NBA 2K League 5v5 Season Preview
May 22, 2023
Last season, 76ers GC was one of the best teams in the league. Whether it was their intense early run through THE TIPOFF that just fell short or their run through THE TURN that they took all the way to a banner win, their dominance couldn’t be discounted. This made it all the more surprising when they couldn’t get past the second round of the playoffs despite a bye week. Still, the combination of Dre and 630 was outstanding and a slight upgrade at Center with DJ could see this team get their first title in team history. But, if the personalities don’t mix and Dre can’t keep up his MVP form like we saw in 3v3, it might mean early disaster for Philly.
A brutal 2022 season for Portland saw them deal with massive issues all year long. Just to make things worse, the majority of their starting lineup got suspended indefinitely from the league, so the team you see here is really all they could put together. Honestly, it could be worse. Claude is a nice young guard to build around and the Lavish-Kayaus-Jomar combo should keep their defense competitive. Offense is the real question mark for this team – can they score enough to stay in games? I say no. It feels like a shoe-in TICKET team, but I love being wrong. They surprised to close out 3v3, but they are really going to have to show me something offensively to get over the hump.
Our reigning 5v5 champs have a much different look to them this year! Out goes Seese and Dimez and in comes Don and OneWildWalnut. It’s going to be a very different look and style, Walnut is the all-time leader in points in the paint and rebounds, so he’s going to require the ball a bit more than their previous front court. Regardless, this is an all-star starting five. Cooks-JohhnyRed-Dawsix should win them a ton of games either way and Walnut is going to put up stupid numbers surrounded by this team. The only thing standing in their way from another title run would be their own chemistry.
Cavs Legion GC
A very…thought-provoking team. They feel like they could end up anywhere on the spectrum. At the very least, this team should be slightly above average. They have so much talent on this team. The ceiling of this team will inevitably come down to how good or bad Antoine is this season. His first full year as the lead 5v5 guard, he will make or break this team. I have faith in him, but there isn’t much in his history to suggest he is going to take some HUGE leap. However, even a slight one could mean playoffs and a nice bag for Cleveland. The trade of Seese for Hezi is…again, thought-provoking. They get a 1st round pick back, Hawks Talon’s too which would be nice, but giving up Seese? This close to 5v5? It’s a huge change. Still, Sub-YooVC-Yusuf is a hell of a front court, I think they can compete with any team in the East.
Celtics Crossover Gaming
This is likely the final ride for the FT-Tayzo-Colt core. They’re onto their third 5v5 season together and are hoping this one doesn’t end in THE TICKET like the last two. They replaced last season first round pick TreyDollaz with Leche and moved FT to SG for the first time in his 2KL career. Chrizzy comes in for long-time Celtic Crossover player Bulley in what will be a huge test. A very talented player, it remains to be seen what he’ll be like in 5v5 on the league side. Is this team good? Is this team bad? I’m not sure they even know yet. But on paper, this team should be better than last year’s team.
PF Lord Beezus
With the 3v3 title under their belt, it’s easy to just assume they will be good in this game mode as well. But, we all know that isn’t how this works. I can spend an entire paragraph talking about DUX and their season last year, but really it’s not necessary. This team comes down to two people. Vandi and Lowkey Godlike. Vandi has been in the league since 2019 but is still looking for that one iconic moment/season on the 5v5 side. Vandi has always been good, but this DUX team is going to need him to go up a level to seriously compete in a devastating Western Conference. On top of that, he’s being given a rookie center which is always an adventure on its own. I think this roster will be fine, but I’m interested to see if they can compete with the likes of T-Wolves Gaming, Bucks Gaming, and the other elite teams.
Every pre-season is the same with this team. Big moves, exciting names, another roll of the dice, and yet…the results have stayed the same. They’ve been good, but just can’t get over the hump. But regardless, they enter this season with a new look. The big acquisition of Crush this offseason gives this team a serious core to build around not just this year, but for years to come. His combination with Feast will likely decide their season, but the real focus should be up top. Gallow was sensational last year and a step forward for him should see him make a real run at MVP. If he can get to that level, this team can seriously compete for a title. 3v3 be damned, this should be one of the best teams in the league. Let’s just hope they solved the late game issues…they did solve those…right?
I had this whole paragraph done about the new-look Grizz with Cp and ReeseDaGod, Spartan at Center, yada yada yada. Then, they drop the bomb. Dimez to the Grizz for a 1st and LogicStark. Madness. Now, the formula changes. CP and Dimez played together for a large chunk of the offseason, probably a huge reason behind this trade. Not to mention, Reese and Dimez go way back as well as two original 102 draft picks in Season 1. This might be the biggest trade in Grizz Gaming history. Whether or not it sparks them to a deep playoff run, that remains to be seen.
