WHO: Grizz Gaming (13-9) vs. Magic Gaming (10-12), and Gen.G Tigers (11-11)
When: Wednesday night- 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 — Friday night 8:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M.
Where: Memphis, TN (virtual)
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: The NBA 2K League’s Twitch Channel (Twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague)
What a week.— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) August 1, 2021
Where’s your squad stand? pic.twitter.com/jCVh32COTL
The NBA 2K League announced Monday afternoon that the season four 2K League Playoffs would be hosted in studio. It will be the first time an in-person 2K League match has been held since 2019 due to COVID-19. A step in returning to normal, as Grizz Gaming looks to be part of that monumental step for the league.
Grizz Gaming is looking to take a monumental step of their own as they are in a dead lock race for the NBA 2K League Playoffs. If Memphis were to make the playoffs this season, it would be their first appearance in the franchise’s four seasons in Memphis. Or, the latter could happen for this Grizz Gaming team, who went 1-4 last week, and fell to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
With one leg in the door of an Eastern Conference Playoff birth, this Grizz Gaming team will hit the virtual hardwood once again against Magic Gaming (Wednesday) and the Gen.G Tigers (Friday).
NBA 2K League Locked In Powered by AT&T: Episode 7, Bye Week follows @ImVandii, @RigbyCB, and Sawc as they go home for the league wide bye week! (Vandi's dogs are the real stars of this episode)— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) August 2, 2021
Watch now:https://t.co/DmTNgkokvi pic.twitter.com/3eKdma0hYS
Four games against two opponents that this Grizz Gaming team has already faced twice before. First, a matchup with Magic Gaming, in which they split their series with back on July 9th. The Magic simply out-shot the Grizz in game one, and controlled the tempo as well.
Then, game two was a back and forth affair that had Grizz Gaming winning following a Spartan buzzer-beater to push Memphis over Orlando 75-73.
Following their Wednesday matchup with the Magic, a rematch with the Gen.G Tigers Friday night. From a roster standpoint, Grizz Gaming is better overall than the Tigers, but at times they can make their jobs harder. A good example was their game one matchup against the Tigers this past week, Memphis couldn’t put a run together following a slow start. It’s on the team as a whole to take better shots, and make each possession matter, similar to their game two win versus the Tigers last week.
Vandi has to be Great:
And nothing short of that. If this Grizz Gaming team is going to make the playoffs, Vandi will have to be a superstar down the stretch. Memphis’ six remaining games are not easy by any means, but when Vandi is rolling the offense as a whole flourishes.
With Vandi moving at the top, that opens the pick and roll up, and even the free throw line cuts from Chess2K for mid-range jumpers. I like the tempo that Grizz Gaming played with in their game two against Gen.G. The hash runs by Spartan for easy three-point attempts were also important.
Vandi finally has the right group of guys around him, now it is time for him to take this franchise to plays it hasn’t been before, and in order to do that - Vandi has to be great.
Apply defensive pressure:
Grizz Gaming is the only team in the NBA 2K League to press the ball full-court. Now there is a soft half-court press that Memphis rolled out in the Turn Tournament. From there, at times it looks like a mess. With these two solid matchups against the Magic and Gen.G, the Grizz have to find some consistency in the press.
A soft press still allows the opposing Point Guard to get the ball past half court rather quickly, but I’ve see Chess and FollowTheGOD be great in the press. Then, the pressure backs off to half-court. Finding some consistency to the full-court press will be a huge part of just how far this team can go not only this regular season, but potentially in the playoffs.
With so much on the line, with right at a week left in this regular season, how will we remember this group of guys? The fast start, their first playoff appearance, or will it be the latter - another missed opportunity? The marathon continues for Grizz Gaming in season four.