Knicks Gaming’s Season 3 lineup will look very different than the one we watched during Seasons 1 and 2. Season 1 champion Iamadamthe1st has retired. G O O F Y 7 5 7 is now a member of Grizz Gaming after a huge offseason trade. IdrisTheGOAT (aka Squidris) has been redrafted by Bucks Gaming. YeyNotGaming went unretained, leaving Malik and Hazza as the foundation of a fresh start in New York. 4 very talented rookies are joining the fray this year, including Duck, the #2 overall pick. Some may call this a “rebuild,” but it’s become more of a “retool.” Knicks Gaming enters Season 3 with a fascinating roster, top-tier management and coaching, and a ton of potential.
Coach: Kyle Rudy
Kyle Rudy knows how to win in the NBA 2K League. Whether it was the championship run in Season 1 or their insane stretch during THE TICKET in Season 2, Kyle has a knack for getting the most out of his players when the chips are down. He and Knicks Gaming have endured challenging regular seasons however, and Rudy will now be coaching fresh faces this year with the hope that new chemistry and talents can produce more W’s. It could rest on Rudy to unlock this team’s true potential.
Season 2 Team MVP: OriginalMalik
Malik had a rollercoaster season with a ton of highs. A decent regular season, he averaged 15 PTS a game while shooting 47% from the floor and 42% from 3. His peak came during THE TICKET when his averages jumped up to 23 PPG while shooting 51% from the floor and 50% for 3. He helped lead Knicks Gaming all the way to the semifinals before they fell to Pacers Gaming.
Best Stat From Season 2: 235 Total Turnovers
This is a key for Knicks Gaming to improve on in Season 3. They led the league in total turnovers by a big margin in Season 2 and only forced 178 of their own, hampering them on both sides of the ball. If they can improve on this number, it’ll improve their transition offense and lead to more opportunities to come back late in games.
- Grizz Gaming
- Acquired: 2020 1st & 2nd round picks and their 2021 1st round pick
- Traded Away: G O O F Y 7 5 7, 2020 3rd round pick & 2021 2nd round pick
Talk about a facelift! Trading away Goofy, the 1st pick in franchise history and a member of the Season 1 championship roster, is certainly not a decision they took lightly, but it’s one that they executed to perfection. Nabbing a 1st and 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, plus a 1st next year, is fair value for a player of Goofy’s caliber. Let’s preface this next part by saying that all of this is speculation based off their talent on paper. With that out of the way, they nailed the draft. Duck is a fantastic point guard to build around and with him being a NYC guy, could it get any better? He’s a sensational scorer and understands how to play the position brilliantly. His playmaking ability may be the best of any player in the draft and they’ve given him plenty of guys to get involved on offense. CantGuardRob will fill Goofy’s big shoes nicely. Rob should give them a consistent force down low who can play the pick-and-roll well on both ends of the floor. His ultimate ceiling is a bit unclear, but he should step right in and be a good starter from Day 1. Many thought BigRiM was a sure-fire 1st round pick, so getting him as a second round steal at lock should be a game-changer for them. EhTruth is a great PF prospect who spent all offseason playing with Duck on their pro-am team, Greatness. All in all, a pretty spectacular offseason for Knicks Gaming.
6th Man: EhTruth
With all the pieces in play, let’s put this puzzle together. On paper, this team fits together incredibly well. They don’t have a ton of versatility on this starting 5, but if everything works out the way it should, they won’t have to move pieces around. Duck should give Malik the extra support that he needed last year and open up the perimeter for everyone on the floor. Him driving to the hoop should open up the corners and allow Rim and Hazza or Truth to get some open 3s. Through all that, his synergy with CantGuardRob could define their offense. Their effectiveness in the pick-and-roll will open up everything on the floor. On the defensive side of the ball, it’ll be up to BigRiM to lock down the opposing PG with Rob catching the big man off the roll. This team lines up as a typical 2K League team that has set guys 1-5 with a pick and roll system. How effective they play remains to be seen, but they should be an incredibly consistent squad with a ton of upside.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: Malik
This season, Malik gets a clean slate and a chance to build on the momentum he stacked up during Season 2. He has a new PG who can do just about anything you need a PG to do on the court. That’ll give Malik more catch and shoot opportunities, and perhaps more open attempts as well. Malik has a ton of talent and charisma that should be on full display in 2020.
Season Outlook: Let’s Play Already
The key to this whole piece has been how good this team looks on paper and they do look insanely good. They have great talent 1-6 and a PG with the potential to be one of the best in the entire league. They have a great coach and some nice vets to boot. However, a ton of questions still remain. Will Duck live up to his potential? Will we get TICKET-level production from Malik? Who is going to man the PF spot throughout the season? Can Rob step into Goofy’s massive shoes? There is a lot of pressure on Knicks Gaming to turn it around after a tough Season 2, but after a wild offseason and a fun draft, there is one thing we do know: This group is going to be seriously fun to watch.
PROFILE UNLOCKED: @KnicksGaming
Up next, a star-studded rookie class of @ChrisPesos_, @Cantguardrob__, @EhTruth, and @TheBigRiM join @OriginalMalik_ and @HazzaHurst in the Big Apple to try and retool on the fly after a down year. #ProfileUnlocked pic.twitter.com/AZzWjhNHyS
— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) April 7, 2020