The NBA 2K League returned this week as remote gameplay tipped off Season 3 on Tuesday night. New faces debuted in new places, rookies got their first taste of professional gaming and two teams planted their flag on Season 3 with some very impressive performances. Looking to recap all the action? Let’s start at the top.
Each week, we’ll sort through the top storylines that emerged from the previous week of games. This can be team performances, standout players, new lineups, or really anything that made a huge impact on the week.
1. Is it time to panic for 76ers GC?
No. It’s hard to even entertain the possibility that this team, which had so much success the first two seasons, is going struggle all season long. In Week 1, they seemingly got caught off-guard by the incredible new-look Raptors Uprising GC and Radiant admitted himself that his play was not up to his standards as the team fell to 0-2. One potential explanation for the slow start could be at the top. Jeff Terrell is coming off the Coach of the Year award in Season 2, and a huge part of his impact comes from his in-game adjustments and control over this team. In year’s past, Terrell has always been on stage with them to keep them on task. Due to league rules, coaches can’t be in the same room as teams at this time, so that huge impact may be lessened. It’s new ground for 76ers GC, but with the amount of talent they have and the fact that we are only two games (needs to be reminded) into the season, the cause for long-term concern appears low.
Worst start in my career. Nothing more to say i have to be better, this is all on me and it’s embarrassing to me and my team. I have to be better.
— Ethan White (@iTz_Radiant) May 9, 2020
2. Fear The North.
Oh my. Raptors Uprising GC stole the show in Week 1 and made it very clear that this is not the same team from Season 2. The addition of Timelycook and ReeceMode along with the decision to put Kenny Got Work at PG full time paid off in a huge way. Let’s start on offense. Kenny Got Work has clearly been putting in just that, a whole lot of work. His decision making at the PG position and his ability to score from anywhere on the floor is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was last season. This should put his work into perspective. He’s attempted 125 shots so far this season. He has 13 TOTAL TURNOVERS in five games, next closest was 18 in 4 games, he dominated. On the other end, the defensive combo of Timelycook and Sick One is tremendous. After one week, it doesn’t look like Timely will skip a beat after missing last season. He’s still got it and he’s on a team that perfectly accents his strengths. The team up north is one to watch this season.
3. Dimez at Shooting Guard? Dimez at Shooting Guard!
It’s not easy to make decisions like this, so shoutout to LT for having the courage. Moving the 1st pick in NBA 2K League history and one of the faces of the league off his primary position to install a new offensive system is incredibly bold and carries a ton of risk. Replacing Dimez at PG is Sherm, their lock from last season who plays as lead guard in the offseason for his pro-am squad. Here are the results: 2-0 record, Sherm averaging 26-6 a game with a 82.3 TS%, Dimez leading all SGs with 7 APG, a point differential of 17.3 a game, and an offensive rating of 136. So far, so good.
4. Welcome to the League!
Two teams and many rookies made their NBA 2K League debuts and we can all agree that the league is better because of it. This rookie class has been excellent so far, the Point Guards especially. JBM, ShiftyKaii, Regg, SAV, Bash, BOHIO, Expose, and Snubby all got their first taste of action and all looked extremely capable. ShiftyKaii especially, dropping 57 points in only his fifth ever game is unheard of in this league. Speaking of ShiftyKaii, how about Gen.G! They took a very good Warriors Gaming Squad team to a decisive third game and had a fantastic match-up with a revamped Lakers Gaming team that was wildly entertaining. Gen is fantastic as a pure sharp and Killeyy playing Center proved quite effective. A fun team all around, Coach Len has them ready for primetime. On the other side, Hornets Venom GT is flat-out good. Snubby is a force and Type is trying to prove that WGS was wrong giving him up this offseason. After 4 games, he’s averaging 21-12-7! Both expansion teams are very capable and should be a pleasure to watch all season. Welcome to the show, everyone!
5. It’s only Week 1.
There are only so many takeaways we can have from just one week of games especially when we have so many teams who haven’t played a game yet! We can all agree it’s nice to have the league back, but let’s not trend into any overreactions quite yet.
Highlight of the Week
TFW you literally dunk OVER your defender. 😱
— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) May 9, 2020
It took BearDaBeast just three games to make a statement in Season 3, with one of the craziest dunks in NBA 2K League history. That slashing takeover badge is something else!
3 Games to Watch in Week 2
1. Blazer5 Gaming vs. Pacers Gaming (Tuesday, May 12 9 pm/et)
1-on-1: WoLF vs. OneWildWalnut
Blazer5 Gaming makes their Season 3 debut vs. Pacers Gaming as the Season 2 MVP Mama Im Dat Man gets his first crack at remote gameplay. He should be able to adjust to the new league meta just fine and continue playing as one of the top PGs in the league. Alongside him is Season 1 MVP OneWildWalnut who gets to match up with WoLF, playing Center for the first time in his NBA 2K League career. WoLF already went up against HotShot so Walnut isn’t the first elite Center he’s playing, but this will be the clash that defines the match up. If WoLF can hold off Walnut and dominate the paint, Pacers Gaming could pull off the upset.
2. Raptors Uprising vs. Hornets Venom GT (Thursday, May 14 7 pm/et)
1-on-1: Sick One vs. Type
The two biggest surprises of Week 1 were Raptors Uprising and Hornets Venom GT, both dominating their match-ups to start the season 2-0. As an expansion team, Hornets Venom’s sudden success is very impressive, and leading the way was the first pick in franchise history, Type. He has been sensational on both ends so far, showing off his usual patented defensive prowess, but he also showed an offensive skill set that we didn’t see too much of in Season 1 or 2. That improvement was huge for Hornets Venom and should carry over to the rest of the season. Not to be outdone, Raptors Uprising put up back-to-back dominant performances as their entire starting 5 excelled. Kenny Got Work and Sick One, the two mainstays from Season 2, led the way with Kenny Got Work winning Player of the Week for Week 1. Keep an eye out on the Sick One vs. Type match-up. Type loves to control the paint and if he can slow down Kenny, Hornets Venom could steal the match-up. If Sick One holds him at bay, it could be a long night for Charlotte.
3. 76ers GC vs. T-Wolves Gaming (Friday, May 15 9:00 pm/et)
1-on-1: BearDaBeast vs. Radiant
Ah, the Finals rematch we all wanted. 76ers GC have started off very slow, losing their first two games in blowout fashion whereas T-Wolves Gaming was able to split their first week and finish 1-1. T-Wolves played better against Bucks Gaming, but their series against Hawks Talon GC was not what we expected. Both squads get a chance to officially plant their flag on Season 3 with a huge win against their rival. The 1-on-1 to watch is always BearDaBeast vs. Radiant. It’s too early on to say this could be a Finals preview for the 2nd straight year, but a match-up against two of the best teams in the league is never one to miss.