There are only four weeks left in the season, and that means NetsGC (5-5) has just six games left to book a playoff berth. It’s right into the thick of things in week nine, where the team takes on Heat Check Gaming (4-7) and Bucks Gaming (6-5) in a Friday night doubleheader.
Heat Check Gaming is coming off an impressive run at THE TICKET Tournament. Originally seeded No. 19, Heat Check defeated Bucks Gaming in the play-in round before upsetting top-seeded Blazer5 Gaming in the first round. The 2018 finalist overhauled its roster over the course of the 2019 in-season trade window, swapping out JMoney for Hood and making a late deal to acquire MOAM for Lotty. At 4-7, Heat Check needs a late run to make the playoffs, but a loss could be damaging to the Heat’s hopes for a second straight playoff spot.
NetsGC will have to contend with Heat Check’s perimeter shooting around 2018 MVP finalist Hotshot, who moved to the shot-creating post scorer at THE TICKET to great effect. Shuttles, who had a monster 17-point, 15-rebound double double in the loss to Pacers Gaming at THE TICKET, may be the one tasked with limiting Hotshot’s offensive production. Teams using the post scorer are more effective with a lead, according to league consensus, and so an early start will be crucial to NetsGC’s success.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for several members of NetsGC at 10 p.m. That’s when the squad goes up against Bucks Gaming (6-5), which is also in the tight playoff race. NetsGC players Joel “Lav” Lazu and Nate “NateKahl” Kahn are both Milwaukee natives who are no doubt relishing the opportunity for a big game against their hometown team. Bucks Gaming star Aaron “Arooks” Rookwood is, conversely, from New York.
Bucks Gaming has also deployed the post scorer build, with RSG and 2019 sixth overall pick Plondo running the build at times. But the scoring motor for the Bucks’ offense has been Arooks. The Mount Vernon native leads the team (and ranks among the league leaders) with 22.1 points per gam in the regular season. Lockdown NateKahl’s will most likely be tasked with stopping him in transition and the half court in the game’s most important player matchup.
Heat Check Gaming. Bucks Gaming. Two big games. Playoffs are coming.