NBA2K League - Season 2 Report Cards
*** Originally published in August 2019 ***
Now that Season 2 is in the books for the NBA2K League, a majority of the 2K community has already turned its attention to the new game, NBA2K20, and trying to figure out best positions, builds, pie charts, and so on.
With that in mind, we have no idea how this will be received or how many people will actually take the time to read it. This was prepared shortly after the season ended and was supposed to be featured on the NBA2K League Spotlight Show, but vacations and life got in the way. However, we felt it was at least worth publishing as a blog and whomever chooses to read it, we hope you like it.
Keep in mind that this was written by someone who observed the games from the outside. There is no inside information that lead to these grades, just a lot of research, analysis and breakdown of games and seasons.
Also keep in mind that this was written by someone who loves e-sports, loves the NBA2K League, and has played a lot of NBA2K, but never at a high level. So this is just one person’s opinion.
The 76ers GC have been one of the best and most consistent teams in the NBA2K League since its inception. Therefore, it made sense to think that the success would continue with 4 players from the Season 1 edition coming back for Season 2 (Radiant, Newdini, Steez, ZDS), and with the additions of Breadwinner and OCassius, Season 2 was looking promising.
The 76ers GC were lead by their star PG Radiant who delivered a consistent 20 points per game (4th) while collecting 11.1 APG (3rd) with many of those coming in a pick and roll combination with Steez at C. This duo was one of the main reasons for Steez ending up 8th in the League in shooting percentage (69.6%) while scoring on average just over 11 PPG.
The supporting cast was also nothing to sneeze at with Newdini playing the Lockdown at SG chipping in an average of 7 PPG and stealing the ball 2 times a game. There were also some stand out performances along the way from ZDS who scored 52 points against the Cavs Legion in week 12. This is the same game that saw the 76ers GC sixth man, oCassius score 36 points in his one and only appearance this season.
Having the Coach of the Year behind the bench to help the team navigate it’s way to a Tip Off Banner, a Finals appearance in the Turn, and coming one win away from winning the Championship certainly cannot be overlooked. Coach Jeff had his finger on the pulse of his team every step of the way. He knew which buttons to press and when. This level of coaching acumen cannot be taught in any coaching clinics but can only be learned through experience.
As disappointing an end to the season it was for 76ers GC, it was very successful. But you can be sure that this disappointment will be used as motivation to bring an NBA2K League Championship to Philly next season.
After a very successful first season (12-2), the Blazer5 were poised to repeat their season one success with 4 of the 6 original players coming back.
For the second year in a row, the NBA2K League MVP was a Blazer5 player, this time Mama Im Dat Man earned the award and joined his teammate, One Wild Walnut, in the League MVP club.
As expected, Blazer5 had a record breaking regular Season with 14 wins in a row bookended by very close losses. Mama Im Dat Man also lead the league with 23.1 PPG (2nd) and 11.6 APG. OneWildWalnut was not as spectacular as he was last season, but he was still one of the best Centers in the league scoring 15.9 PPG (20th) while shooting 72.1% from the field (4th). He also ranked 2nd in the League with 12.6 RPG.
The supporting cast of LavidhPhenom, King Peroxide, Daveed and Jomar provided enough secondary scoring while providing solid defence with Daveed stealing the ball 2.7 times per game (8th) and Lavish not far behind with 2.6 steals per game (11th).
Blazer5 continue to be the most successful Regular Season teams by a country mile with a combined record of 26-4 over their first two seasons.
But being the best team in the Regular Season does not always translate into Championships. Unfortunately for the Blazer5, they know this fact all too well. For the second year in a row, they struggled in both Tournaments (1-3) and the Playoffs (0-2).
In tournaments, the Blazer5 stumbled out of the gate in the Tip-Off with a 15 point loss to Bucks Gaming followed by a 16 point win over Jazz Gaming. This was not enough to make it out of their group. In both The Turn and The Ticket, they had first round exits when they lost a close game in both tournaments, by 4 points and 3 points respectively.
Blazer5 came into the Playoffs as the top seed, but also entered on a losing note having lost their final Regular Season game to T-wolves Gaming 56-53. This was a sign of things to come as they were swept away in two games in round one against the underdog Warriors Gaming Squad. Not only did this end their Championship aspirations, but it also handed the Blazer5 their first 3 game losing streak in their history. In fact, if you take their last 8 games overall, they only played .500 basketball going 4-4.
The Blazer5 were a different team when it came to Tournaments and Playoffs. For example, their offensive production during the regular Season was 66.4 points per game, but that dropped considerable during tournaments/playoffs to 56.3 points per game.
They were also a different team defensively only giving up 55.6 points per game during the Regular Season but that increased during playoffs/tournaments going up to 62 points per game.
Most of the teams scoring in tournaments and playoffs came from Mama and Walnut and the lack of production from the other players really hurt the team, along with the fact that they were the only team in the League with no head Coach. These two deficiencies really hurt the team when the stakes were at their highest.
