3v3 Playoff Picture
May 9, 2023
Well, well, well we are finally here. After 1,379 games, we have reached the NBA 2K League 3v3 Playoffs Presented by Google Pixel. 25 teams have been whittled down to just 14 and with $600,000 on the line, the stakes are as high as ever. Let’s go through each team and their possible path to the Finals, I’ll give my final prediction at the end.
T-Wolves Gaming – 88-48, 250 points
Our #1 seed team might ironically also be our most surprising. After putting up a lackluster effort in last year’s 3v3 mode, Minnesota has gone off this season making the Finals of both major tournaments (SLAM, SWITCH). Despite losing both, they have been endlessly tested by the best teams in the league and with a stunning 88 wins in 136 tries, they are a well deserved #1 seed. ShiftyKaii is the best player in the league heading into the Playoffs, this is a chance for him to put an early stranglehold on the MVP with a big run.
Path to the Finals: Avoid The Lower Bracket
The reason they have so many games played is because they have had to play 8-9 series in both tournaments in the lower brackets. Playing that many games, eventually the odds swing against you and you drop a series. If they can avoid that key early first loss, it may mean everything.
Pistons GT – 61-38, 240 points
The reigning champs followed up their title with about as good a regular season as you could expect. With a SLAM OPEN banner in hand, they enter the playoffs, dare I say a little underrated? Their performance in the SWITCH OPEN left a little to be desired, but perhaps a big loss is just what this team needed before putting up their proper title defense. Ant, Bag, and Connor is currently one of the longest uninterrupted starting lineups in the league, it’s truly fair to wonder if they are the best trio heading into the “offs”. But, I suppose this week will determine that either way.
Path to the Finals: Stop Losing Game 1s
The Pistons GT team have gotten too comfortable figuring out opponents early and striking back late in series. It’s fine when it’s early in the year and teams don’t have that confidence, but we are past that now. Dropping Game 1s to elite teams is basically a death sentence this time of year. Winning three 3v3 games in four tries is really difficult and they got too “okay” with falling into those scenarios. If they strike first and strike fast, they can beat anyone.
DUX Infinitos – 64-32, 240 points
There has always been this weird section of the 2KL history books that says that no team that has won a tournament championship has gone on to win the championship that season. It’s incredibly odd, but it’s a fact. I think DUX and Pistons GT have as good of a chance as any team to end that stretch. This DUX team never quits, doesn’t matter if they are 2-2 or 0-2, their intensity and defense gets them wins they sometimes don’t even deserve. It’s a really fun team with a real shot to win. Can’t ask for much more.
Path to the Finals: Please, Make Your Threes
DUX somehow won the SWTICH tournament despite shooting TERRIBLY from 3. Sub-45% as a team through the last two rounds yet still winning the title is unbelievable yet hilarious. It also makes you think how good they could be if they start hitting shots.
Bucks Gaming – 64-36, 220 points
Bucks Gaming is the ultimate mystery of the playoffs. We’ve really seen so little of them on stage, it’s hard to know really what to expect. What we do know is that they are an efficiency juggernaut. Best FG% in the league, best 3P% in the league, 2nd best Opp. PPG in the league. They don’t give up points and they don’t miss – it’s a great combo. I’m not sure what to expect from this team in this spot, honestly. Last time we saw them in any playoffs, they won the whole thing. Who’s to say they won’t do it here?
Path to the Finals: Get out of Day 1
Bucks Gaming has a tough Day 1 ahead of them. They get Blazer5 Gaming in Round 1 and if they lose, they get the loser of Knicks Gaming and Glo Navy. If they can get through that, I think they should be in pretty good shape as things settle down. But it’ll be important for them to not get caught up in the chaos of day 1.
Knicks Gaming – 68-36, 210 points
There is still a very solid chance that Knicks Gaming are the best 3v3 team in the league. The only issue is that they keep losing their biggest series on stage in stunning fashion. Whether it was the reverse sweep to Glo Navy in the SLAM or losing to the Lakers in the SWTICH, they have really struggled in prime time. Regardless, they stare down their best chance to win a title since Season 1. If they can get out of their own way, they may just win it.
Path to the Finals: Learn to Close Series
There are really no more excuses, heck there is no time for excuses. Either they learn how to close out series and win big game 5s or that’s going to be the end of the season. We know how good they are and the talent on the roster speaks for itself…but it’s now or never.
Celtics Gaming – 63-59, 190 points
A bit of a drop for Celtics Gaming from this season to last. During the 2022 playoffs, they were the #1 seed in the East and honestly, the favorite to win the title. This season? Bit of a tougher read. When they’ve been good, they’ve been as good as any team in teh league. Any other time? It’s been a real grind. Not a ton of middle ground to this team, hence their 62-59 record. Can they get hot and win it all? Sure. But they are going to need to get REALLY hot
Path to the Finals: TayZo goes up a level
TayZo is already one of the best defensive players in the entire league. I would even accept arguments that he is THE best defensive lockdown in the league so far this season, but his offense has been too inconistsent for the Celtics to get over the hump. If he evens out his shooting and gives them a true, consistent secondary option, the title is in their hands.
