By Kristian Cuaresma
There will be some deja vu in the air tonight.
Not only did Magic Gaming usher in the start of the NBA 2K League’s regular season for NetsGC, but the team will now also serve as NetsGC’s first opponent in THE TURN Powered by AT&T. This follows Magic Gaming’s defeat of Lakers Gaming 2-1 in last night’s play-in round.
Back in May, Brooklyn and Orlando split their two-game set by scores of 67-58 and 73-78. NetsGC has gone through several changes and realizations since that night, having experimented with various lineups and schemes. In a tournament that features archetype bans, the fluidity of Brooklyn’s roster may give the team the edge it needs.
Magic Gaming Expected Lineup
Players to Watch
Regular Season: 14.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, 83% FG
THE TURN: 17.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 3.3 blocks
That aforementioned familiar feeling was already manifesting itself last night when May grabbed an offensive rebound that led to a critical three in each of Magic Gaming’s wins over Lakers Gaming. The same exact sequence played out in Orlando’s five-point win against Brooklyn earlier in the season.
May has been an absolute force for Magic Gaming, especially in its recent stretch of success. The team has won six of its last eight games, including a 15-point win over the reigning champions in Washington. Matched up against this year’s No. 1 overall pick, Krazy, May put on a show on both sides of the court in THE TURN’s play-in round. Lakers Gaming was surprisingly competitive in all three contests, but it was May’s stellar defensive play that put an end to the potential Cinderella run.
Regular Season: 7.1 points, 0.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 60% FG, 53% 3P
THE TURN: 6.0 points, 0.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 100% FG, 100% 3P
While the spotlight is normally on the backcourt of Reizey and Snubby, the outcome of tonight’s game could hinge on the performance of rookie lock, FutureClutch. Not only will he be responsible for slowing down Choc, but his efficiency on the offensive side has proven to be the x-factor before.
In NetsGC’s game one win over Magic Gaming earlier this season, FutureClutch didn’t score a single point. He would later bounce back in Orlando’s game two win with 17 points on 70% shooting. Last night against Los Angeles, the rookie shot perfect from the field. It is not a coincidence that his team won both games he played in.
Bridge to Victory?
Keep an eye on the fast break points tonight. While Magic Gaming developed an early reputation for playing a slow and methodical pace, the team is fully capable of switching gears. This was a key adjustment Orlando made in its rematch win against Brooklyn. Meanwhile, NetsGC recently unlocked another level to its offense by putting Choc up top on defense, providing him with a generous head start to get out in transition.