Despite the lack of success in tournaments and playoffs, the Blazer5 still remain one of the best teams in the League, but must provide Mama and Walnut more scoring help at key times and must hire a head coach who would help control the players emotions at key times and be the eye in the sky to make effective in game adjustments. Expecting Mama to continue to produce at an MVP level plus trying to coach the team is proving to be too much.
The Bucks Gaming came into Season 2 with a lot of room to improve after finishing in 11th place, going 6-8 in year one. The team received a good dose of criticism when they used their first round pick (6th overall) to draft Plondo. The pick certainly caught a lot of people by surprise, but proved to be an excellent draft pick as the Bucks C/PF scored 18.3 PPG (8th). ARooks and Big Meek joined Plondo in the top 10 in league scoring with Arroks scoring 19.9 PPG (5th) and BigMeek scoring 18.8 PPG (7th).
Clearly, scoring was not an issue for this team, but where the scoring came from was a major issue. Scoring production from the PG position for the Bucks was a major problem all year long.
The PG duties were shared between SlayIsland and Chaddynick over the teams 23 games. Both players could not find their scoring touch as Chaddynick averaged 6.9 PPG (102nd) and SlayIsland scored 6.4 PPG (105th). In the teams’ 23 games played, the PG position scored a total of 174 points, or 7.5 PPG. In fact, there were two games where the team’s PG scored zero points. In addition to that, the Bucks PG failed to record double digit assists in any games this season, and had three games where the PG didn’t record a single assist.
This kind of production from the PG position made it very difficult for the Bucks to put together any kind of significant winning streak or build up any kind of momentum. Their longest winning streak was 3 games.
To further illustrate the teams' inconsistency, the Bucks Gaming won both games played against Blazer5 this season, but also suffered critical losses to both the Knicks Gaming and Pistons GT.
Despite failing to qualify for the playoffs for a second year in a row, the team did improve on their season one record finishing at 8-8, and did manage to win 3 tournament games.
The team also has a brilliant mind in SamPham, who will work on addressing the team’s needs in the off-Season. If they can improve their production at the PG position, the team can continue to take steps in the right direction in Season 3.
Coming off a 5th place finish in Season 1 with an 8-6 regular season record, expectations were high. The Cavs Legion had retained Hood, Godddof2K and Sickx973. They subsequently traded Hood to the TWolves for oLarry who had been selected by TWolves in the expansion draft.
After drafting Savage, they were coming into Season 2 with two thirds of their original roster intact. Their season started with a split of the two games in the Tip-Off tournament which was not enough to advance out of their group which also included Raptors and Mavs.
Their regular season started out with 2 wins against the Raptors and Magic, but not without controversy. Their starting PG, LYKEaPRO, had cheated in their game against Magic Gaming, but it took the NBA2KLeague some time to investigate and confirm the allegations, which resulted in a 4-game suspension for LYKEaPRO. The suspension came into effect immediately after the Cavs Legion victory over Pistons GT in week 3. LYKEaPRO never played again for the Cavs Legion in Season 2.
Strainer and Godddof2k would fill in at PG during the Turn Tournament, but the team finally settled on Savage at PG for pretty much the rest of the year.
The Cavs also consummated a trade with the Raptors at the Turn Tournament which saw the Cavs send Sick x 973 to Toronto in exchange for All Hail Trey. Although the Cavs were adding one of the best PF in the League, it left a big hole at the C spot.
After a second round exit in the Ticket, the pressure was on for the Cavs to improve on their 7-5 record and make a surge for a playoff spot. They lost a crucial game in week 9 against the Wizards DG which put them at 7-6 meaning they had to win out if they had any chance of making the playoffs. Two late losses to the Celtics Crossover and 76ers GC sent them home without a playoff berth.
In the end, the team did not shoot well enough as All Hail Trey struggled from the field only shooting 53% (81st) and 42% (78th) from three point range. Savage also struggled to find his shooting touch finishing with a shooting percentage of 59% (43rd) from the field and 34% (99th) from three point territory.
Although they did match their year one win total in the regular season, they also suffered 8 losses which was only good enough for 10th place.
Celtics Crossover Gaming
Having drafted oFab second overall for Season 1, the Celtics were not happy with their 9th place finish ending with a 7-7 record. The team was looking to build around their core of retained players (Fab, MelEast and Profusion) in year 2.
The team took some heat for their first round draft pick when they selected Bulleyy 8th overall. They also drafted NoAutographs and Suavyy to complete their roster.
The pre-season predictions were not very high on the Celtics, but they were quieted early with a tremendous run to the Finals of the Tip-Off tournament before falling to the 76ers GC.
However, it didn’t take long for the critics to come out of the woodwork as the Celtics had a shocking 0-4 start losing by a combined 45 points in those four losses. Their campaign was also marred by a post-game altercation in their game one loss to the Hawks Talon, which resulted in fines and a one game suspension to their star PG oFab.
