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Grizz Gaming Preview: A Tale of Two Records Face Off

Grizz Gaming looks to continue their early season success...

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NBAE via Getty Images

WHO: Grizz Gaming (3-1) vs. Bucks Gaming (0-4)

When: Saturday Night, 8:00 P.M. CT

Where: Memphis, TN (virtual)

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: The NBA 2K League’s Twitch Channel (Twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague)

What didn’t go Grizz Gaming’s way in week one?

Grizz Gaming comes into week two looking to build off of a very successful week one — sweeping Heat Check Gaming, then splitting their night two series with Hawks Talon GC to finish 3-1 heading into week two. Week two features a big matchup against a 0-4 Bucks Gaming squad. Yes, 0-4, but a talented group none the less. “That is a talented group, despite the record, and they will get going,” Grizz Gaming Head Coach and General Manager Lang Whitaker previewed their matchup against the Bucks.

The Magician Wins Player of the Week:

Grizz Gaming Point Guard Zach “Vandi” Vandivier had a historic week one for Grizz Gaming. He picked up NBA 2K League Player of the Week honors, after averaging 31.0 ppg, 9.0 assists, 56.5 shooting from the field and 51.1% from three-point land. “His confidence has grown a lot,” Whitaker praised Vandi’s continued progression.

Whitaker has taken a different approach to player development in a league that is lacking that has watched Vandi grow up.

“When he arrived in Memphis, he (Vandi) was 19 years old,” Whitaker continued“He has made incredible strides, and he is going to keep going, and that is what is even more exciting - what lies ahead for Vandi.”

Vandi is the first Grizz Gaming player to take home “Player of the Week” in their franchise history.

Vandi will have to keep on for this Grizz Gaming team, as they face a struggling Bucks Gaming squad that is in a similar situation to the Grizz of last season. An 0-4 start, with a lot of games ahead of this quietly talented Bucks Gaming team. How will the Grizz take care of business against the Bucks on Saturday night?

NBAE via Getty Images

Defensive pressure:

Grizz Gaming’s defense is something that has been the blueprint since day one. For the most part, the roster as a whole was constructed around Vandi and Authentic with guys with two-way capabilities. Through the Grizz first four regular season games, their defense is giving up an average of 58.5 points per game.

Credit, where is due, the Grizz wings are putting pressure on opposing guards to create off the dribble. The Grizz will see a very talented back-court in Regg and ARooks tonight, and the game plan doesn’t change defensively for Whitaker and the Grizz. “The game plan doesn’t change no matter who we play,” Whitaker looked ahead to Saturday night. “We have to continue to trust one another, and be ourselves.”

FollowTheGod has captained the Grizz Gaming defense, but that’s not the only thing he’s been playing great at. Follow has been playing efficient on the offensive end. Follow is shooting 53.8 percent from deep, and sits third in the 2K League in assists to turnover ratio (.860).

Controlling the boards:

Authentic African dominated week one for Grizz Gaming in the painted area. Averaging 13.8 ppg, 14.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, Double-A made a huge impact for the Grizz on both ends in week one.

Authentic will have quite the matchup tonight against “Plondo” of Bucks Gaming. Plondo is averaging 16.7 ppg, 15.7 rebounds, along with 2.3 assist in their first four games. Authentic has been huge when the Grizz offense hits “lulls,” so I expect Authentic to be ready tonight as the Grizz look to have a positive showing against Bucks Gaming.

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