The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The NBA 2K League 5v5 Playoffs Presented by Google Pixel. This is it – for all the marbles. Who’s name will we write in the history books? 12 teams, $1 million on the line, 1 beautiful trophy. Let’s get into the preview.
#1 Seeds: Warriors Gaming Squad | 76ers GC
Our two #1 seeds are complete opposites this year. 76ers GC have been bracket-round titans. They won THE TIPOFF by winning three straight game 3s on stage and made quite the run in THE TURN before losing to Hornets Venom GT. However, group stage wise, they were pretty weak with two 3-3 records. Warriors Gaming Squad on the other hand, were group stage kings. 12-0 in group stage, but a 1-4 record in bracket round bringS a ton of questions into the playoffs. It’s hard to deny that these two teams could be the favorites to win, but something just seems to be lacking. Perhaps it’s just that the league has been defined by parity this season, however as 1 seeds go, these two are very strong and should be feared as such. Warriors Gaming Squad leads the league in point differential and win%, it’s not out of the question that they catch fire on stage and get back to the Finals. 76ers GC has controlled the East for most of the 5v5 season, so seeing them back in the Finals wouldn’t surprise anyone. But, both of these teams have holes that can and have been exploited throughout the season. They are worth being feared like I said. But they are both also beatable.
#2 Seeds: Hornets Venom GT | T-Wolves Gaming
As with our #1 seeds, our #2 seeds are very different. T-Wolves Gaming have been consistently good all season as expected. They made an impressive TIPOFF run before falling in the Finals, and if it weren’t for a shocking 1st round exit in THE TURN, they probably would be the #1 seed. Landing at #2 was definitely within the barriers of expectations coming into the season. For Charlotte, no one expected them to be here. After a brutal 3v3 season, the waive/add of Bojui for AntoineLove was generally ignored. No way he could turn around the entire season right? Well initially, he didn’t. But then came THE TURN, and he came alive. A cinderella run through THE TURN ended with Hornets Venom’s second TURN banner and their second #2 seed in team history. But with that behind us, what should we expect this week? Honestly, I’m not sure. Both of these teams have pretty bad histories with first round playoff byes. T-Wolves Gaming have a ton of pressure on them to win after being a top 2 seed in the West for two straight years and not much to show for it in the postseason. Hornets Venom got blown out the last time they were in this spot, but with AntoineLove in tow, anything is possible for this team. I’d give each of them as much of a chance to win a title as any team here. Heck, if these two teams meet in the Finals, I wouldn’t be surprised.
#3 Seeds: Gen.G Tigers | Bucks Gaming
The 3-seed has been a magical spot the past few seasons. Bucks Gaming won out of that seed last year, Wiz DG did the same back in 2020, so not getting the first round bye hasn’t been a season ender for some teams. Looking at our two squads this year, I think we could definitely see a champion out of either of these teams, but something is going to have to change. Gen.G desperately needs their offense to catch fire if they want to make a run. Their defense is championship caliber, currently #1 in the league in opp. PPG at 57.7, but their offense has been their downfall this year at only 62.5 PPG and has caused both of their tournament ending losses. If Gallow takes a #1 overall pick leap in these playoffs, a title could be in the cards, but that’s what they will need at a minimum to get over the line. On the Bucks Gaming side, they’ve been pretty good this year. They have around the same pt. differential to Gen.G (4.8 to 4.0), but their squad has been far more balanced this year. Both their offense and defense can be classified as good, but I wouldn’t call it elite by any means. 69.4 ppg to 65.4 opp. Ppg are good numbers, but are they enough to get them a second title in a row? To me, it comes down to Cooks. He’s been pretty meh this season, 17.8-7.8 on 50.6/38.9 shooting is not what we were expecting coming into year 2 of him starting. You can put a lot of that on their 5-out offense favoring the SG JohhnyRed, but if they want the title, Cooks is going to have to be as good as he was last playoffs.
#4 Seeds: NBL Oz Gaming | Blazer5 Gaming
Nothing like two #underdogs to make the playoffs even more fascinating. Both of these teams were largely discounted in the pre-season and heading into 5v5, but they caught fire and got themselves into the playoffs. NBL plays arguably the best team defense in the league, allowing the second-least points at 57.8 and the second-worst opp 3P% at 40.8%. They are a defensive juggernaut, but the offense has been a near disaster. They are the only team in the playoffs who average under 60 ppg (59.3) and have the worst team FG% as well at 56.1%. They are a fun team, but man…that offense…got to hope the best version comes out now. For Blazer5 Gaming, you never know what you are going to get on any given day. Despite making THE TURN finals, they were infuriating to watch. Dozens of wide-open misses from 3 marred a very impressive run by a team that nobody thought could make it that far. Now, there are no excuses. Either both of these teams find some efficiency on offense, or they are going to be out in the first round. Also doesn’t help that the #5 seeds this year are pretty scary. Speaking of the #5 seeds…
#5 Seeds: Nets GC | Pistons GT
As 5 seeds go, these are probably two of the best we’ve ever had. Pistons GT have been an offensive wagon since they swapped to the 5-out as ANT has evolved into the best statistical point guard in the league. 71.1 ppg puts them at #3 out of playoffs teams, but combined with that is the worst opp.ppg of any team left. They play loud, aggressive, and fast-paced basketball and are victims to everything that comes on the other side of that. For Nets GC, it’s a much more low-key group. They stick to their game, play solid defense, and try to make less mistakes while allowing Greens to light up opposing defenses. It’s been a very solid game plan, but both teams have not had any 5v5 success on stage this season. Pistons GT lost a barn-burner to Pistons GT in THE TURN, NetsGC lost a similar series to Hornets Venom, both in Round 1 on stage. So what do we make of our two 5 seeds? They to me feel like a hot streak away from really making a run at a title. I think back to the Nets GC team in 2020 that got to the ECF. All it takes is a few good games from a PG and wham, you’re in the conference Finals. Keep an eye on both of these teams.
#6 Seeds: Knicks Gaming | Dux Infinitos
Our two TICKET representatives come in on a hot streak, but still marred by many of their issues from throughout the season. For both of these teams, it’s going to come down to how efficient their Shooting Guards are and how often they can get stops. OriginalMalik has been one of the best Sgs in the league the past few seasons, but he has come up short in multiple big spots, including Game 3 against Wiz DG last season. Sometimes he looks like the best player at his position, but others, he can shoot his team out of a game. Killeyy has had similar issues. Sometimes you’ll look up and he’ll only have 7-8 shots entering the 4th Q, far too low for how reliant DUX is on his scoring. They both need to play the best ball of their careers for their respective teams to make a run. Defensively, it’s a bit of a toss up as well. Knicks Gaming rode a new 3-2 zone through THE TICKET, but whether that works in the playoffs remains to be seen. DUX comes in allowing the second most ppg of any team in the playoffs and have had a lot of issues defending the rim this season. Look, they are TICKET teams – even getting out of round 1 would be an accomplishment. I’ll be happy if they put up a good fight.
WCF: Warriors Gaming Squad over Bucks Gaming
ECF: 76ersGC over Gen.G Tigers
Finals: Warriors Gaming Squad over 76ers GC
This is an incredibly hard playoffs to predict, so I’m going to air on the side of caution. I think 76ers GC and Warriors Gaming Squad are going to get the easier ride to the Finals, facing the lowest remaining seed coming off the bye before heading into the conference Finals. Honestly, I think it’s anyone’s title. The field is wide open, so I’ll take the teams with the most talent to meet in the league’s biggest game. One of these teams is going to get their first ever championship. I can’t wait to see who stands alone at the end of this week.