Week 4 is where everything turned around for the Celtics. Coach Ricco made a change to his line-up moving Mel East from PF to SG, and moving Bulleyy from SG to PF. This line up seemed to work very well as the Celtics went on an incredible run which turned their season around.
From that point on, the Celtics Crossover went 14-6 overall, but more importantly the team went 10-2 in regular season games to launch themselves into playoff spot at 7th place with a 10-6 record.
The Celtics Crossover were on a major roll coming into the playoffs in a series which pitted Dimez (#1 Draft pick) vs oFab (#2 Draft pick). This one seemed much more personal for Fab than it was for Dimez.
The Celtics and Fab played superb basketball and swept the Mavs Gaming in 2 games. The box-scores also show that Fab outplayed Dimez significantly outscoring him 46-22 in the series and also beat him in the assists category 25-17.
In the semi-finals, the Celtics ran into a hungry 76ers team whom they had not beaten in three previous games. The 76ers proved to be too much as the Celtics bowed out in a 2 game sweep.
Regardless, this season can be seen as a big success for the Celtics considering the very slow start. Fab is the engine that drives this team as he had an outstanding year scoring 22.3 PPG (2nd) and 12.5 APG (1st). Profusion provided scoring support with 16.6 PPG (16th) while NoAutographs was solid on the boards collecting 11.7 RPG (6th). He also didn’t miss many shots shooting 68.7% (10th). MelEast filled in the role of lockdown admirably as he had 2.6 SPG (11th) while scoring just over 10 PPG.
The Grizz Gaming were hungry to improve on a 6-8 record in Season 1 which was good enough for 10th place.
Their season got off to a rocky start with 2 straight losses in the Tip Off Tournament followed up by three straight losses to start the regular season. Their first loss was by a single point to Mavs Gaming, however, their second loss was to a very weak Lakers Gaming. After splitting the next two games, they were in a deep hole at 1-4.
With every game, Vandi (PG) seemed to be starting to figure things out as his point production was increasing as were his assists per game. From week 5 to the end of the regular season, Grizz Gaming went 8-3 in the regular season to finish at 9-7 which put the team in the 8th spot. However, they did not qualify for the playoffs due to the 14th place Warriors Gaming Squad taking the final playoff spot by winning the Ticket Tournament.
Otherwise, the Grizz Gaming would have been a playoff team in Season 2. In addition, four of the teams’ seven regular season losses were by 5 points or fewer, with two of those losses by only a single point against the #1 and #2 teams in the League, Blazer5 and Mavs Gaming. With a bit of luck, this team could have been 11-5 or even 13-3.
As for the Tournaments, the Grizz Gaming did not perform well at all going 0-4 combined meaning the team played the minimum 20 games each team were guaranteed to play.
Vandii’s numbers were very good. He scored 17.8 PPG (11th) and tallied 8.4 APG (7th). He had six games where scored 20 or more points and had double digit assists in 6 games.
Authentic African was not as prolific a scorer as year one, but he still scored a respectable 14.8 PPG and was 5th in the League with 11.8 RPG. He also snagged 2.5 SPG (17th).
This was an improvement over year one, but the Grizz Gaming inability to win close games and tournaments games proved costly. As mentioned earlier, with a bit of luck, this could have been a drastically different season for this team.
Hawks Talon GC
The expansion Hawks Talon seemed well equipped with talent coming into their first season. Having acquired Dat Boy Shotz and Arsonal as their starting PF and C was a good start. The Hawks used their first round pick in the Draft to get DevGoss at #13, who would be their starting PG for the Tip Off Tournament.
After struggling immensely in the teams two losses and only scoring a total of 7 points in both games combined, the DevGoss experiment was over very quickly. The starting PG for the teams Regular Season opener would be Rando, while DevGoss slid down to SF position.
Rando was able to produce just under 17 PPG in the teams’ first five regular season games, and lead the team to a 3-2 record. After a first round loss to the 76ers GC in the Turn Tournament, the Hawks came together with the Pistons GT where both teams would exchange players they had both just drafted in the first round: Mr.Stylez was heading to Atlanta while DevGoss was on his way to the motor city.
The Mr. Stylez era in Atlanta lasted only 6 games which saw him score 8 PPG in which the team lost 5 of those 6 games. After a first round exit in the Ticket Tournament, Coach Wes decided to try various players at PG. STL2LA played two games, followed by Rando for 2 games, and finally JayAFool played the final 2 games at PG.
Over the Season, the Hawks used 5 different players at the PG position which never allowed the team to build any kind of chemistry or consistency. In fact, the team only won 5 out of their 20 games, and never won back to back games. Included in their 15 losses were defeats to both the lowly Lakers and Knicks.
However, the season was not a complete loss because they can claim victories against very strong teams in the Celtics Crossover, Kings Guard and Warriors Gaming Squad.
The Hawks have some very good pieces to build upon, but their number one priority in the off-Season is to solve their PG dilemma.
