By Kristian Cuaresma
The home stretch of the NBA 2K League’s Season Five campaign has arrived. Over the next two weeks, teams will jockey for positioning in their respective conferences to secure one of five guaranteed playoff spots. With only five games remaining, time is running out to avoid THE TICKET, the league’s annual end-of-season tournament that awards two teams with the sixth and final playoff spots.
Currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, NetsGC is two points back of both Heat Check Gaming and Knicks Gaming. The team’s tumultuous journey is best summed up by their performances in the two prior 5v5 tournaments. Securing four points in THE TIPOFF was a promising start to the season, but it was negated by the team’s 1-4 finish in THE TURN. NetsGC is within striking distance of a final playoff spot, but the team needs to finish with at least three wins and assistance from some of their conference rivals to have a chance.
The first opponent is the Gen G Tigers, who currently are third in the Eastern Conference standings. Gen G has lost once in 5v5 group play and only four times this season. Three of their defeats have been to 76ers GC, the Eastern Conference leaders and THE TURN champions.
Gen G Tigers Lineup
OTTR – 23.7 points, 8.5 assists, 2.4 turnovers, 52% field-goal, 43% three-point
The number one overall pick in the NBA 2K League 2022 draft has lived up to expectations. When Gen G Tigers General Manager and Head Coach Len traded up in the draft to secure the first pick, this is what he envisioned the rookie point guard would bring. OTTR is one of the most unorthodox point guards in the league and one of the trickier players to gameplan for. He brings a unique blend of three-level scoring and playmaking that results in an entertaining brand of esport basketball.
FEAST – 8.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 80% field-goal
The Gen G Tigers have developed a reputation for making a splash in the offseason. Two years ago, they acquired FEAST in a blockbuster trade with T-Wolves Gaming. While Gen G lost ShiftyKaii in the deal, who later blossomed into a superstar in Minnesota, they did add a foundational piece at center. FEAST is the perfect addition to the Tigers’ high volume guards and an anchor for the team’s young roster.
If NetsGC has a successful run over the final five games, the next two weeks will consist of scoreboard watching and analyzing tie-breakers. Brooklyn has a real chance to avoid THE TICKET but will require wins against quality opponents. Should NetsGC continue their up-and-down season, they will require significant help from other teams to gain ground. Not only do they need to catch New York or Miami, they also must fend off Toronto, Memphis, and Boston.
Tonight also marks Jyden’s 5v5 debut for NetsGC. Acquired in a trade with Cavs Legion GC, Jyden was brought in to score for a team that has suffered from significant offensive lapses. The rookie shooting guard had a spectacular showing in the recent 3v3 tournament and led Brooklyn to an elite eight finish. This will be the first time Jyden has played alongside King Haad since their pre-draft run.