SLAM OPEN Night 1 Recap
Ah, a new NBA 2K League Season. Just something special about a clean slate for every team. New faces in new places, top rookies joining the fray, it’s a special time of year. But with a night of games in the books, we finally have gameplay to analyze and new narratives to build! Let’s go through four takeaways from Night 1 and then I’ll throw a couple of fun nuggets at the end with some rumblings I’m hearing.
Is CP the future face of the franchise in Memphis?
Before we get into CP, let’s acknowledge that Logic_Stark and Jrod played very well tonight. Not even as some after thought, both played their role and executed on both ends of the floor. It’s time I finally admit I was wrong on Jrod, dude is just good at the game. Onwards, CP played with confidence and precision. He took 3s when he needed to, but never seemed to force offense in a way that would leave them exposed on the other end. He had the least amount of turnovers of any PG who played at least six games tonight and I think his composure bodes well for the rest of the season. Will he look this good every night? Probably not, but the early returns were good. I’ve heard they’ve looked solid in scrims and the vibes have been really good. All smiles in Memphis heading into Night 2.
Is this the Antoine breakout season?
I really hope this is the Antoine we get all season. The two-way ability at PG is so rare and we saw it on full display on Night 1. His defensive chemistry with SubGoated and Seese was very impressive and he greened almost every single shot that he needed to. It looked like the Antoine we were always promised! I hope Cleveland can build off this and find some consistency. Their trio looks very capable and I think they are an easy playoff pick if they keep this up.Sounds like 5v5 scrims have been going well. They might have something real with this group.
Most Impressive Debut in 2KL History?
I’m never one to shy away from hyperbole, but the NBL team looked very good. For me, it was all about the look-ins we had to their team room while playing. Focus, energy, communication, it was all there. Coach Moottyy had those players ready to go on Wednesday night and it showed. They took some lumps dropping both Game 1s, but won three straight games in both series. Jyden looked very good, DjayTooCold looks like the star they drafted him to be and LawRich looks like an amateur no more. This game mode is all about camaraderie, communication, and execution. A really good debut for our newest franchise. I’ve also been hearing very good things about Australian PG Harry. Descriptions ranging from “he’s different” to “damn, that kid can move”, the hype around this team is developing in a very natural way.
Dayfri Gets On The Board as a Coach
I don’t want to talk about Mavs Gaming as much as the league as a whole that has Dayfri as a coach. Mavs Gaming looked fine. They don’t have a ton of 3v3 talent and it showed. They’ll grind their way to some wins, but I would consider it a surprise if they make deep runs in tournaments. One thing that was clear to me is how much of a gap was left behind from a player perspective. Who is the best player in the league right now? I don’t think there is one. There are elite guys at every position and I am serious when I say that this league has never had more talent in it, but who is “The Guy?” Who will be not only the next face of the league, but the player that sets the standard that everyone else is trying to hit. I totally understand why Dayfri moved on, he accomplished everything you could as a player and as a hometown Dallasite, the opportunity was too good to pass up. But, the pressure is on. Someone has to take the mantle.
- The Hornets putting Big Saint at PG just 7 games into their 3v3 season was…unexpected. I can’t say I ever expected to see him at PG, but anything is possible. Just not a great sign with Bojui and Rigby on the team that they were so ready to jump to Big Saint at PG. Truly wonder what the future of that roster is.
- Ky looks like the real deal. His talent is just absurd, not many guys can score like he can. I think the mental side of the league will be his biggest hurdle. They got down in a bunch of games tonight and looked like they just gave up at times. This isn’t just a Ky thing, but was odd to see a Heat Check team lose steam like that after such a good start.
- Shoutout to T-Wolves Gaming for taking 3v3 more serious this year. Great to see Bear’s impassioned mid-series talks to his team. Everything I hear is that they look very good in 5v5 and with that lying in wait, happy to see them investing in 3s.
- What happened to the Pistons GT? Ant shot 5/20 from 3 in the first two games and they got Ramo off the court after just 2 games. Maybe it was the jetlag from his trip to Abu Dhabi or just a bad night, but not a great 2023 debut for the reigning 3v3 champs.