THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T - 2024 Preview - NBA 2K League

THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T – 2024 Preview

*activates Bruce Buffer voice* IT’S TIIIIIIIIIIME. 5v5 is upon us and excitement is at an all-time high. We’ve got 25 teams and 25 players to cover, so let’s cut the intro short and jump right into our team-by-team preview!

76ers GC

Possible Lineup: Dre, Jyden, Gradient, DT, DJ

Another year, another great roster for 76ers GC. The new additions of Dre and Jyden are all about making this team a little bit more dynamic off the ball. 630 and Underrated Goat had very good seasons last year with Philly, but this is as much of a stylistic change as a personnel one. Offensively, I expect DJ to have the ball in his hands to play make a ton, he’s set to have a monster year with this team. They’ll play off of him out of the pick and roll and of course, Dre and Jyden will use their usual skills to create open looks. Defensively, Gradient and DT will take charge. Big challenge for Jyden to keep up with them, but after going through the Monty boot camp last year, he feels ready to go. Excellent roster, excellent coach, I expect this team to compete for every banner and be a top 3-4 team in the East.

Blazer5 Gaming

Possible Lineup: Claude, Faiz, YouBots, KayAus, May

*Stares Menacingly* This Blazer5 roster was very close to being very interesting and fun, but they instead decided to not draft a proper lockdown, so now we’re left with a very strange cavalcade of players without set roles on a team that is desperate for them. Don’t get me wrong, this team will win some games this year just off the fact that they will be able to score pretty well. But, expecting this team to be competitive defensively in the gauntlet that is our 2024 Western Conference is a bit ridiculous. Without a trade or a serious move on the defensive end, it’s going to be a real challenge for their defense to control games. I trust Coach Joe Vegas to get these guys into playing quality, but he just doesn’t have the options.

Bucks Gaming

Possible Lineup: CP, JohhnyRed, dawsix, Retro, Dimez

Damn. Rosters like this are what makes the NBA 2K League what it is. Elite players with elite coaching playing for millions of dollars, it doesn’t get much better than this. Expectations wise, they should be as high as any team in the league with a team like this. I see a roster with very few holes and even fewer teams that can stack up against them talent wise. My one worry with this team lies with CP and Retro. How will they handle the high leverage games and moments? Are they ready for a title run-in where they have to play the other top 5 teams in the West? The margins will be so small for this team, but if the ball bounces the right way, winning their 2nd title in 3 years is on the table.

Cavs Legion GC

Possible Lineups: ANTOINE, Killeyy, TBShiftay, DjayTooCold, Slaughter

For this team, I think it’s best if we leave their 3v3 season in the past. The shooting was weird, but the defense showed great signs so maybe it really was just a weird shooting season for their main 3. Offensively, this team should be pretty good. They have quality players at every position and I like Antoine having a more ball dominant SG. I think he’s an excellent off-ball attacker, so we’ll be able to see him in more catch and shoot chances this season. Defensively, I think this team could be at the very top. They don’t have a true weak point anywhere, but don’t get me wrong, this will be Killeyy’s biggest challenge. He’s the key to this team, really on both ends. If he has a career year, so will this team. 

CLTX Gaming

Possible Lineups: Leche, 630, TayZo, Chrizzy, Colt

This is about as good of a roster as CLTX has had in 5v5 in a really long time. Leche/630 might be their best backcourt on paper in team history and their defense is primed for another excellent season. I think anything less than playoffs should be considered a disappointment for this team. They went out and got 630 to level up their expectations and the more I think about this team, the more intrigued I get. The only real pitfall will be Leche. Is he ready for primetime? Is he ready to step into the spotlight and be one of the premier players in the league? It’s a lot of pressure, we’ll see if he can handle it.

Dux Gaming

Possible Lineups: Ryan1of1, Gazulli, Waarnocks, Anias, BigReign

I’m happy I waited to write this until after the trade deadline because I think BigReign changes a lot for this team. This group was missing a bailout option. Ryan and Gazulli are good players, but I think when the pressure is on, they can shrink a bit. One thing that gives guards real confidence is knowing they can make a mistake but still have a quality big down low to rely on. He is to the guards, what Anias is to Warnocks. He’s the cover. I don’t know if this team can make the playoffs, the West is a ridiculous, outrageous gauntlet of epic proportions, but they’ll be scrappy just like they were in 3s. Also, very excited to watch Warnocks, but it’s going to take time for him to get going. That’s just the nature of 5s.-

GEN.G Tigers
Possible Lineups:  gallow, ReeseDaGod, LawRich, Jolo, Boot

If the entire Eastern Conference didn’t have insane roster after insane roster, I would be thrilled with this team. But since everyone looks good on paper this year, it’s the very fine margins that will end up adding up over time. My worry lies in this team defensively. I think they will score like crazy, maybe top 2-3 in the East in that metric, but I’m worried how this team relies on 2 rookies down low. It’s crazy cause I’m high on both Jolo and Boot, however the margins are so small and both of them are going to have to have really excellent rookie seasons for this team to keep up with the rest of the East. I think they can, but if one slips, it could mean everything.

