Grizz Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Lang Whitaker wrote about how time consuming the NBA 2K League can be. Not in a bad way, but more of trying to stay ahead of the curve. Work while other teams are sleeping, and continuing their early success as a team.
If you have watched this Grizz Gaming team this season, you would’ve never thought that this was this franchise’s first taste of regular season success. They’ve found a way to bounce back and show their resiliency the last two weeks, and that is a great sign for this franchise as they head into their first in season tournament.
Before we look ahead, we need to look back at the Grizz week six matchups against Hornets Venom, and Magic Gaming.
Before a “Game of the Week” matchup verses Magic Gaming, the Grizz had quite the task against Hornets Venom. The Venom was looking to take off on the Grizz in the Eastern Conference. A series that ended in a split saw some real positives from the Grizz.
In game one, Grizz Gaming outscored the Hornets in all four quarters, and didn’t let the Hornets score 20 points in any of the four quarters. A 20-point first quarter, then a 28-point fourth quarter gave the Grizz a 82-63 victory over the Hornets in game one. With a game one victory, a sweep was very realistic for the Grizz, but the Hornets defense wore Memphis down in game two.
Game two wasn’t bad at all for Memphis. Leading 37-26 at the half of game two, the Hornets defense played phenomenal in the second half. Holding the Grizz to back-to-back nine point quarters, as Hornets Venom gritted out a 60-55 victory against Memphis to split their Wednesday night series.
Sitting at 1-1 on the week, seeding in the Turn Tournament on the line, sitting at 11-5, could Grizz Gaming finish their week on a bright note? Facing an 8-6 Magic Gaming team, whom was fighting for seeding themselves in the Turn Tournament was going to be quite the test, and at first, Grizz Gaming had me worried.
Game one, Grizz Gaming started off solid, but the second half is where the wheels started coming off the wagon. The Grizz carried a 28-24 lead into the half, but as the second half opened up, Magic Gaming started taking momentum from Memphis.
The Grizz carried a two-point lead into the fourth quarter against the Magic in game one, but it felt like the team had zero energy. The Magic were just clicking defensively. It felt like the Magic wings locked in on Vandi and Chess in the second half, and it was a over before the fourth even started. Futureclutch of Magic Gaming came up with a huge steal in the fourth to take whatever chance the Grizz had away. The Grizz dropped game one 66-57. With an win in game two, Grizz Gaming would solidify no worse than a four seed in the upcoming Turn Tournament, but with a loss, could fall to ninth. The Grizz handled the pressure and adversity beautifully on Friday night.
As game two tipped off, the Magic jumped out to a 20-11 first quarter led on Grizz Gaming. Not wanted to see if you were a Grizz Gaming fan. Fortunately for Memphis, in the second quarter, the Grizz were able to cut that nine point lead to four at the half. A minor adjustment that helped the Grizz was a soft full-court press. Chess2K and FollowThe God would throw different formations, and reactions at Reizey of Magic Gaming to slow down Orlando’s offense.
Adjusting and maintaining as Grizz Gaming’s offense would drop 24 points in the third quarter. Limiting the Magic to 16 points in that same quarter, that one adjustment could’ve saved the trajectory of Memphis’ season. With 10 seconds remaining in a one point game, Vandi showed how much he had really grown as a floor general.
With 6.7 seconds left, Vandi had a wide open mid-range jumper, but that would leave too much time on the clock, but took the switch with Magic Gaming Power Forward May. As Vandi found the mismatch, he calmly took it to the top of the key. Just like all season, looking for Chess2K on the hash, Vandi absorbed to defenders at the top of the arch.
A swing to the right corner to Chess, whom absorbed Spartan’s defender who was helping out on Chess, off the Vandi double team at the top of the key. Chess than made one more pass to the corner where Spartan drilled a three right between the eyes of the Magic. With .4 remaining on the clock, it was all but over. Grizz Gaming found a way to pull out game two by a score of 75-73 against the Magic, locking themselves into the fourth seed of the Turn Tournament.
Now, the Grizz take on the Turn Tournament, and look to continue their historic season four on Thursday night in round one.