Heat Check Gaming
After losing in the Season 1 Finals to the Knicks, the Heat had to spend the entire off-Season with the memory of watching the Knicks Gaming hoist the Championship trophy while the Heat Check Gaming players watched with bitter disappointment.
Coming into the year with a solid core of Majes7ic, Hotshot and 24K Dropoff, they were well positioned to make another deep run.
For the Tip Off Tournament, the HeatCheck found themselves in a very difficult pool which included the Kings GG and the 76ers GC, who would go on to win the Tip Off for the second straight year. After a very tough 2 point loss to the 76ers, the Heat bounced back to beat the Kings GG to split their games, which was not good enough to advance out of their group. Jmoney scored a combined 27 points in the two games which is respectable. However, he was 10/26 shooting (38%).
Week 1 of the season saw a Season 1 Finals rematch between the HeatCheck and Knicks Gaming. Although it doesn’t equate to a Championship, the Heat had to feel some measure of revenge in taking down the Knicks 80-59 to start their Season 1-0. The Heat would split their next 4 games to head into the Turn Tournament at 3-2. Despite the respectable start, the chemistry did not seem right with this team.
After a first round exit in the Turn Tournament, the team pulled the trigger on a trade which saw them send JMoney to the T-Wolves Gaming in exchange for a disgruntled Hood. It’s no secret that Hood and the T-Wolves were anxious to part ways, while JMoney never seemed to find his groove with the Heat Check. In his 8 game career with the Heat, JMoney averaged 8 points a game and shot 47% from the field.
In the short term, this trade did not pay dividends for the Heat Check as they went 3-8 after the trade in the regular season, which included a 7 game losing streak.
Similar to some other teams, the Heat Check never seemed to find an answer at PG. After trading JMoney, every single player on the Heat Check roster except for Lotty started at least one game at the PG position.
Obviously, Season 2 was a big disappointment for the Heat Check players and Management, which will make it very interesting to see what moves will be made in preparation for Season 3.
There was a lot of room for improvement after going 5-9 in Season 1 which was only 2 spots away from last place. The Jazz Gaming did what was expected by drafting Ria (C) first overall in the Season 2 Draft. This would mean their Season 2 roster would include a 3rd overall pick in Yeah I Compete and a 1st overall pick in Ria.
Their results in the Tip Off Tournament were not unexpected in beating the Bucks Gaming but falling to the Blazer5, which meant they would not advance out of their pool.
The Jazz Gaming faced two tough opponents out of the gate in the Regular Season, both losses to the Pacers (by 38 points) and Mavs Gaming. The team bounced back nicely with 4 straight wins, in large part due to solid performances by Yeah I Compete (PG) and Gliz (PF).
Sandwiched in that winning streak was a pretty good run in the Turn Tournament which saw the Jazz defeat the Cavs Legion and T-Wolves Gaming before falling in the semi-finals to the eventual tournament champions, the Warriors Gaming Squad.
Their first game of week 5 was a win against the Cavs Legion, which was their second win against the team from Cleveland, and their 4th regular Season win in a row which brought their record to 4-2.
But the good start was negated by 3 losses in a row to the Wizards DG, Nets GC and T-Wolves Gaming. It could be said that their season was lost with those losses because they went from a playoff spot at 8th place all the way down to 13th place. The team never recovered from this and never rose higher than 10th place in the standings.
The Season 2 version of the Jazz Gaming could be considered a “streaky” team losing 3 games, winning 5 games, losing a game, winning a game, losing 3 games.
Along the way, there was a personality conflict between the team’s cornerstone PG Yeah I Compete and rookie MOAM. There was an apparent attitude problem with MOAM who was openly critical of, and confrontational with Yeah I Compete. Eventually MOAM was traded after the Ticket Tournament to the Heat Check for Lotty. This trade would now mean that the Jazz roster included 3 first round draft picks in Compete (3rd overall in Season 1), Ria (1st overall in Season 2) and Lotty (20th overall in Season 2).
Even with all this pedigree on their roster, the Jazz split their final 6 regular Season games with 3 wins and 3 losses to finish the regular Season in 13th place at 8-8 overall.
There is no doubt the Jazz have a lot of talent but they must find a way to be more consistent and break the cycle of winning streaks followed by losing streaks.
Kings Guard Gaming
Year one was filled with dysfunction, plenty of losses and a last place finish for the Kings Guard. The silver lining in all of this is that there literally was nowhere to go but up for this team.
The Kings GG were almost starting with a clean slate save for worthingcolt who was the only returning player. Timelycook was also retained, but received a one year suspension from the NBA2K League for violating the League Code of Conduct. A compensatory third round draft pick was given to the team in order to replace him.
It didn’t take long for more drama to ensue as BP, the teams’ highly touted rookie PG, requested a trade from the team to be on an east coast team so he could be closer to home. The Kings GG did not grant their star player his wish and BP spent the entire Season in Sacramento.
It’s hard to say how this situation was affecting the team, but losing both games in the Tip Off tournament was not the kind of start the team needed if they wanted to turn their fortunes around.
