Grizz Gaming enters season four in 24 hours, and before the NBA 2K League Draft Saturday night, two current Grizz Gaming guys are putting the league on notice.
Grizz Gaming’s reputation throughout the NBA 2K League isn’t bad, but it isn’t a reputation known for winning. Winning one tournament game in three seasons, and missing the playoffs the last three seasons, it seems the Grizz are a few pieces from taking a leap in season four.
Before season four begins, and the Grizz draft four new faces to surround their core guys Vandi and AuthenticAfr in Memphis, the dynamic duo has dominated the 2K offseason creating a new standard in Memphis.
I was around for the Memphis Grizzlies taking their next step in 2011, and even all of the tough seasons before then. How Vandi and Authentic African have progressed, and lifted everyone up around them, has been a promising offseason story for the Grizz. Now, heading into season four, Vandi and Authentic will look to continue to progress and lift the Grizz Gaming Organization.
Grizz Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Lang Whitaker has to be feeling confident heading into the 2K League Draft with how his guys have played this offseason. Whitaker went the asset route this offseason and built around two guys that he was confident in from the jump. Whitaker’s unique approach to this offseason could take Grizz Gaming over the top - the top being a postseason appearance in season four.
Retail is over, it’s officially time for league builds...
The offseason is officially over for Authentic African, Vandi and all of the season four prospects. In the coming weeks, we will find out what the league builds will be at each position one through five.
Vandi ran majority of Next Gen on an ‘Offensive Threat’ build at Point Guard, while Authentic African ran with a ‘Paint Beast’ build at Center. Major improvements for the dynamic duo in Memphis overall, where I don’t think they’ll have a problem with the league builds.
Double-A shot the ball really well when in the pick n’ pop with Vandi this offseason. Seeing what the 2K League does to big men heading into season four will be huge on the league build. Authentic was noticeably comfortable this offseason with Vandi in the Point Guard and Center interactions.
Aside from scoring, Vandi improved as a floor general this offseason when directing the offense throughout games. Talking out slips with Authentic, and breaking down opposing defenses nightly. For Authentic, being so versatile can sometimes be taken for granted. Double-A played comfortably at Center for Bright Lights, and was always thinking ahead when receiving the ball.
Defensively the duo thrived and it was their identity throughout their tournament runs. Running an old school but more reliable style, you could hear the duo discussing switches, and putting more of an emphasis on the defensive end throughout each matchup.
The Bigger Picture...
Aside from builds translating, I enjoyed watching the duo build their own brand and create something that is forever theirs. No one can take away from their new franchise ‘Bright Lights’ along with their eight finals appearances and six rings this offseason. A truly dominant offseason on Next Gen for the duo.
The work doesn’t stop for these two guys, as tomorrow night they build their league team, with the same mindset of proving everyone wrong. It was a nice offseason, but if the duo can translate what happened this offseason to the 2K League, their job is complete.
With the amount of talent in the season four draft pool and two first round picks, the Grizzlies can take the next step. This offseason showed that you can put any player (for the most part) with these two guys, and they’ll push them to be the best they can be. Grizz Gaming will be on the clock tomorrow night as they look for a lockdown, Sharpshooter, Power Forward and a Sixth Man.