Grizz Gaming
Possible Lineups: Vandi, Rigby, Icy, OhDonn, Spartan

I don’t have a ton to say about this group, but it’s a fun, competitive team that should be enjoyable to watch. My expectations are a bit limited since they don’t have a ton of elite, blue chip players. They’ll be decent on both sides of the ball, but without a trade or a crazy, career year from Vandi, this team will likely struggle against the very top level.

Hawks Talon GC
Possible Lineups: Duck, MDS, UnderratedGoat, BestBait, Glo

This team is a big mystery for me because I can’t decide if this team is going to be crazy chaotic or super boring. Usually, that means they are going to be right in the middle which is about where I think this team will sit record wise. They will be decent defensively, I like the Goat/Glo combo a lot. Offensively, Duck will be Duck and they’ll need a really big year from MDS to take the big leap. It’s a lot to ask from everyone on this team, but for this franchise, not being terrible is a great accomplishment. This season should be a good reset for them.

Heat Check Gaming

Possible Lineups: Tay, Ky, Matty, DTrick, Sawc

Finally, the prodigal son embraces his destiny. Ky is moving to SG and with it, a new contender in the East has formed. You just can’t win games in the league without an extremely good SG, it’s just not possible anymore. Ky takes the helm and opens up a ton of possibilities for this team. When we talk about the East being insanely deep, teams like this is why we say that. Talent on both ends, multiple blue chip players, I’m excited for this team to compete against the best of the best. Their season will be defined by how they perform in the biggest spots.

Hornet Venom
Possible Lineups: Mooch, TreyDollaz, FlukeLock, BigSaint,Crown

For some teams, I throw out their 3v3 results and try to just look forward to the new mode. Sometimes, I go the other way and I wonder if it’s a sign of things to come. I expected CHarlotte to have some scoring issues in 3s, but I did not expect them to be so bad defensively. They had 3 good defensive players out there and still just couldn’t get consistent stops. Is that going to be the case in 5s? It would be a shock, but if they can get the defense under control, this team will be pretty good. Mooch/Trey as a backcourt might lead to some offensive speedbumps, but I think watching this team play off Crown as a playmaker will be really fun. The Hornets will definitely be a league pass team for me this season.

Jazz Gaming
Possible Lineups: Feen, 6Mello, Kaze, Miami, Ria

The addition of x6mello changes a lot for this group. I was very worried about them offensively, but 6 will give them another great outlet. The key for this team is going to be stops and transition buckets. I think they will struggle in the halfcourt on offense, so getting out on the break and winning on the run should be their strategy. It’s a solid team and with an MVP season from Ria, they could be a clear playoff team.

Kings Guard
Possible Lineups:, FatLove, Score, Bray, Kerry, Kik

When a team has this many 1st or 2nd year players, I try not to put any expectations on them. You got Kerry in there, but I’m pretty sure he has as many 2KL years as the rest of his team has combined. For me, I just want to see something comprehensive. Show me a true play style, show me that you’re using these young players skills in a way that creates good basketball. This team is basically starting from complete scratch, so I’ll take just good basketball over expecting them to stack up wins.

Knicks Gaming
Possible Lineups: Radiant, OriginalMalik, WhatsStick, Feast, Sick One

Now we’re getting somewhere. One of the only teams that I have true title expectations for this season, Knicks Gaming boast the best roster on paper maybe in team history. Stick, Feast, and Sick should combine to be one of the best, if not the best defensive groups in the league. Their sticking point will be their defense, since on the other side of the ball they are going to be very dependent on Malik to score. Radiant and Stick will be nice supplementary players, but Malik will be carrying the bag. He’s been top 5-10 in scoring nearly every year of his career, so we’ll see if he can keep up that pace again this year.

Lakers Gaming
Possible Lineups: Dynasty, ShiftyKaii, Krazy, GreenTooNice, YooVC

Our 3v3 champions have a much bigger challenge ahead of them in 5v5. Mostly, they have to support a rookie PG. Dynasty is a nice player, don’t get me wrong, but he really is the difference between them being a title contender vs. just being good. It’s unfair, it’s just the way the league works. I also wonder what this team’s lineup is going to be? Where will Krazy and YooVC play? Will we get musical chairs if the first try doesn’t work? I got a close eye on this team, they could be a major flex team for the West.

Magic Gaming

Possible Lineups: unguardable, ReturnofDJ, Snubby, Jboolin, LowkeyGodlike

I’m going to be a bit unfair here just as a warning. I think this roster on paper is going to be good, but I’m not really going to make an opinion on this team until I see them play. This should really apply to all teams but…I’ve gotten excited about great Magic rosters before only for them to flame out, so you’ll get more flushed out thoughts at the end of week 1.

