WHO: Grizz Gaming (0-0) vs. Heat Check Gaming (0-1), Hawks Talon GC (0-1), Saturday
WHEN: Tonight, 8:00 P.M. CT. Saturday, 8:00 P.M. CT
WHERE: Memphis, TN (Virtual)
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: The NBA 2K League’s Twitch Channel (Twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague)
The stage is getting set for the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/B6jlwoPOLK— Grizz Gaming (@GrizzGaming) May 13, 2021
Grizz Gaming starts their season four regular season tonight with a jam packed weekend. It is a matchup with a revamped Heat Check Gaming Club, whom performed well in the Tip-Off Tournament. Then, Grizz Gaming will take on Hawks Talon GC Saturday night, whom they faced twice in the Tip-Off Tournament, and split the series with.
Two really good matchups for Grizz Gaming as they look to start their season off strong, something they haven’t been consistent with in seasons past. “You can’t keep digging yourself a whole, and expect to get out of it,” said Grizz Gaming Head Coach and General Manager Lang Whitaker while he talked about the history of slow starts.
The Grizz will have to come out of the gates sharing the ball, and getting stops. Of course, that’s easier said than done. With a pivotal season four tipping off, how does Grizz Gaming get off to an early start in both matchups?
Defense, defense, defense...
This Grizz Gaming team is built around their defensive identity. Of course, in the 2K League, offense is king, but the Grizz have to be consistent in what makes them successful. Their defense is what fuels their offense, and getting those stops will be huge for their offense. Not singling one guy or another on this roster as of now for their defensive breakdown against T-Wolves Gaming, because the Wolves are just that good.
The weak side of Grizz Gaming’s defense will have to read situations off of the pick and rolls. That includes Vandi and Spartan as their weak side defenders on each side. They can’t over-help, or over-collapse for rebounds tonight. If the Grizz don’t get rebounds, They’ll need to have a defender sitting out there waiting for the pass out from the opposing big man.
Their defense off the pick and roll will have to be consistent going up against a Point Guard like Sav on Heat Check Gaming whom has started season four rather well. He is young, but has a high IQ on the offensive end, and is one of the better defensive point guards in the league. For the Hawks, the rookie Ceez played fantastic in the Tip-Off Tournament. He has not looked like a rookie, and letting the game come to him. See if the Grizz can put Ceez in situations that make him uncomfortable on Saturday night.
Sharing is caring...
There are no doubts about Grizz Gaming’s Point Guard Vandi’s scoring abilities, but the assists numbers will have to be high if the Grizz look to sweep their two games this weekend. Vandi dropped back-to-back 40 pieces in pool play of the Tip-Off Tournament. Tonight, Vandi will be the focus for the Heat and Hawks tonight and tomorrow night. The other Grizz will have to move, and be ready shoot when passed the basketball. This team is already a better shooting team than last season, but movement as a whole offensively from the shooters will huge for their success this weekend.
I’ve liked what I have seen from the wings in Memphis. Chess2K using his build to create off the dribble, Spartan making corner threes, and Follow being ready, and hitting as well. I would like to see Vandi and AuthenticAfrican utilize their talents in the pick and roll tonight, like they did all offseason. Double-A is a fantastic assisting big man off the pick and roll, and Follow along with Spartan will be there when the defense collapses for open three points.
Outside of half-court sets, if the Grizz can capitalize on their fast break opportunities when getting stops, Memphis has a great chance at starting the season 2-0.