By Kristian Cuaresma
An outside chance of stealing one of the final playoff spots remains, but it is more likely that Nets Gaming Crew plays in THE TICKET. The NBA 2K League’s play-in tournament is a difficult obstacle to overcome, but as one of the top teams currently on the outside of the playoffs, NetsGC has a realistic chance at winning the event. The sixth seed normally rewards a team with an advantage in THE TICKET, and that is what NetsGC will play for tonight.
A victory will not come easy with Brooklyn taking on Minnesota for the first time this year. T-Wolves Gaming has put together an amazing season with winning THE TIPOFF and going through a stretch in which they won 15 consecutive games. They were three wins away from securing a championship in THE TURN but were eliminated after a 1-point loss to the reigning 5v5 champions Wizards DG.
T-Wolves Gaming Expected Lineup
Players to Watch
Shiftykaii – 22.7 points, 6.2 assists, 2.2 steals, 58% field-goal, 53% three-point
After being drafted No. 5 overall by the Gen.G Tigers and finishing with a 6-10 regular season record, Shiftykaii failed to meet expectations and was traded to T-Wolves Gaming. Instead of letting the early setback define him, the shooting guard reinvented his game and is now considered one of the best players in the world. In his second season, he earned a spot on the All-First Team and All-Defensive Team and was named the first-ever NBA 2K League All-Star MVP. In Season Five, Shiftykaii has continued to build on his success and is a legitimate league MVP candidate.
DjayTooCold – 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.0 blocks, 63% three-point
Unlike his teammate Shiftykaii, DjayTooCold was not a lottery pick in the NBA 2K League draft. However, he is a great example of how a contending team reloads the back end of their roster with picks later in the draft. Selected with the 42nd pick, DjayTooCold has seamlessly meshed with the championship culture in Minnesota. The power forward started the year slowly, averaging 7.5 points while shooting 50 percent from deep in his first eight games. Since his matchup against Lakers Gaming in the semifinals of THE TIPOFF, DjayTooCold has improved to 13.5 points on 68 percent from the perimeter.
While it is highly unlikely NetsGC will catch Knicks Gaming for the fifth seed,their hope of skipping THE TICKET still exists with a victory over T-Wolves Gaming and a Knicks Gaming loss to Blazer5 Gaming. NetsGC may not have influence over what Knicks Gaming does tonight, but they are fully capable of pulling off an upset over T-Wolves Gaming. A win would also help restore the team’s confidence headed into the home stretch of the season.
T-Wolves Gaming is having one of the most dominant regular season campaigns in the history of the NBA 2K League. They have lost only twice in group play and were three wins away from claiming both 5v5 banners. Minnesota is currently the early favorite to win this year’s championship.