Hawks Talon GC
There is so much riding on this Hawks Talon GC season. Truly, the most important season in team history, maybe more than their inaugural year. This is the year we will find out if this core has what it takes to really compete in this game mode. Since 2019 this franchise has been littered with bad draft decisions and overall mediocrity. They’ve barely made a peep in this mode, so it’s time to make some noise. Massive season for both Ceez and Hotshot. For Ceez, he’s been unable to get this team to the playoffs the last two years and with the #1 pick being a SG, you have to wonder how many more bites at the apple Ceez will get. For HotShot, he needs to show he can still hang with the big dogs of the East. This is a tough conference with elite centers and he’s about to enter his sixth season. Good news, they finally have a real lock. Finally, someone who can get them some stops. But no more excuses. It’s time for this team to put up or shut up.
Heat Check Gaming
Everyone was wondering how Coach Famous was going to improve the team from last year. With a great core of Bsmoove-Dtrick-Sawc, it seemed like a slam dunk. On paper, he did a good job. Trading up for Ky was the right decision and his individual performances alone are going to be insanely fun to watch. Their 5v5 defense should hopefully be better than their 3v3 one, but a lot is going to fall on rookie lock Dee. I’ve always thought that the hardest job in the league is being a rookie lock, so being one on a team with a championship ceiling is the ultimate test. Good luck to him, but if he’s good, this team will be elite.
Hornets Venom GT
Lock Big Saint
Using the add/waive function seemed inevitable for this team following their extremely disappointing 3v3 campaign that saw them finish last in the league in just about everything. AntoineLove comes in for Bojui, a huge surprise considered they reached for him originally at pick #14, but he’ll be let go without ever showing if he can play 5v5 in the league. Love will come in and give them a different dimension, but the jury is still out on this team. Bojui is a convenient fall guy, I’m still not sure if they have enough to get to the playoffs with or without him.
I really, really like this team, but I don’t think they are going to be good. If we were doing league pass rankings, I would put them in my top 7. They are going to be a blast to watch, but I think they are going to get swallowed up by the Western Conference. At the center of all of this is Ria, arguably the best player in the world smack dab in his prime. He is our Nikola Jokic, he pulls off things no other player should at this level. Defensively, he’ll define this team and with an elite year, he should be the favorite for DPOY and maybe MVP if this team gets to the playoffs. But the rest of the team? Your guess is as good as mine. Excited to see them scrap it out though!
Kings Guard Gaming
I waited until all the trades and add/waive was done to see how the dust settled on this wild Kings Guard Gaming adventure. Between the Regg trade and the big first round pick swap to get Dimez and Bray, I had high expectations, but now…I’m not sure what to think. I’m happy that Bray is at Center, but this team will inevitably be defined by their back court. They’ve invested a lot of resources into Regg and Bash, so it’s now or never for Kings Guard. Western Conference takes no prisoners.
That’s what I’m talking about. I love it when teams that are already really good make really good decisions. Adding Type to Radiant, Malik, Stick was a great move this offseason. I have no clue why Toronto made him play PF so often the last two seasons, but it was an odd decision and it’s finally over! Type goes back to Center where he helped define the first few seasons of the league. If he can get back to form, this team is an easy title contender. Add in Burch getting his shot with a chip on his shoulder, sky’s the limit for this team. The only thing that can stop them is themselves. Can they find the right balance between elite talent and team-based basketball to get the title?
Despite making the playoffs last season, Lakers Gaming tore the team down to its roots and rebuilt. GreenTooNice and Krazy are the only pieces left over and they are walking back into an interesting experiment. How do you build a team around a unique talent? Nobody really plays Center like Krazy. With his high-post playmaking and his preference to play on the ball, it can be difficult to make a roster work around him. So, Nacho decided to surround him with other…unique players. On paper, it could work. Ryan1of1 is an outstanding prospect and should carry a lot of the offensive load himself. They waived Duck and picked up TreyDollaz who dominated in 3v3 this season. Trey and Ryan have played endless amounts or pro-am series together, so interested in how they perform together in the league. Future was an elite corner shooter last season, so again it could work. But is this team better than last year? I guess we’ll find out.
There is just something missing about this roster. You give it a read, you go “oh nice, decent team,” but there is just something not there that I can’t get my head around. I guess I just expected Magic Gaming to make a BIG move this offseason and really give Unguardable a true
#2. They picked up Simptoms and Scoreo, two nice players, but I’m not sure they have the PUNCH that I figured they were going to target. Still, it’s a good team with one of the best players in the world at the helm. They are armed with two first round picks, so maybe a deadline move is in play for this team to really go up a level.
There might not be a larger microscope on any player the first 3-4 weeks of the season than the one on KennyZeus. We’re in Dayfri’s realm now, it’s 5v5 time. He was just okay last year and with a new regime in charge, the PG position is usually the first to change. Not to mention, his most likely replacement is sitting right next to him in Reizey. I think Kenny is a nice player, but this team hired Dayfri to get them into the elite of the elite category. It’s all on him to make the leap. If he makes it, so will this team. If not, they may go out and find someone who can.
