Preview: The NBA2K League TIP OFF Tournament

Game 1: 76ers GC (0-0) vs HEAT Check Gaming (0-0) – April 3 (8:00 PM ET, Watch live on Twitch)

Sizing Up 76ers GC: The last time these two teams met was in the S1 Playoff Semi-Finals. 76ers GC had no answer then for MVP Candidate Hotshot and Famous Enough’s 5-Out strategy, and Miami swept the best-of-three series 2-0. However, one big difference heading into this match is that player builds no longer include a Shot-Creating Slasher at Small Forward. Anticipate a much different style game from Miami in the first match of the Tip-Off Tournament than what they delivered during last year’s Playoffs against Philadelphia.

Watch: Stories From the Stage – Hotshot goes off for 54 points against 76ers GC

  • 76ers GC made the decision to retain four players from its S1 roster. Of those, Radiant and Steez will be two guys to watch.
  • Radiant was arguably one of the top Point Guards in the League through S1 (he dished out 32 assists against Miami through the Semi-Finals). However, he only converted three total field goals through the best-of-three series. It’s almost certain he will be looking to come out strong with those games in mind.
  • JMoneyRep817 qualified for the Combine as a Center, but has showed off in ProAM play how skilled a Point Guard he is. Lotty also qualified as a Point Guard in the Combine, averaging over 31 PPG and 11 APG over the course of his games there. Famous’ goal of building a versatile roster pays off here – JMoney, Lotty, or Majes7ic, who has experience running the point back during S1, are all options to handle Radiant.
  • Newcomer BreadWinnerLA qualified for the Combine as a highly skilled Power Forward and should have an opportunity to show off why Philadelphia took him with their first round pick. Whoever handles ball handling responsibilities for Miami will need to watch for BreadWinnerLA in the passing lanes – he averaged 5.1 SPG over 42 Combine games. Either 24k Dropoff or Lotty could be facing off against him at Power Forward.

Key Matchup: Whoever Famous picks to run the point will have his hands full with Radiant. Also, Hotshot may be rotating back to a front court role, so he may be facing off against Steez. The 76ers GC Center combined for 51 points on 22-of-33 shooting from the field and 13 rebounds against Miami in the S1 Semi-finals.

Game 2: Kings Guard Gaming (0-0) vs HEAT Check Gaming (0-0) – April 3 (9:00 PM ET, Watch live on Twitch)

Sizing Up Kings Guard Gaming: Coming off a disappointing S1, Kings Guard Gaming was hoping for a fresh start in March’s Draft, armed with four draft picks to essentially rebuild their squad from the ground up for S2 around WorthingColt and TimelyCook.

Then, just hours before the Draft was supposed to begin:

The League announced that TimelyCook would be suspended for the 2019 season pending sensitivity training.

Though Sacramento received a compensatory third-round pick, they will be fielding a nearly completely revamped S2 roster around their remaining S1 holdover, WorthingColt.

Watch: Stories From the Stage – Hotshot Secures Triple-Double against Kings Guard Gaming

  • In his final game last season, WorthingColt went off for 39 points on 19-27 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. He’ll likely be anchoring the starting unit until his new teammates get settled in.
  • Sacramento’s first round pick BP was one of the highest rated Point Guards coming out of the Draft. The rookie averaged 30.4 PPG, 14.6 APG and 2.5 SPG in Combine play. If he can translate those numbers to League play, BP could be a top player at his position in S2.
  • BallLikeSeem and Yusuf_Scarabz returned to the League after being released by their teams following S1. Both players will have chips on their shoulders after earning a second opportunity with Sacramento.
  • Both BallLikeSeem (Mavs Gaming) and Yusuf_Scarabz (Raptors Uprising GC) played as Pure Sharpshooting Shooting Guards when they last faced HEAT Check Gaming in S1. BallLikeSeem scored 12 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field, while Yusuf_Scarabz was held to nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from three and one rebound. Which one of these returning players will handle Shooting Guard responsibilities? Or will they each be slotting in at different roles?

Key Matchup: Will newcomer BP be able to replicate his combine performance against League competition on the big stage? The battle at the point could be one of the major deciding factors of this match. Also, with Hotshot likely sliding back to his natural position in the front court, expect another battle of the bigs between he and WorthingColt.


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