NBL Oz Gaming – 66-50, 180 points
Whatever happens this week, this has already been a massively successful campaign for NBL Oz Gaming. They are playing with house money making the playoffs as an expansion team. Last season, DUX Infinitos got all the way here last season, but fell in Round 1. NBL Oz Gaming like playing as the underdogs and for them to win, the #DownUnderDogs are going to have to make a real appearance. It’s a good team with a good coach, but with Warriors Gaming Squad and DUX Infinitos as their first two possible opponents, it’s going to take the stuff of legends to win the title.
Path to the Finals: Jyden MVP time
If they want to win the title, Jyden is going to have to go up a level. Has nothing to do with him being good or bad coming into this tournament, but they are going to need everything he’s got this week. Let’s see what Jyden looks like playing 10% better.
Nets GC – 54-57, 180 points
For as good as Streetz and Steez have been, this team has gone as Greens has gone. When he’s at the top of his game, they look unbeatable. But, like with most rookie PGs, his inconsistency can be a bit deflating. For them to win the title, Greens would have to put on his BearDaBeast/JBM legend pants and power them home. Streetz and Steez are good enough to get them over the finish line, but it really falls on Greens to be “The Guy.”
Path to the Finals: Greens, Greens, and more Greens
Hit your shots, give the ball to Greens. Prosper.
Cavs Legion GC – 62-42, 170 points
Antoine, SubGoated, and Seese have played almost the entire season together and good things have happened. The first playoff appearance for Cavs Legion GC since Season 1, it’s already been a really successful year. But, we’ve all been kind of waiting for them to really take off this season. They’ve been good no doubt, but GREAT? I wouldn’t say that. There is greatness within, but we’ve yet to see them go up a level.
Path to the Finals: …I’m not going to say it again
Alright, I’m saying it, Antoine needs to shoot more 3s. I get it man, it’s not his thing, but it’s time to put that to bed. He shot the ball great during the SWITCH OPEN and if he adds two more 3PA per game, they can win the title. I just can’t see the math working for them to win without it.
Warriors Gaming Squad – 56-45, 140 points
It’s almost laughable looking over the situation that somehow ended with this team in the playoffs. They haven’t played on stage a single time this season! Not once! They didn’t get past the remote bracket round for either tournament. They clinched a playoff spot when Pacers Gaming lost two in a row to avoid the STEAL OPEN so this will be the first time we’ve seen them in-person all year. Crazy! Also crazy, they have CB13, Kenny Got Work, and Mama Im Dat Man in their lineup! 3 of the best players ever! What is this team!?
Path to the Finals: Element of Surprise
It kind of speaks for itself, no? We have tape on this team, but with vets like the three all-timers they have, we have really no idea what to expect. Would I pick them to win? Probably not. Will I enjoy watching if they do? Absolutely.
Blazer5 Gaming – 44-55, 70 points
Our STEAL OPEN champions take the stand! It’s hard to know what to expect from this team, but I think somewhere around where Magic Gaming were when they won last season. They’ve got the right lineup, a great play style, and a young guard with confidence. It’s all you can really ask for this time of year if you want to make a run at a title. They have an incredibly difficult path, but I think they can overcome it and do something special.
Path to the Finals: Play Through the Defense
As good as Claude is, their team defense won them the STEAL OPEN. All three of him, Jomar, and KayAus are responsible and when they are at their best, they are incredibly hard to crack. Defense, transition buckets, and confidence can get them to the top.
Jazz Gaming – 63-56, 140 points
The Jazz succeeded in their objective, they made it to the playoffs. However, it remains to be seen if they can get over the one hurdle that can stop them all season. Can they beat elite teams? They’ve struggled all year long against the top teams in the league and hey, what better time to buck the trend! They’ve always had the talent, let’s see if they can make a run.
Glo Navy Glosquitos – 190 points
Dot Squad – 180 points
Our two community teams! My expectations aren’t too high for either. The talent is there, but expecting these teams to make a huge run would be a bit unfair. Like with Rim Runners last year, a Cinderella story would be a blast, I’ll wait and see if they get a round first. Also, their first round matchups were written in the stars. Glo Navy gets Knicks Gaming, the team they reversed swept last season. Dot Squad gets Celtics Gaming, who drafted TreyDollaz last season then didn’t re-sign him. Revenge game incoming!
Might be the hardest playoffs to predict in 2KL history, I truly believe anything can happen, but what do I THINK will happen? I think Pistons GT dominates the upper bracket and gets to the Finals. I think from there, Warriors Gaming Squad will be meeting them after a huge run through the lower bracket. But, after that. I think Pistons GT take it home and win back to back 3v3 titles.