By Kristian Cuaresma
Here are three things to highlight from NetsGC’s 3-1 victory over Green Beanz.
Game 1: Green Beanz wins 22-12
Game 2: NetsGC wins 22-17
Game 3: NetsGC wins 21-18
Game 4: NetsGC wins 22-16
1 – A Veteran Presence is Key
As NetsGC begins to regress to the mean and their bracket hopes being threatened for a second night in a row, it was the veteran who put the team on his back. Steez seized the moment in game two after NetsGC dropped the opening game of the series 22-12. With his rookie guard struggling early, Steez took on a larger offensive role and would go on to finish with 31 total points over the series. In the night before, Steez had not scored a single point and it resulted in NetsGC’s first defeat of the tournament.
Remarkably, Steez also did not miss a shot last night, finishing a perfect 14-for-14 from the field. With Green Beanz opting to take away Jyden’s go-to moves and Streetz struggling to knock down shots, Steez’s best 3v3 performance of the season came at the perfect moment. His series average of 7.8 points was a significant jump over his season average of 2.9 points. As expected, he also contributed five steals and two blocks.
2 – This Team Needed This
While it technically was not a must-win, it was a need-to-win type of game. After going 3-0 to begin the tournament, NetsGC entered this week understanding they needed one win in three attempts to clinch a spot in bracket play. They were unable able to get it done against Grizz Gaming two nights ago, and if they had not won last night against Green Beanz, they would have had to deal with an extremely talented team in Hawks Talon GC. Without any disrespect to Green Beanz, their resume is not as polished as the other two teams, meaning this game could not slip away, especially if NetsGC views itself as a legitemate 3v3 contender.
At the very least, last night’s victory kept doubt from creeping into the Barclays Center. Like in traditional team sports, confidence is a key ingredient to success, and back-to-back losses after an undefeated opening week would have devastated the team’s morale. If NetsGC believes it can hang with any opponent, they will continue to ascend the standings.
3 – Need A Spark to Light the Fire
Since winning the NBA 2K League’s Player of the Week award, Jyden has received extra attention from opposing defenses.
The result has been a mixed-bag, with the rookie still having moments of brilliance but this time it has been bookend by noticeable droughts. After being brought in to play shooting guard in 5v5, it has become clear that Jyden can put the ball in the basket. However, teams are now testing his ability to make reads, and it has occasionally resulted in Jyden second guessing himself. He closed out last night’s series looking more like the POTW, but the next step in his development will be figuring how to quickly adapt to defenses scheming to get the ball out of his hands.