By Kristian Cuaresma
While there are variables in play next week, tonight’s matchup will likely decide whether NetsGC can avoid THE STEAL tournament. Trailing Knicks Gaming by one point and with only three games remaining on the schedule, NetsGC is in a must-win situation. A victory tonight would enforce a tie-breaker scenario of best overall game win percentage and keep Brooklyn in the playoff hunt. A loss would likely mean that NetsGC will have to run the table in the 3v3 play-in tournament.
Like NetsGC, Knicks Gaming will attempt to recover from a heart-breaking loss. They fell to Hawks Talon GC 3-1 in a series that had three games decided by one possession. Despite the constant roster shuffling, New York has improved in 3v3 since the beginning of the season. They are 21-16 after starting the year 13-16.
Guard: Whats Stick
Players to Watch
Radiant – 9.8 points, 3.3 assists, 0.8 turnovers, 81% field-goal, 67% three-point
After being selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the inaugural draft, Radiant will always be an important figure in NBA 2K League’s history. In his early years, he played for 76ers GC and was a prime example of a do-it-all offensive superstar. Despite being on his second team in the last two years, Radiant remains as prolific as ever on the offensive end. While he was brought in to improve Knicks Gaming’s odds of winning a 5v5 championship, it appears that he will also change how the team plays 3v3. Teammate shooting guard OriginalMalik had played in 51 3v3 games prior to Radiant’s arrival but has since moved to the bench in 3v3 Seed Weeks. Radiant averaged 5.3 points in his first three games but has improved to 12.4 points in the last five 3v3 contests.
Whats Stick – 6.1 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 77% field-goal, 58% three-point
The rookie lockdown did not begin the season as a staple of Knicks Gaming’s 3v3 roster. Along with Glo, Kerry and prior teammates, Whats Stick was part of the team’s 3v3 carousel as New York searched for something that worked. While the recent trade for Radiant has changed the lineup again, Whats Stick has locked up one of three roster spots since THE SWITCH. In New York’s first game of 3v3 Seed Weeks, the rookie dropped a 3v3 career-high 19 points on perfect shooting. Knicks Gaming will always have a chance to win on any given night due to Whats Stick defensive ability. However, if the rookie can also have the occasional big-scoring game, then Knicks Gaming become a legitimate championship contender.