By Kristian Cuaresma
Here are three things to highlight from NetsGC’s 3-1 victory over Dot Squad.
Game 1: NetsGC wins 22-20
Game 2: Dot Squad wins 21-18
Game 3: NetsGC wins 23-12
Game 4: NetsGC wins 23-19
1 – A Balanced Approach
During NetsGC’s 3v3 opener against Celtics Crossover Gaming, the team failed to limit their opponent to under 18 points. As fast paced and offensive oriented as 3v3 is designed to be, the elite teams are still able to lock up their opponents on either a few possessions throughout the game or in pivotal moments down the stretch. The number 18 is also relevant because it means a team is within one possession of winning the game. In last night’s matchup against Dot Squad, NetsGC secured a three-game victory due to their defensive pressure, holding the community team to a lowly 12 points.
On the other side of the ball, NetsGC’s offense was humming, putting constant pressure on Dot Squad’s defense. Bouncing back from a difficult night against Boston’s point guard FT, Doc had a steady night against Dot Squad’s lock AdotTooCold. Excluding a game two loss in which he finished 1-of-7 from the field, Doc averaged 11.3 points and 4.3 assists on 71 percent shooting.
2 – Giving It A Shot
Not many teams can bring an All-Star off the bench, but NetsGC leaned on that luxury last night, slotting Shotz into the lineup to play power forward. In his 3v3 debut, he averaged 2.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, on 50 percent shooting. While his stats pale in comparison to his 5v5 statline, fans of 3v3 understand the value of a reliable big that can contribute across the board.
Having both Shotz and Steez’s combined 10-year experience as options at the big man position is fascinating, due the fact that they provide a rare combination of unrivaled leadership to go with elite defensive IQ out of the corner and in the pick and roll. It is also a treat to watch Shotz take a few three-point attempts.
3 – This Was A Must Win
After six games over a two-week period, the top two teams in each group will advance to bracket play in Indianapolis. With NetsGC dropping its opener, this was a must-win, especially with one of Celtics Crossover Gaming and Wizards DG guaranteed to lose last night. While the magic number to clinch a playoff spot will certainly be four wins, NetsGC could also sneak in with three wins depending on tie breakers. Last night’s victory also sets the table for an exciting matchup against Washington.
As mentioned in the preview for last night’s best-of-five series, a win would also boost the morale of the locker room. Having dropped their last three matchups in devastating fashion, it was imperative for NetsGC to stop the bleeding. Though NBA 2K League campaigns are normally a grind, this year’s hybrid 5v5 and 3v3 schedule is more of a sprint than a marathon, further emphasizing the importance of finding a rhythm quickly.