPEN playoffs, and NetsGC will be given the first opportunity to lead them to an early exit.
Brooklyn owes its slight glimmer of hope to their opponent tonight, with the team’s lone win coming against the amateur squad. In the 3-1 victory, Doc had his best series of the season, averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 assists. NBA 2K League All-Star center Shotz also made his 3v3 debut, giving the team the boost it needed after he sat out the 2-3 series loss to Celtics Crossover Gaming.
Dot Squad Expected Lineup
Guard: Fluzay TC
Players to Watch
Fluzay TC – 11.8 points, 1.8 assists, 1.0 turnovers, 62% FG, 50% 3P
After three games, the one redeeming thing about Dot Squad’s tournament run has been the scoring prowess of their lead guard Fluzay TC. He is currently averaging the second most points per game in the group, trailing only Celtics Crossover Gaming’s FT (13.4 points). Unfortunately, the achievement is dampened by the fact that during Dot Squad’s only two wins, Fluzay TC hasn’t been required to go on a scoring spree. How Fluzay TC plans to adjust his game in week two will be one of the more intriguing storylines for the team’s supporters.
AdotTooCold – 2.1 points, 0.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 69% FG, 71% 3P
While his usage is amongst the lowest in the group, AdotTooCold will play an instrumental role on both sides of the ball tonight. On defense, his ability to keep Doc in check can single-handedly swing the series in either direction. The less obvious area AdotTooCold can contribute to is on offense. His two highest scoring games have come in both of Dot Squad’s victories. AdotTooCold’s opportunities exclusively come in catch and shoot situations, meaning NetsGC needs to be smart about when they choose to help off him.
It’s now or never when it comes to NetsGC’s tournament lives. It’s easy to find solace in the pair of Game Five defeats by pointing to just a few key, but correctable mistakes. However in Week Two, all that matters is getting the win, and doing so in the most efficient manner possible. Statistically, NetsGC is favored to defeat Dot Squad, and taking care of business tonight will be the first step in clawing back into THE SLAM playoffs.