The Kings GG continued their losing ways dropping their first regular season game to the Nets GC. The team finally got their first win in their second game by downing the Wizards DG by a score of 59-47, with BP scoring a game high 25 points.
Their second win of the season started a 6 game winning streak and a 7-2 record which launched them from 11th place all the way up to 4th place in the standings. This win streak included a record setting performance by BP which saw him make 11 three point shots and scoring 41 points in a win over Pacers Gaming.
In the middle of that 6 game regular Season winning streak was the Turn Tournament. The Kings GG have not been very good in tournaments in their short history, but they did manage to win their first game before being eliminated by the Bucks Gaming in the second round.
In week seven, the team’s Management made a peculiar decision to have the team fly from Sacramento to New York City on the same day that they were scheduled to play the 1st and 2nd place teams on the same night. Due to the time difference between the two cities, in order for the team to arrive on time for that night’s games, the players had to start their day extremely early in the morning.
When you factor in the time change and the fatigue from traveling all day, it is easy to understand why the team lost both those games by a combined 47 points. The significance of this cannot be overstated because these two losses were the start of a 10 game stretch in which the Kings won only 3 times, including 4 consecutive regular season and playoff losses that ended their Season.
As good as the Kings Guard regular season record was (10-6), when the teams record in Tournaments and Playoffs are factored in, the teams overall record was only 11-12. This should be considered disappointing especially considering the teams record prior to week seven.
That being said, the Kings GG had a successful year considering the turbulent start the team had, and when compared to year one.
After catching lightning in a bottle at the end of Season 1 and taking home the Championship, the Knicks were able to come into Season 2 with two thirds of their line up intact. They also added Original Malik and Hazza UK through the entry draft.
Perhaps the Knicks were suffering from a “championship hangover” because they got off to a slow start in the Tip Off Tournament, losing both games against the Nets GC and Magic Gaming.
The Knicks season didn’t start any better as they lost 7 of their first 8 games in large part to their PG, iamadamthe1st, struggling to find his game. In the first 7 games, iamadamthe1st only scored 61 points (8.7 PPG), and was even held scoreless in a 38 point loss against the Blazer5.
He would eventually turn his game around in terms of production, but the Knicks regular Season performance regressed from Season one finishing with a 4-12 record and ending up in 19th place. The four wins they managed came against the Pistons, Lakers, Hawks Talon and Bucks Gaming.
As bad as it was, they actually won two games in a row in week 11, meaning they won 2 of their last 3 regular Season games, a good way to end a dismal Season.
In Season 1, the Knicks Gaming were a combined 12-4 in tournaments and playoffs, but they were not able to be as good when money was on the line this year. As mentioned earlier, they were swept out of the Tip Off Tournament and lost in round 2 of the Turn after beating a very poor Lakers team in round one of the mid-Season tournament.
However, the Season one version of this team showed up in the Ticket as they went on a long run taking down very good teams in Jazz Gaming, Mavs Gaming and Cavs Legion. They would eventually lose in the semi-finals against the Pacers Gaming by only 6 points. They came very close to winning the Ticket for the second year in a row and securing a playoff berth with a very poor regular season record. But it wasn’t to be this year, and the team played out the string with players playing for jobs in Season 3.
There were few bright spots for the Knicks this Season which made Goofy’s performance really stand out. He lead the league in rebounding with 14.9 rebounds per game. He was also third in the league in shooting percentage at 72.3% while scoring 14.4 PPG (38th). He also earned 5 assists per game (22nd).
As poor as the Season was, the Knicks can be optimistic because from week 8, they were a .500 team going 6-6 in both the regular season and tournaments.
Unlike the T-Wolves Gaming, the Lakers played the part of an expansion team very well.
There were very few bright spots to talk about. Their roster included Mootyy and Safiya4ya who both came over from the Kings GG, and had to endure another season of losing most of their games. The roster also included Vert who was acquired in a trade with Warriors Gaming for their 1st round pick, which turned out to be CB13.
The Lakers regular season record was 3-13 with their wins coming against the Grizz Gaming, Hawks Talon and Pistons GT. Not only did the Lakers lose often, they lost in grand fashion. In their 13 regular Season losses, the average margin of defeat was 14.5 points. In fact, 8 of their losses were by double digits and included losses of 19 points (Blazer5), 21 points (Warriors Gaming), 27 points (Kings GG), and 45 points (Bucks Gaming).
The entire roster struggled for most of the Season with Kev scoring the most points per game with 15.7 PPG (25th). The Lakers PG, Kontrul, struggled mightily scoring only 7.7 PPG (96th), averaging 2.8 APG (50th), shooting 41% (110th) from the field and 25% from three point range (110th) which was last in the entire league.
It might be wise for this team to look over at their expansion cousins from Minnesota for the template on how to build a successful expansion franchise. And the saying of “there is nowhere to go but up” fits this situation perfectly.