Mavs Gaming
Possible Lineups: Kapp, Fanta, Jarsity, Shotz, Dayfri

It is I, the worrying man. I think most people will look at this team and go, wow, what a great roster! Sadly, I am not most people, I’m a weirdo. I look at this team and I go…damn…will this team shoot enough 3s? I really don’t know what to make of this group after watching 3s. They have so much talent, but kind of in the wrong places? If this was 2020 or 2021, they might be the best team in the West, but in 2024 2K terms, it’s a bit…strange? Usually when I have a feeling like this, teams just end up being okay. I’ll never rule out Dayfri just going full GOAT, but I’ll happily be wrong if that happens.

NBL Oz Gaming

Possible Lineups: Ceez, HarryVZN, Bagmotion, Plu, Milo

I’m split on this team. On one hand, I think this team has a very fun roster that I’m excited to watch play. On the other hand, I’m worried they don’t have a true go to option offensively. Ceez is a good guard and Harry had a solid rookie season, but can either of them truly elevate this team back into the thick of things? Can Milo buck recent trends and be a consistent force down low? Will Bag and Plu shoot well enough to supplement this team offensively? They have a lot of questions to answer this year, not to mention doing it all in the insane Eastern Conference.

Nets GC

Possible Lineups: Greens, Reizey, Streetz, Steez, OneWildWalnut

This season is all about Greens. He answers just about every question this team could ask. Whether it’s about Reizey and Walnut effectiveness or Streetz and Steez defensive upside. So much of it will come from what Greens is able to do as the best player on the team. The other guys will fall in line behind him if the head of the snake is attacking with purpose. The only questionI have that greens can solve is this: “Do they have enough high level shooters to get over the top?” That answer will define how much money they end up making. Greens can’t make 3s for the other guys on the team.

Pacers Gaming

Possible Lineups: Cooks, Chess, SubGoated, JaySnags, Oreo

Just my personal opinion, I liked their original roster more. I’d rather have Range/Reign than Sub/Oreo, so we’re now in an interesting pickle where I’m not totally sure what to make of this team. It’s a decent roster, but they are putting a ton of pressure on JaySnags to be otherworldly on both ends. He’s a very good player, but if he’s not perfect on both ends almost every game, this team will struggle. If they succeed, he’s likely going to be a serious candidate for DPOY. Also, tons of pressure on Cooks. He’s “the guy” on this team, so inevitably, they will go as he goes.

Pistons GT

Possible Lineups: ANT, Bsmoove, Jomar, Connor, Monah

Hello, it’s me again, the guy who is going to use 3v3 performance to inform his 5v5 predictions. I did not like how Jomar and Connor were looking defensively, it was a weird, unforeseen issue that   ended up tanking their 3v3 season. Along with that, Ant seemed pretty drained all year and didn’;t have that same FIRE he usually has. What will this season be like? Will it be the MVP Ant we saw last year or will it be more of the same slowness we saw in 3s?

Raptors GC

Possible Lineups: antoinelove, Simptoms, Haam, Crush, BallLikeSeem

This team is just kind of funky. Antoinelove is extremely good and if he’s as good as last year, they are likely a playoff team. But…i don’t know, something about this roster just doesn’t really work or make sense to me. They have a good front court, but it’s built on a lock who hasn’t shown a ton of elite upside and two guys who are technically playing out of position? We’ve seen both have success at their spots, but I’m just not sure how far a Haam/Crush/Seem front court can take you. Good news is, we’re about to find out.

T-Wolves Gaming

Possible Lineups: BearDaBeast, Tutak, Range, Igymo, ForeverPolo

This team will be defined by one thing: stops. Can this team get enough stops to hang with the big boys? Because, they will score. Oh my, will this team score points. I think they will be top 3 in scoring league wide this season. If the defense keeps up, it could be a very exciting and fresh season for a T-Wolves team that invested heavily in the future this offseason. I could see this team squeak out a top 5 finish in the West. That Tutak/Bear back court is going to be a tier-1 watch this year.

Warriors Gaming Squad

Possible Lineups: CB13, Mama Im Dat Man, Kenny Got Work, Seese, Nay

Our defending champs only look more imposing after going through all the roster. A perfect storm of offensive flexibility and defensive sturdiness. A team with a high floor and an even higher ceiling. A reigning champ looking to make it two in a row. I don’t see many, if any, threats to this team being the best in the league from the very jump. Anything short of a Finals appearance would be a disappointment for them and us. Let’s see if they can step up to the challenge and become the first team to win back to back with the same 5 players.

Wizards DG

Possible Lineups: Benzo, BRich, Just Awkward, Newdini, Type

It’s the Benzo show! Come one, come all and see the magic man create points out of thin air. In all seriousness though, this team will really be dictated by the #1 picks offense. This team feels a lot like Nets GC in the way that he will likely answer their most important questions, but a lot is going to fall on the other guys to hit big time shots and knock down their 3s. Luckily for DC, they have the ultimate secret weapon in Brich, who is about as good of a 3-and-D sharp as we have in the league. I like this team, I think they will make things really tough in the East this season.

That does it for me! I’ll have a full season predictions article this weekend once the first week of games are wrapped. See you then!