NBL Oz Gaming
C Sick One
It’s so hard to view this team without taking their 3v3 accolades into account and yet, they truly don’t matter. What I can’t ignore is that this team is going to be better than we all expected. Credit, preseason expectations had their first round pick being a candidate for #1 overall, but I think we can see them out of that category. Whether they take a true leap to the top falls on Harry. It’s not really fair to put it on him, but this league isn’t fair and he’s going to be put into a lot of uncomfortable spots very early on. If he can handle them and get through THE TIPOFF unscathed, I think the NBL will have a nice season, maybe playoffs! But THE TIPOFF has taken the heart away from many rookie guards. How he responds from getting inevitably knocked down will say it all.
He’s here and he’s beautiful. Finally, after years of waiting, it’s Greens time. 3v3 was just the appetizer, it’s time to see what this guy can really do. I am officially putting the title contender tag on these guys. They check all the pre-season boxes. Elite PG, veteran Center who can defend, excellent role players, it’s all there. This team should be really good…unless Greens is bad…then we have some real problems.
I think through their 3v3 affairs, we’ve completely forgotten that Greenlight was one of the best players in the world during the pre-season. He’s disappeared a bit with him being one of the only elite guards to not vibe in 3v3, but I’m not sure we should hold it against him? I don’t think there is enough precedent to claim there is an issue, so I’m going to assume he’s going to be one of the best scorers in the world again and this Pacers Gaming team is going to be pretty good. Are they title contenders? Not sure. But, they will be a tough out all season long.
PG Ant SZN
Well, the transformation is complete. This is Ant’s team, and it’s made to get the absolute most out of him. The good news, is that might mean Detroit wins the title. That might be a little aggressive, so I’ll go a little more hands off. This team goes as Ant goes.
I simply will not accept that this was the plan for this team. I like Seem as a player, I’ve also heard he’s a good dude and a good teammate. But, putting a 5-year league guard at Center and expecting him to be starter-level is a bit unfair. I think the plan was for them to use the add/drop function, but with only one trade asset remaining from an offseason of movement and two needed to use the function, they are left with this group. Heck, they didn’t even pick up a PF who could play Center just in case the experiment didn’t work out. It’s a funky situation, but hey, I think Mooch/Gazulli is going to be a blast to watch. Haam should be excellent too, so they definitely have some things going for them. How many wins are in this roster? That is an excellent question.
Has there ever been more pressure on a rookie to be elite than there is on Clampism? I’d say no. He’s walking into an almost unwinnable situation. Either he’s the wing that helps them win a title or he’s the fall guy for a core that hasn’t been able to get over the hump for three seasons. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is likely the best regular season team in the league and they are going to win a hilarious amount of games. They are a slam dunk title contender and I think ShiftyKaii might have the best guard season in league history. But…will they win the games that truly matter? Can they finally win that big playoff series and give themselves a shot in the Finals? It’s maybe the biggest question in the NBA 2K League. Is this finally the year?
Warriors Gaming Squad
Sharp Mama Im Dat Man
Lock Kenny Got Work
The Evil Empire. They return once more with their CB13 fully-loaded battle station looking to finally get the title they have yearned for for so long. This time though? They have a trick up their sleeve. This is already an excellent lineup, but with add/drop on the way and a war chest of three, yes three first round picks next season, a big move was expected. In comes Seese for Hezi and one of those first round picks in a monster trade, a huge move that solidifies this team as one of the best in the league. I like how this team shapes up on both ends of the floor, biggest ? will be Nayy at Center, but he should be capable enough to not hurt them. Could this be the year the Dubs get their title?
Lock Just Awkward
Gone are the days of JBM and Dayfri. The next generation of Wizards DG is upon us and it’s a very strange one. I have a rule of thumb that I always try to follow in this league. Beware any team whose lock is their best player. Unfortunately, this year, it’s Wiz DG. This is by no means a bad team, I actually think they are going to win a fair amount of games. But, I just can’t shake the feeling that this is a transition year for the team. I think this is the year they really get a good look at Kapp and make a call about whether he’s their true long-term PG. He’s a good player, but I’m interested to see what he, and frankly the rest of this team, looks like without the DPOY and MVP manning the big man. Big year for Newdini too. Getting the call up at Center is deserved, but that position takes no prisoners.
After scrambling my brain, looking at stats for way too long, and hoping I don’t totally jinx their seasons…
Gen.G Tigers beats Knicks Gaming in Eastern Conference Finals
Warriors Gaming Squad beats Bucks Gaming in Western Conference Finals
Warriors Gaming Squad over Gen.G Tigers for the title