Season two for the Magic Gaming could be described as very eventful and having a lot of “what ifs” and “could haves”. This team looked very different with KingCamRoyalty as the only returning player. They also had Daddy Jonah as their new Head Coach who came over from the Mavs Gaming.
This team ended up in 9th place with a 9-7 regular Season record, but things could have been drastically different. They were very close to being an elite team. For example, they got off to a slow start losing 3 of their 5 games, and 4 of their 7 losses were by five points or fewer. If they could have turned two of those losses into victories, they could have been an 11-5 team which would have been good enough for 3rd place overall.
In addition, they lost both games in week one with the first loss coming to the Cavs Legion in the “Cheat-Gate” game in which the Cavs Legion PG, LYKEaPRO, cheated in that game and was subsequently suspended.
Although this loss happened in the team’s first game, it would prove to be a very critical loss that should not have been allowed to happen. It could also be said that this game was a major reason as to why the team did not qualify for the playoffs.
Next is the teams rookie PG, Reizy, who earned himself the Rookie of the Year award. When you consider that Reizy did not play on the standard Sharpshooting Playmaker build for the first 13 games, the fact that he was able to accomplish what he did is nothing short of remarkable. The team was 7-6 before the switch, then were 8-4 after. Just imagine where the team would have been if their star PG had been on the build right from the start.
At the same point, the Magic also traded the very popular Toksik to Grizz Gaming in exchange for KelMav, who was causing an apparent chemistry issue on the Grizz Gaming. The archetype change and trade happened at the same point in the season, which seemed to work out very well for the team as they were 8-4 afterwards.
After week 10, they were 8-5 and sitting in a playoff spot at 7th place. But devastating losses in their next two games to the Celtics Crossover and Grizz Gaming virtually eliminated them from the playoffs. If the Magic could have won one of those games, they likely would have made the playoffs.
Reizey was full value for his Rookie of the Year award scoring 17.3 PPG (13th) and collecting 9.8 APG (4th). King Cam Royalty lead the league in shooting percentage at 78.2% (1st) and was also very effective on the boards with 10.1 RPG (14th). DT also contributed with 14.3 PPG (30th) and was top 10 in the League for steals with 2.7 per game (9th).
Overall this was a successful year for the Magic Gaming, but when you consider what could have been and the way the season ended, it just leaves you wanting more.
A 6-8 record and 12th place finish in season one was a major disappointment for this team. A personality clash between Dimez and DayFri surely played a role in the teams losing record. To no one surprise, the Mavs were only interested in keeping Dimez and start from scratch in putting a team around him that would fit with his playing style and leadership style. The team did extremely well in the draft when they picked up elite prospect PeteBeBallin (C) with the 5th pick overall. Pete would work extremely well with Dimez in the pick and roll combination all season.
What was most noticeable about the new roster was how calm and quiet they were during games. Rux was the exception to that rule, but overall this was a team that did not trash talk very much and always kept their composure. This was a stark contrast to year one.
After splitting their games in the Tip Off Tournament, the Mavs were unbeatable in the Regular Season in their first 10 games busting out of the gate at 10-0. Despite this incredible start, the Mavs were not getting the respect that an undefeated team would normally get because many of those wins came against teams that would end up in the bottom half of the standings.
Their first regular Season loss came against the 76ers GC in week seven which would be the start of a downward slide where the team won only twice in their last 9 games, including a 2 game sweep in the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics Crossover. In fact, four of their last five losses were by 15 points or more.
Their performance in tournaments left a lot to be desired with a 2-3 record overall. They split their games in the Tip Off Tournament and did not advance out of their group. They won their first round game in the Turn Tournament against the lowly Knicks, but were eliminated in their next game by the Warriors Gaming. Finally, they suffered a first round exit in the Ticket Tournament to the Knicks Gaming in a close 2 point loss.
After a second straight year with a disappointing ending, the critics will definitely be questioning whether Dimez was worthy of being the first overall pick in Season 1. He scored 16.7 PPG (15th), 8.7 APG (6th) and shot 59% (44th) from the field. Pete Be Balling proved to be a smart pick by scoring 14.3 PPG (39th), collecting 11.2 RPG (9th) and shooting 73.8% from the field (2nd).
After an incredible start to the Season, the way it ended is what makes this seem like a lost season. In the end, the Mavs could not win in high pressure situations when the stakes were at their highest. That being said, Season 2 was still a step forward for this franchise, and the pieces are in place for the team to take another leap forward in Season 3.
Of the four expansion teams, the NetsGC had the second best performance. They had a regular season record of 7-9 which would put them in 16th place, well out of the Playoffs. After a quick 2-0 start with wins against very good Kings GG and Magic Gaming, the team was never really a threat to make the playoffs.
When you look at their regular results, they were a very streaky team: 2W, 4L, 3W, 1L, 2W, 4L. The team was not consistent enough. There are a few things you could point to that might explain their struggles. Starting at the PG position, Wavy and Lavish both played in this spot. Wavy played 15 games at PG and lead the team to a 5-10 record while Lavish played five games in which the team went 3-2.
