Bucks Gaming wins the 2022 NBA 2KL 5v5 Finals! - NBA 2K League

Bucks Gaming wins the 2022 NBA 2KL 5v5 Finals!

What a year. A defining season for the NBA 2K League has officially come to a close. Season 5 lived up to the hype in almost every way imaginable. 3v3 was a welcomed addition to the league and the 5v5 side delivered once again as one of the premier products in esports when it’s at its best. Our Finals lived up to the hype as well, Bucks Gaming’s thrilling 4-game victory over the 2-time reigning champs Wizards District Gaming was enthralled from start to end. In honor of the Season 5 ending, let’s do a twist on Autumn’s 5 Things to Know with 5 Things To Remember to close things out.

1. Bucks Gaming Did It The Right Way

There are hundreds of ways to build an NBA 2K League team. I obviously won’t list them all out here, but every single team does it differently, however not always better. We see a very similar cycle every year. Sometimes a team bases their entire team around a single player and caters the roster to their wishes In hopes of keeping that player happy. You may have a team that holds onto a core that can’t get over the hump for too long, like I said, hundreds of ways. But, the way that Bucks Gaming did it should be a model to every team in the league going forward. If something isn’t working, wipe the slate clean, get into your scouting bag, and rebuild your roster. Is it easy? No. Is the payoff clearly there? Absolutely. GM Patrick Glo and Head Coach Lance Sessions stuck to their guns, believed in their scouting, and pulled off 4 incredible picks. Adding Dimez mid-season was a great move in hindsight obviously, but none of this is even on the table if they weren’t okay just starting from 0 instead of lying to themselves about the state of their roster. I challenge all GMs this offseason to not be okay with mediocrity and try and be aggressive with their roster building. You never know what treasures you may find at the end.

2. An Ode to the Wiz

After three full seasons as the defacto team to beat in the league, the Wiz have officially been dethroned. An incredible run, truly something we may never see again in the league. Three straight 5v5 finals, 2 championships, 1 3v3 finals appearance all while maintaining basically the same roster through those runs. Heck, I don’t think we’ve really grappled with how insane an accomplishment it is that they made the finals in both game modes. I know they lost, but we can’t allow that to be lost in the seemingly endless list of accomplishments for this team the past three seasons. Even while writing this, I don’t think this is the end of their run. They have a very difficult offseason ahead of them for sure. No 1st round pick, huge backcourt questions, and overall burnout from their long run stand in front of them, but if there is any franchise who can take these issues in stride, this team can do it. The New England Patriots became a dynasty winning 3 super bowls in 4 years and again winning 3 in 5. Even if we don’t consider this Wiz team a “dynasty” yet, it’s still very much there for the taking. Awkward, Newdini, and Dayfri are likely there for Season 5, meaning they are still the team to beat in the East. Greatness is defined by how you get back up off the mat, let’s see how D.C. embraces the challenge.

3. Awards, Awards, Awards

With Season 5 coming to an end, it’s time to give out awards. I am very…passionate…about getting awards right. At the end of the day, these awards are how we are going to remember this season in the long-term, so it’s important that they are given out accordingly! So, here are my Season 5 picks.

MVP & DPOY: Dayfri
Not much explaining needed here. He was the best player in the league this season, period. He led the Wiz to a #2 seed in 5v5 and a #1 seed in 3v3 without a point guard ranking in the top 10 at their position in scoring or assists. He won a banner MVP, made the Finals in both modes at 2 different positions, and set a new standard for what it means to lead in this league. He’s my MVP and DPOY, becoming the first player to win both awards since Season 1.

MIP: Krazy
I’m not moving off this take. No one improved more season over season in the league than Krazy did. Statistically, eye test, team importance, he went from being an average Center on a 3-25 team to an MVP Finalist and making the playoffs in both game modes as the best player on his team. I really respect what the other candidates did this season, including Seese who put together an incredible career turnaround of his own, but he’s not the best player on his team or maybe even the 2nd best. You could even argue his teammate Cooks is as deserving a candidate as him, so with that, I’ll give it to Krazy. Seese and Cooks have a great consolation prize of…winning the title.

COY: Lance Sessions
If you know me, you know it’s hard to move me off an opinion once I’ve made it. I stick to my guns pretty intensely…but I think I’m going to change my opinion here. I think Lance is the defining coach of Season 5. The run that Bucks Gaming made to the title was so impressive and it was clearly done through intense amounts of game planning and adjustments. Lance finally got his chance to run a team and he didn’t miss. If you want to say Patrick Crossen is the COY, I don’t think I could disagree with you either. However, my sports rulebook says that to win an award two years in a row, you need to do better than the previous season. Yes, I know they made the Finals in both game modes, but sadly, they also lost the Finals in both game modes.

ROY: OTTR (Gallo)
Unguardable made a hell of a late season run for this award, but at the end of the season, Gallo was the best rookie in the league. Outside of JBM, no rookie guard has ever led their team to a better win% than Gallo did or to a higher seed. He is also on a rare list of rookie guards to actually win a postseason series in 5v5 which came at the expense of Unguardable and Magic Gaming. If you want to really judge the greatness of Gallo, look no further than their 2nd round loss to Wizards District Gaming. Very few points guards can do to Just_Awkward what Gallo was able to do. Unguardable did a wonderful job winning the Steal and going to the Ticket Finals, but the best rookie for the entire SEASON was Gallo.

4. The Rotation

This is a monumental offseason for the NBA 2K League. Now that we know what 3v3 is like, we are going to see a pretty massive roster upheaval across the board this offseason. I’ve come to call this impending phenomenon “The Rotation.” In the past, we’ve usually seen rosters turn over at a rate of about 20-25%. Based on my initial predictions, that number could be closer to 35-40% of the league getting either replaced or sent back into the draft pool. It’s a massive number and heading into our 2nd year without a 6th man, some very recognizable names are going to be left on the outside looking in. We’ll obviously track this throughout the whole offseason, but just be ready for some big surprises come protection/retention time.

5. Thank You for Reading!

Had to end the season with a big thank you to all the readers this year! Over 50 articles written across 20 weeks ended up being a much easier accomplishment due to all the kind words you all have sent in these past 5 months. This league gives me a very special opportunity to speak my mind and give my perspective, so I appreciate everyone following along this season. There will be plenty of work to do this offseason, so follow me on Twitter and Twitch to stay up to date! But again, a big thank you to the fans and to the league, it’s been an honor being the beat writer this season.