|Warriors Gaming Squad||14||8||23||17||62|
Warriors Gaming Squad rally from big 1st quarter deficit against Jazz Gaming to pick up their first win of THE TIPOFF, 62-56.
If you only watched the first three minutes, it certainly looked like Jazz Gaming would claim a commanding victory as Yeah I Compete and company raced out to an 11-0 lead to start. Whether it was miscommunication or simply troubling execution, Warriors Gaming Squad turned the ball over at least three times throughout their first couple possessions, routinely letting Compete or TifeWorld blow through for easy baskets.
Those issues would slowly be erased by Warriors Gaming Squad’s red-hot power forward, Vert, who would singlehandedly keep Golden State in the contest. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that without Vert, the Warriors may very well be staring at a 0-2 start to the THE TIPOFF, as the versatile big man has averaged 29 points through the first two games, including a 28-point bomb against the Jazz. A 5-for-5 first quarter by the aforementioned power forward helped Warriors Gaming Squad withstand the early onslaught, trailing in the first quarter only 17-14.
The 51st pick in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft was a vital member of the team’s defense as well, as the communication issues that were evident in the first half dissipated thanks to a strong back court defense. While first-round pick Shawn_Win had another surprisingly limited game, it was evident Warriors Gaming Squad were intent playing inside out, using a variety of pick and rolls to get the ball down low to Vert who had no trouble converting with near machine-like efficiency. It was a stark strategical contrast from their opponent, Jazz Gaming, who maintained a five-point lead heading into the second half without a single member scoring over 10 points.
A 9-2 run to start the third quarter gave Warriors Gaming Squad their first lead of the contest – a rally that was led in large part by Shawn_Win who would open the quarter with five points. While he wouldn’t score a single point following the flurry, his sharpshooter archetype was a major focus of the Warriors defense, allowing Vert and Type to clean up on the glass and convert second-chance opportunities. Both teams seemed to adjust to each other’s low-post offenses, as a handful of three pointers from both sides in the third quarter had the Warriors leading 45-41 heading into the final frame.
While Vert’s performance slowed down in the fourth quarter, it only opened the door for Type and Bsmoove to hit transition shots or convert near the basket. When it wasn’t Vert contributing free-throw lane jumpers, it was Type rattling the rim for dunks, or even stretching the defense for backbreaking threes. The center would finish with a double-double, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with 11 rebounds to boot. A final three pointer from Bsmoove, who capitalized after the defense collapsed on a driving Shawn_Win, would be all Warriors Gaming Squad would need to earn their first win of Pool B.