Wavy did struggle in the shooting department sinking baskets at a 52% clip (87th), scoring 15.1 PPG (29th) and dishing out 5.8 APG (14th). Lavish was the most prolific scorer on the team with 15.8 PPG (24th) but only shot 50.3% (93rd). The team also never seemed to have solidified the SF position, which saw 4 different players play that position over the course of the year.
The Nets GC would have also been better served with a bit more scoring from Shuttles (7.9 PPG) and Shockey (9.9 PPG). Although both players were good on the boards pulling down 7.2 RPG (20th) and 7.1 RPG (21st) respectively.
Season 1 Champion Nate Kahl had a solid campaign shooting 68.3% from the field (13th) which helped him tally 11.9 PPG (54th). He was also very good on the defensive side with 2.6 SPG (11th).
The team’s performance in tournaments also came up short by going 1-3 overall with their only win coming in their first game of the Tip Off Tournament against a weak Knicks Gaming. Overall, this was not a terrible Season but also not a spectacular Season, but ending on a 4 game losing streak is not an ideal way to enter the off-season.
The Pacers Gaming were looking to improve on their season one record of 6-8 (13the place) with two returning players Swizurk and Wolf. A shrewd off-Season trade of their 1st round pick (4th) for Ramo would give the Pacers a solid 2 – 4 to build around.
The team came out hot winning both group games in the Tip Off Tournament before falling to the Celtics Crossover. Their regular season start was perfect after 4 games, but they would experience too many ups and down the rest of the way: 1L, 1W, 3L, 3W, 2L, 2W.
Thanks to the quick start, they ended up with a 10-6 record which was good enough for 6th place and a spot in the Playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they got swept in the first round against the 76ers GC, who eventually lost in the Finals.
The Pacers proved to be a very difficult team to play against and chances were very good that the game would be low scoring for both teams. Even though their games were low scoring most times, they were highly entertaining to watch because they were a very vocal group and excelled in the trash talking department. The teams PF, Ramo, played all Season with a chip on his shoulder after being traded by the Pistons GT.
After having a lot of success on the Post Scoring build at the PF position, Coach Cody Parent found that it was very difficult for his team to overcome deficits during games. This build is almost unstoppable within the key, but scoring 3 pointers is what teams need to erase any kind of lead. So Coach Parent moved Ramo off the Post-Scoring build which opened things up significantly for the team and they became more dangerous on the offensive end. The team saw immediate dividends and ended their regular Season with two big wins over the Celtics Crossover (81-69) and the Nets GC (77-50).
The team performed very well in Tournaments. They won both of their group games against the Warriors Gaming and Hawks Talon to win their group. But they were eliminated by the Celtics Crossover in the next game. The Celtics Crossover would prove to be a thorn in the Pacers side because they also eliminated the Pacers in the first round of the Turn Tournament.
However, in the Ticket Tournament, the Pacers Gaming went on a very long run that saw them make it all the way to the Finals by winning four straight games, including a 65-61 win over the 76ers GC. A tough 10 point loss to the Warriors Gaming in the Finals would end their hopes of securing a guaranteed playoff spot.
The Pacers Gaming have developed a reputation as being one of the best defensive teams in the League. On the offensive side of the ball, they must get more production from the PG position.
Their starting PG, Matty, could only score 12.4 PPG (48th) but did record 5.7 APG (15th). That being said, Matty did have an outstanding performance when he scored 31 points at PG in their week four win against the Magic Gaming. Other notable performance came from Ramo when he scored 43 points against the 76ers GC in the Ticket tournament, and from Swizurk who scored 32 points in their week 12 win against the Celtics.
Overall, the Pacers Gaming were a much improved team from season one but they could have used more production from the PG position on a consistent basis.
The Pistons GT were a force in Season 1 finishing in third place with a 9-5 record. Their Head Coach was named Coach of the Year and the future was looking bright. However, this season was a complete disaster from the opening tip-off. They were 2-14 in the Regular Season, which included a 13 game losing streak. The losing streak was actually 15 games when you factor in their tournament games. Their two lone victories came in week 2 against the Bucks and in week 12 against the Heat Check, in which the Pistons GT actually scored the most number of points in a single game this Season with 108 points.
The team’s lineup was constantly changing and they never seemed to find a line up with which they were comfortable. Most players played at least one game at 3 different positions during the season, with Splash King having played a game at all 5 positions. This makes it very difficult for any team chemistry to develop. The Pistons gave up an average of 69.4 points per game while scoring only 58.4 points per game.
There is not much more that can be said about Season 2 for the Pistons GT except for the fact that they are one of the few teams who ended Season 2 on a winning note.
Raptors Uprising GC
After a 1-5 start in Season 1, the Raptors Uprising went on an incredible winning streak to save their season. They ended up in 4th place overall with an 8-6 record.
