Sunday afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies NBA 2K ESports team “Grizz Gaming” hopped on a flight to Indianapolis, Indiana. A flight that not many people around the NBA 2K League thought would happen for Grizz Gaming.
This airplane ride meant the Grizz Gaming had won two of their five pool play games, which had them escaping pool play with a shot at winning $250K in Indianapolis. Memphis did the unthinkable following an 0-2 week one and then dropping their first game in week two. The Grizz won two must-win games which gave them a chance to dance in the NBA 2K League Tip-Off Tournament.
Every guy in Grizz Gaming’s lineup cleaned up their game on both ends of the floor, leading to those two huge back-to-back wins.
How did the Grizz get here?
Following a rollercoaster two weeks of pool play, the truth came out about Memphis’ slow start to pool play. Grizz Gaming cornerstone AuthenticAfrican arrived in Memphis later than normal due to the League getting his Visa from Canada.
Then, Grizz Gaming Guard JMoney had a baby girl, which led him arriving to Memphis late (understandably so). On top of that BP, whom was supposed to play Point Guard only in 3v3 formats, voluntarily switched with JMoney following their first scrimmage of 5v5.
Grizz Gaming began pool play with this lineup -
PG - BP
SG - JMoney
SF - Spartan
PF - JRod
C - Authentic African
Memphis went 0-2 with this starting five. They were getting beat on both ends of the floor, as opponents were getting what they wanted on both ends. The weak side was left open, the team’s pick and roll defense wasn’t strong, and BP was trying to do too much on offense. After internal discussions, the Grizz rolled out a revamped lineup.
PG - BP
SG - JMoney
SF - Authentic African
PF - JRod
C - Spartan
This lineup is currently 2-1, following a tough loss to Nets GC in their lineup debut this past week. Brooklyn was just rolling, and it was still a feeling out process for all of the adjustments. However, following the loss to the Nets, Memphis has been in sync on both ends of the floor.
BP’s dribbling has calmed down on offense, as he and Spartan worked the pick n’ roll beautifully in week two. JMoney has been a perfect compliment to BP in the Grizz backcourt so far. When teams went on runs against Memphis, they ran really solid half-court offense, and fed their next runs off of that. It works well either the pick n’ roll, or allowing JMoney to be that secondary creator, Memphis looked like a team that belongs in Indy this week.
Memphis took down Hornets Venom 78-69 on Thursday evening, earning their first win of the season. Then, they handled a hungry Magic Gaming team 71-65 on Friday night in a win or stay home matchup.
Grizz Gaming’s motto “Built for This” seems fitting the adversity that they had to fight through in the first two weeks of a very long season. They are a seasoned group of guys that aren’t afraid to hold one another accountable, while being self-aware of their own play. It takes a special team to respond like Memphis did, that has them competing for $250K this week in Indianapolis.
Grizz Gaming will play a best-of-one series on Wednesday, April 20th as they tip-off bracket play in the NBA 2K League Tip-Off Tournament.