By Kristian Cuaresma
The NBA 2K League’s Season Five “Subway Series” will officially get underway tonight when NetsGC and Knicks Gaming meet in the Game of the Week at 10 p.m. ET.
Even with the league implementing a tournament group draft, the basketball gods found a way to bring these two teams together in the same group, ensuring an early season matchup. Last year, NetsGC and Knicks Gaming split its season series 2-2 en route to respective playoff berths.
Despite the much-deserved excitement around the contest, both NetsGC and Knicks Gaming have clinched their place in Group D. NetsGC is locked into the number one seed and will take on Heat Check Gaming in bracket play next week. Meanwhile, Knicks Gaming can’t be knocked off the third seed and will play Wizards DG. As a result, these two organizations will instead be fighting for another point to add to their totals, which will later decide who qualifies for the end-of-season playoffs.
Knicks Gaming Expected Lineup
SF: Whats Stick
Players to Watch
Duck – 13.5 points, 8.7 assists, 2.7 turnovers, 43% FG, 33% 3P
The reigning NBA 2K League Most Improved Player of the Year has struggled to find his rhythm through group play of THE TIPOFF. Duck played an integral role in Knicks Gaming’s memorable Season Four run which ultimately ended in a postseason appearance. Unfortunately for Duck, he has struggled with dramatic swings in consistency this year. During Knicks Gaming’s four-game stretch, Duck has finished with point totals of 11, 7, 31, and 5. In the team’s last game against Raptors Uprising GC, he was held to zero points by halftime.
OriginalMalik – 22.7 points, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 54% FG, 40% 3P
One reason Knicks Gaming has managed to stick around the .500 mark is the reliable scoring output they’ve been getting from veteran sharpshooter OriginalMalik. The two-guard isn’t afraid to let it fly from deep, averaging 10 three-point attempts per game. Based on volume alone, OriginalMalik will certainly be a focal point of the NetsGC defense. His scoring prowess keeps Knicks Gaming within striking distance even when his backcourt partner is struggling.
Bridge to Victory
The aforementioned duo of Duck and OriginalMalik is at the top of NetsGC’s scouting report. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Duck suddenly found his offense, especially considering tonight’s contest is both the next chapter in the Battle of New York and the league’s Game of the Week. Fortunately for NetsGC, they only need to contain one of the guards to prevent a track meet type of game that the team has yet to participate in this season.
While New York is 2-2, three of its four games have been decided by two possessions or less. It’s easy to point to the trio of Whats Stick, Kerry, and Glo as the reason for that, particularly their admirable effort on defense. The three players have combined for 23 steals and has been statistically comparable to the NetsGC’s stifling group of Streetz, Steez, and Shotz. How both of these teams navigate the other’s defense in what many anticipate to be a gritty contest is one of the underlying storylines to look out for.