The midpoint of the NBA 2K League regular season is upon us. Blazer5 Gaming have established themselves as the team to beat in the first half, currently sitting in first place with a two-game cushion.
There’s still plenty of intrigue left, including THE TICKET, the league’s third and final tournament, as well as the fight for the remaining playoff spots.
How it will all unfold is anyone’s guess. Here are the 10 biggest questions to consider during the season’s second half.
Can Blazer5 Gaming finish the regular season undefeated?
May 5th. That’s the last time Blazer5 lost a game. Since then they’ve rattled off seven straight regular-season wins. Oh, ya, they also steamrolled their way to THE TURN title in the process. Can they keep it up over their final eight games? Here’s a look at their remaining opponents:
Week 7: vs Celtics Crossover Gaming
Week 8: at Cavs Legion GC
Week 9: at Mavs Gaming
Week 10: at Kings Guard Gaming & at Jazz Gaming
Week 11: vs Wizards District Gaming
Week 12: at Pacers Gaming
As one can see, the schedule won’t make it easy on them. All but two of their games are against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Staying undefeated appears like a tall order. But, as we’ve learned so far, doubting Blazer5 isn’t the best idea.
Which teams are sitting pretty in the playoff hunt?
Outside of Blazer5, there is a trio of teams battling near the top of the standings. 76ers GC, Mavs Gaming and Jazz Gaming are sitting at 5-2 and tied for second place. All three have been among the most consistent to this point, and it would be a surprise in any of them tumbled out of the playoff race.
The next three spots are occupied by Cavs Legion, Pistons GT, Celtics Crossover. That brings us to the eighth and final playoff spot, of which there is currently a five-way tie, with Wizards District in front based on point differential. That’s assuming the last spot doesn’t get snatched up during THE TICKET by a team outside of the postseason picture, as the tournament winner will be awarded an automatic playoff berth.
Speaking of THE TICKET, do any teams outside the top 8 have a chance at winning it?
Based on the results of the season’s first two tournaments, it would be a surprise if a team in the lower portion of the standings makes a Cinderella run to the title. So far we’ve seen 76ers GC beat Blazer5 at THE TIPOFF followed by Blazer5 defeating Celtics Crossover at THE TURN. The trend says to expect one of the league’s top teams to capture the season’s final tournament. Which would be excellent news to those five teams tied for eighth in the standings at the moment.
Who might be the breakout players of the second half?
These guys have all starred at one point or another this season. We’ll see if any can take their play up another notch down the stretch to help propel their team to greater heights. Keep an eye on Newdini33 (76ers GC), Sick x 973 (Cavs Legion), Mel East (Celtics Crossover), Im So Far Ahead (Pistons GT) and Jin (Wizards District).
Will anyone surpass the league scoring record of 50 points?
It didn’t take long for the league’s scoring record to get established, and then subsequently broken. Cavs Legion’s Hood nearly hit the 50-point plateau in just his third game, finishing with 46 points. The mark only stood for three days before Dimez of Mavs Gaming went for 50 points.
A handful of players have since scored in the low 40s, including Bucks Gaming teammates oLARRY and KinG PeroXide, but no one has seriously threatened the record. It appears like it will stay that way, with teams having gotten more comfortable defensively since the opening tournament.
In a deep class of elite point guards, who will distinguish themselves as the best?
It’s no secret that the most important position in the league is point guard. A strong floor general sets the tone for a team’s success. It’s why four point guards (Mama Im Dat Man, Radiant, oFAB and Dimez) are among the five leaders in the Race to the MVP rankings.
So, who is the best? Take your pick. Each has been outstanding so far, while an argument can be made in favor of all four. It’s a tight race that only figures to get tighter. The edge might just go to the point guard who leads his team to a championship.
Will home-crowd advantage at the NBA 2K League Studio be a factor down the stretch?
The atmosphere at the league’s studio has only increased since the season’s start. We’ve naturally seen a large contingent of Knicks Gaming supporters from the onset. But lately teams such as Bucks Gaming and Pacers Gaming have enjoyed a home-crowd advantage in part to some passionate supporters. It’ll be interesting to see what teams can get a boost by filling the seats with their fans the rest of the way.
Who will win the scoring title?
We already discussed Hood’s scoring prowess, so it’s no surprise he’s leading the league right now averaging 30.0 points. He recently returned to the Cavs Legion starting lineup and is fresh off a 32-point outing. He might just be getting warmed up again. Plus, he is averaging over four more points per game than the next player, Boo Painter of Wizards District.
Who will be named Most Valuable Player?
It has been a three-horse race for much of the season. 76ers GC’s Radiant was the early leader before being supplanted at the top by Blazer5’s OneWildWalnut. His play hasn’t shown signs of slowing down but he might need to look in his rearview mirror at his teammate, Mama Im Dat Man, whose been the league’s hottest player of the past few weeks.
It’ll be a challenge for Mama or Radiant to unseat Walnut at this point. Also don’t count out oFAB and Dimez, the league’s top two draft picks who are each putting together impressive campaigns. It’s shaping up to be a fun battle.
Which team will be crowned champions at the NBA 2K League Finals?
Blazer5 have been the best team to date and will be hard to pick against. 76ers GC might have something to say about it. They handed Blazer5 their only loss and played them tough in a Week 5 rematch. Another showdown with a championship on the line would be must-see viewing.
As for a few other contenders. Celtics Crossover have shown they’re capable of a deep tournament run when things are clicking. Cavs Legion are back at full strength and possess the talent to make some noise. Mavs Gaming have a top point guard and strong coaching, a recipe for success in the postseason.