THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T - Bracket Play 5 Pack - NBA 2K League

THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T – Bracket Play 5 Pack

Everybody all at once, “we made it!!!!” Finally, after months of waiting, 5v5 NBA 2K League basketball is back in-person. We’ve been given an amazing group of teams too, all 8 bring an unique style to the table that should make for excellent theater this week. Let’s do a quick 5 pack of topics to get everyone ready for the week, this should be one for the history books.


  1. More things change, the more they stay the same.


Warriors Gaming Squad AGM Josiah Cohen made a very interesting point on twitter about our conferences heading into bracket play. He mentioned that the West has their exact same 4 teams in round 1 that they had in round 1 of the playoffs just last year, hell even the matchups are the same. On the East side, the last time these 4 teams were together in the playoffs, it was 2018! I think that really just goes to show the personality that each conference has. West is all about star power and high-octane teams dueling for supremacy. East is a gritty war zone where only the strongest mentally survive. It’s amazing to see how the conferences grew these personalities all on their own. Another interesting twist is how the West is seeing far more success with the 5-out offense than the East. Might be temporary, or might be an interesting thing to keep in the back of your mind when East and West teams square off.


  1. MVP in a 5-out year.


Yea, I know Ant won an MVP running 5-out last year and yes I also know that Bear and the T-Wolves have been running basically the same offense for 5 years now. HOWEVER…this year feels different. 5-out has officially taken over a large chunk of our team’s preferred play styles and with that, the landscape for awards has changed. How do you judge the impact of a PnR PG vs. a 5-out PG who is going to put up far gaudier numbers? How do you judge the work of a Ky on Heat Check Gaming vs. the stats of a Ceez? Is it all about wins, does that put CB13 into the mix even though he’s asked to do less work on-ball than a BearDaBeast? It’s complicated and something I’m excited to see evolve this week and headed into the rest of the season. I won’t submit my awards until every game is played, playoffs included, so there is still plenty of time. Just something to think about as we head into a historic week.


  1. The Popper Takeover


I feel a sense of victory and regret when talking about the popper. On one hand, it is great to see our bigs show another side of their skillset and change the complexion of offenses around the league. On the other hand…I kind of miss the classic Interior Center. We have guys this year that are still on it, but it’s not the same. They’ve gone from being the primary outlet for bigs to being pushed to extinction by a leaner, flashier build. The death of the inside center is sad, but out of the ashes has emerged something better. Whether it’s Sawc and his insane playmaking or Mona baptizing the league as a rookie with his 3-level scoring ability, Center has gone through the big refresh it desperately needed. Guys like Polow, Milo trying to make names for themselves in the league or even our vets like OneWildWalnut or Sick One who are trying to adapt and survive in the new age of Centers. The popper has changed our league a ton already, by the end of the year, Center could even be back to being the 2nd most important position on the floor.


  1. Race to the bottom…or not


It’s a bit early to be talking about this, but oh well! In year’s past, our teams at the bottom of the league always had something to look forward to draft wise. Usually there is a decent chunk of good young players waiting for us in the draft that we know about ahead of time. This makes for a fun time watching our teams at the bottom position themselves for the top of the draft lottery. This year, it’s a bit different. The best prospect, as of now, is a lockdown and there aren’t really many elite guard prospects that we know about currently. Sure, some will form and there will be trades yada yada, but it’s easily the biggest ? Of a draft that we’ve ever had. So…how will teams react? Do we see teams load up on picks to take as many swings as possible? Will teams even be able to trade their picks due to the perceived lack of value? What is the #1 pick this year worth, if you already have a lockdown? SO many questions, but luckily, a lot of time left to answer them. 


  1. DPOY Race


I’m calling my shot now, this is going to be a very weird award to give out. Mostly because, defensive stats across the board are down year over year. Teams are forcing less turnovers across the league, especially on the blocks front. We’ve played 6 games and we have 0 players with double digit blocks. DT has 9, OhDonn, BigSaint and Polo have 8, and then it drops from there. It’s strange, I can’t remember a stat drop off like this in league history. It’s probably just the nature of the build this year, players have noted that lanes are harder to work with this year. With the 5-out build, there are more dunks as well, but still…so few blocks. In the absence of stat help, we’re going to have to vote on DPOY this year using *gasp* our eyes! Anything but that! We’ll get the right answer eventually, but through 6 games, they aren’t making our job easy.