Last Thursday night was quite a debut for the franchise of Grizz Gaming in the NBA 2K League Playoffs. The hype surrounding the 2K League as a whole returning to in-person gameplay was enough to get hype on alone. Then, talking with Memphis’ players before their playoff debut fueled even more excitement.
Then, a power outage at the stage in Dallas delayed gameplay for nearly two hours. Memphis was riding high as they returned to the virtual hardwood with a 10-0 start against New York and destroying Knicks Gaming in game one of their best of three series 80-47. Trash talk was at an all-time high, as it seemed Memphis had taken every possible body blow to New York. A game two win would give Memphis their first playoff series win as well.
Then, the unimaginable happened - New York jumped off the mat. Like, the Knicks were knocked out cold, and then they were right back up again. Going right at Memphis in game two, while Grizz Gaming looked unbeatable after game one they looked like a lost team in game two. It was almost like game one never happened. They beat themselves in game two, after getting close several times. After falling 75-63 in game two, Memphis’ season was nearly gone, and for the first time in a long time - I was speechless.
It’s honestly hard to analyze a performance like that. From straight dominating, to getting dominated. A stunned Grizz Gaming Point Guard Vandi just sat there in shock, and honestly so did I. I’ve watched all three games back trying to pinpoint what, and how the things that happened Thursday night transpired, and I misread the entire matchup.
I thought that Memphis could use New York’s inexperience in the studio against New York, but the Knicks straight up showed up Memphis following a beat down. A loud Grizz Gaming team following game one was quiet for the next two as they were reversed swept. This ended their extremely successful season five.
This was a team that should be remembered for changing the overall trajectory of this Grizz Gaming franchise. While I was blown away with how the season ended for Memphis, you could argue that this exceeding expectations for the Grizz. Now, a long offseason lies ahead for Lang Whitaker and company as they build on a successful season five.
Will Grizz Gaming’s core have another successful offseason? Who will Memphis retain this offseason? There are a lot less questions surrounding Memphis heading into this offseason following a solid season five.
For Grizz Gaming as a franchise, it’ll be about how they take this body blow and continuing their growth as a franchise. Because season six is a pivotal season for Memphis.