Another season of the NBA 2K League is in the books with Wizards District Gaming taking home the title over Warriors Gaming Squad! There is so much to discuss about this offseason, but with the Finals still fresh on the mind, we can’t leave it behind just yet. We’ll do team-by-team recaps deeper into the offseason as we get closer to retention, but with how good of a Finals we had, we’ll just focus on that for now.
1. For the 3rd straight season, the hottest team won the title: In most sports, it’s all about getting hot at the right time. It seems that has officially carried over to the NBA 2K League. This isn’t to suggest that we haven’t produced worthy champions — our 3 champs were all extremely deserving — but all got hot at the right time vs. some other dominant teams that had success at different points in the season. For Wizards DG, they were a great regular season team, but had some issues during THE TIPOFF before catching some serious fire during THE TURN and following that flame into two straight sweeps in the playoffs and a 3-1 series win in the title. They finished the season with the best defensive rating in the league and the lowest PPG allowed of Season 3. A defensive powerhouse that rode their No. 1 pick and star center all the way to the top. Great champion.
2. A Finals MVP for the ages: You could write an entire article on Dayfri, but for now, what an incredible run by the predominant big man in the league. MVP candidate, All-1st Team, Finals MVP, and a championship ring all in one season. No Center has had a more decorated season, though Season 1 Walnut has an argument. For Dayfri, it’s the culmination of three character-building years in the league including a trade, two missed playoff seasons, and three completely different rosters where he had to wildly adjust his playing style every time. We can argue until we are blue in the face about who the best big man in the league is, but only one in league history has a Finals MVP.
3. JBM was the correct No. 1 pick: Drafting players in any sport under any context is hard. You can understand everything there is to know about a sport and the prospects you are scouting and still get a ton of picks wrong. One pick that wasn’t incorrect, however, was JBM being taken No. 1 overall. He ended fitting into this team exactly as advertised. The primary facilitator and playmaker for a team with a ton of weapons that could step up and score in big games when needed. His season got off to a bit of a rocky start and hit a low point during THE TIPOFF, but his hot streak could not be ignored, culminating in a brilliant 46-point performance in Game 4 of the Finals, shooting 21/28 from the field. The right player for the right team and like T-Wolves Gaming last season, it won them a title.
4. Stars are great, but quality wings win titles: The community talks about how important it is to have stars on your team in order to win and I agree with that point, with a caveat. For stars to be used correctly, you need good wings. The 2-3-4 is just as important as the 1 and the 5 even with the league’s addiction to the pick-and-roll and that was on display in the title. Gradient, Bsmoove, and Jin are extremely good, but Just_Awkward, ReeseDaGod, and Newdini were just better in this series. Their ability to move the ball and hit open 3s was huge for a Wizards offense that stagnated from time to time. Their work on the defensive end was a thing of beauty too, especially from Newdini. His rotating off corners to play help defense with Dayfri or come down with a few timely offensive rebounds swung some pivotal quarters for the District and ultimately led them to winning the title. Keeping all three may prove to be very difficult, but Wizards DG certainly got the most out of that trio.
5. What’s next for Warriors Gaming Squad?: So close. This team truly believed they were the best team in the league the past two seasons and as the only team to reach the semifinals in back-to-back years, they certainly have an argument. But, after falling short two straight seasons, what more can they do? They’ve won multiple tournaments, they’ve made clutch trades and even better draft picks, and yet they’ve come up just short of the ultimate goal. It’s going to be a fascinating offseason for this squad that has a ton of huge decisions to make. Which players do they retain? Do they make any marquee trades? All options are on the table for a team that got a taste of the title, but had it slip out of their fingers.