Group C Preview: The TIPOFF
April 3, 2022
Season 5 kicks off Tuesday night with 5v5 Group play in The TIPOFF, and your favorite NBA2KLeague team will be facing off against 76ers GC, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, CLTX Crossover, Wizards DG, and Hawks Talon GC in Group C.
Group play will consist of five single-game matches – no best-of-three series (unlike the last two seasons.) Read more about the NBA2kLeague tournament-centric season structure here. All our matches can be viewed on twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague.
Group C Preview: The TIPOFF
Opponent: vs. 76ersGC
Date: 4/5 @ 9 PM ET
Season 4 results: 16-12, Eliminated 2-1 by NETSGC in the NBA2KLeague Playoffs
Roster (Projected position): Jeff Terrell, Head Coach; Dre (PG); Reizy (SG); UnderratedGoat (SF); DT (PF); Yusuf (C)
What to watch: Dre was a walking bucket in Season 4, averaging 27.1 PPG in regular season competition (which was good enough to land him 7th overall in the category). When you face off against a top-10 scorer, your defense had better be on a string. FutureClutch will have his hands full along the perimeter, while Sawc and Dtrick will have to protect against the P&R and make sure Dre’s drive-and-kick game is under wraps.
Yusuf (former All-NBA2KL Second Team and All-NBA2KL Defense) has the chops to create havoc at any position defensively – how will he impact the game down low protecting the post?
We’ll also finally get to see the debut of the SAV x Bsmoove backcourt. I’m very curious to see how much offensive firepower the pair generate right out the gate.
Final thoughts: On paper, 2019 COTY Jeff Terrell has built himself a squad that has the pedigree to be one of the top teams in the East this year. The question is how long will it take to (or can they?) mesh together?
Opponent: at Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai
Date: 4/6 @ 9 PM ET
Season 4 results: 14-14, Eliminated 2-1 by Knicks Gaming in The Ticket (Semifinals)
Roster (Projected position): Jordan ‘LenGriffey’ Ross, Head Coach; OTTR (PG); ReturnofDJ (SG); HesiCap (SF, Suspended two games); BxmpyDon (PF); FEAST (C)
What to watch: Plain and simple – All eyes will be on the #1 overall pick OTTR at PG. There’s a lot of pressure being drafted first in anything, but if he plays like he did on ProAM in the run up to the draft, he may show everyone why he went so high.
Final thoughts: Gotta see how Bsmoove and Sawc perform against their former team (both were teammates on the Tigers in Season 4). Also, How will FutureClutch handle OTTR at the 1?
And last but not least, with HesiCap’s 2-game suspension ending after our match, how will Gen.G’s defense hold together against the SAV x Bsmoove combo?
Opponent: vs. CLTX Crossover Gaming
Date: 4/8 @ 7 PM ET
Season 4 Results: 12-16, Eliminated 2-1 by Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai in The Ticket (Quarterfinals)
Roster (Projected Position): Ricco Phinisee, Head Coach; FT (PG); TreyDollaz (SG); TayZo (SF); Bulleyy (PF); WorthingColt (C)
What to watch: Curious to see what 80% of a 12-16 CLTX roster looks like with #9 overall pick TreyDollaz added to the mix. Will it be enough to avoid a similar result in Season 5? Will running it back with almost the entire season 4 group intact help build that team chemistry more quickly and get them off to a more consistent start earlier in the year?
Final thoughts: I’ll let you in on a little secret. At the end of Season 3, we faced off against CLTX in a best-of-3 series in The Ticket. However, due to technical difficulties that night, our series was delayed considerably and had to be played off-stream. In the final seconds of the deciding match of that series, Bulleyy drained a buzzer-beater 3 from the left hash (100% heavy) to advance to the next round (and close the book on our season).
Not a great night fam, not a great night at all.
But since there’s no video footage of that moment in existence (that I’m aware of), at least we don’t ever have to watch it again. 🤮
Opponent: at Wizards DG
Date: 4/13 @ 9 PM ET
Season 4 Results: 22-6, Defeated Jazz Gaming 3-0 in the NBA2KLeague Finals, 2021 NBA2KLeague Champions
Roster (Projected Position): Patrick Crossan, Head Coach; Ty (PG), BRich (SG), JustAwkward (SF), Newdini (PF), Dayfri (C)
What to watch: The Champs come back for Season 5, their roster nearly intact – with one big exception. JBM, the 2021 NBA2KL Finals MVP PG, retired during the offseason so the keys to the offense now belong to newcomer Ty. It will be FutureClutch’s job to make his life very, very difficult.
Overlook this squad sans JBM at your own peril however; they still have Dayfri manning the paint (you’re up, DTrick) as well as reigning DPOY JustAwkward scanning the perimeter and playing the passing lanes.
Final thoughts: The list of accolades this current WizardsDG roster is bringing to Season 5 is kind of silly. Just counting last season we’ll see:
- All-NBA2KL First Team: JustAwkward, Dayfri
- All-NBA2KL Second Team: Newdini
- NBA2KL All-Defense Team: Dayfri, JustAwkward
- DPOY: JustAwkward
- COTY: Patrick Crossan
Yeah, they’ll probably be okay.
Opponent: vs. Hawks Talon GC
Date: 4/14 @ 10 PM ET
Season 4 results: 6-22, Eliminated 2-0 by CLTX Crossover in The Ticket
Roster (Projected position): Ismael ‘Maelo’ Diaz-Tolentino, Head Coach; Ceez (PG); Witness (SG); Swann (SF); Putback (PF); Hotshot (C)
What to watch: The big matchup to watch here will be at C, where Dtrick and Sawc will tag-team against Juan ‘Hotshot’ Gonzalez. The Hawks Talon big man spent 4 seasons manning the paint as the anchor of the HEAT Check defense, as well as the tip of the spear when it came to the interior offense off the P&R.
Also, Ceez was a pretty nice scorer in Season 4 (8th overall in PPG). If he can get back to those kinds of numbers during The TIPOFF (combined with Hotshot’s ability to score in the paint – he was the top scoring C in the NBA2KLeague for most of Season 4) Atlanta could do some damage.
We’ll have to see how that lineup meshes defensively though – can Swann elevate his game as a lock? Can Putback and Hotshot work in tandem to control the post?
Final thoughts: Hawks Talon GC looks like a much improved roster (on paper). We’ll soon find out if their gameplay matches that. Watch out for an inside-out approach offensively that possibly starts with an attack focused on Hotshot’s skillset in the paint, allowing Ceez to find his spots along the perimeter.
Need to get caught up on what happened during the offseason? Check out our Offseason Recap to get up to speed.
Make sure to catch our 1-on-1 series of Q&A’s with all the members of HEAT Check Gaming, starting with Famous & SAV.
Tune in April 5 for The NBA2KLeague’s coverage of The TIPOFF Tournament Presented by AT&T at twitch.tv/NBA2KLeauge.
Follow @HEATCheckGaming on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news on HEAT Check Gaming.