The team somehow found a way to bring two-thirds of their roster back for Season two. Based on this there was no reason to believe that this couldn’t be one of the top teams in the League. But in sports, every year is different and cannot be viewed in the same way as previous seasons.
The one word that best describes Season 2 for the Raptors is inconsistent. This team won 8 games in the regular season and they lost 8 games. They won 4 tournament games and also lost 4 tournament games. The Raptors Uprising never won more than two games in a row, nor did they lose more than two games in a row. In weeks where the team played two games, they were 2-5 in the first game and 5-2 in the second game. The contrasts this season are astonishing.
An 0-2 start to their Regular Season was followed by 2 wins and their season literally continued in this pattern. One loss, one win, two losses, one win, and so on. It took 3 wins in their last 4 games to end the year at an even 8-8. They were never in serious contention of a playoff spot and were never higher than 13th place in the standings until the last week of the Season when they climbed a spot to finish the season in 12th place.
Their first round draft pick in season 2, Doza, did not perform to the teams expectations and struggled to score points and had one of the lowest shooting percentages in the league at 46.5% (103rd).
In a mid-season trade, they sent All Hail Trey (PF) to Cavs Legion for Sick x 973 (C), who ended being the highest scoring player on the team with 15.9 PPG (19th). Other than Sick, the Raptors struggled to score this season and were on of the lowest scoring teams with only 56 points per game.
In tournaments, they were 4-4 going the furthest in the Ticket Tournament losing in the third round to eventual Tournament winners, the Warriors Gaming Squad.
Overall, this was a season where expectation were high and the team fell short. That being said, the sky is not falling and the team did win as many games as they lost. Also, don’t expect that Doza will perform as poorly as he did, and with a good season 3 draft, the Raptors Uprising can be optimistic that they can once again be a playoff team next season.
As one of the four expansion teams for Season 2, it’s hard to say what the teams expectation were, but there is no doubt that they were elated when their highest ranked prospect, BearDaBeast, was available to them at the 11th pick overall. The teams other draft picks of TurnUpDefense, JoJo and NachoTraynor would turn out to be brilliant picks. Add them to their expansion picks of Hood and Feast looked pretty good on paper.
But this team had a lot of adversity to deal with early on when a very disgruntled Hood demanded a trade out of town for reasons unknown. The T-Wolves Gaming sent Hood home while they tried to find a trade partner which meant they played with a roster of only 5 until a trade could be made.
Within a two day period after the Turn Tournament, the T-Wolves Gaming traded Hood to Miami in exchange for JMoney and they fired their Head Coach Vilvens (both decisions were unrelated). There is no doubt that the team struggled during this time losing 4 of their first 6 regular season games.
But sports is a funny thing because something very special happened when JMoney arrived in Minnesota. From the outside looking in, it looked like there was instant chemistry and removing a disgruntled Hood and replacing him with a JMoney who seemed motivated to prove his value after the Heat Check gave up on him.
What happened over the next 8 weeks was one of the most remarkable stories ever. The players bonded and developed a chemistry where the players genuinely trusted each other, cared for each other and played for each other. And when that happens on a team, magical things can happen.
And there was a lot of magic for this team. They finished the regular Season on an 8-2 run to finish at 10-6. Their rise in the standing was historic as they went from 16th place in week five to 4th place when the season ended and a playoff berth.
They roared into the playoffs on a 5 game winning streak and were one of the hottest teams in the League. They absolutely steamrolled through the first two rounds of the playoffs sweeping both the Kings GG and Warriors Gaming Squad.
The Finals against a very hungry and experienced 76ers GC team was an absolute dog fight. After opening the series with massive 71-36 win, they got demolished in game two 70-23. The teams would alternate winning the rest of the way, and the T-Wolves were the last team standing and were crowned the NBA2K League Champions. It is very clear that there is a new “face of the league”.
The expansion T-Wolves accomplished something historic that may never be accomplished again in the history of the NBA2K League.
Warriors Gaming Squad
After a dismal Season 1 in which they were tied for last place with a 4-10 record, the Warriors Gaming Squad knew what they had to do. A lot of credit should go to Rustin Lee who worked tirelessly in the off-season with added emphasis put on scouting. The hard work paid off as the Warriors Gaming Squad had one of the best drafts ahead of season 2.
After retaining BSmoove and Type, they traded Vert for the Lakers first round draft pick, which gave them the #3 pick (Gradient) and the #10 pick (Kina/CB13). Drafting Jin in the third round was one of the most underrated picks of the draft. Then the Warriors Gaming Squad made history in round 4 when they drafted Chiquita as the first female ever into the NBA2K League.
There were two very distinct versions of this team: the Regular Season Warriors and the Tournament Warriors.
Starting with the Regular Season Warriors. After winning 7 of their first 10 games, they went on to lose their last 5 games in a row to finish at 7-9 and ranked 14th overall. If they had not won the Ticket Tournament, they would have not made the playoffs for a second year in a row.
Flipping over to tournaments, this team was VERY different. After losing their first game in the Tip Off Tournament, the Warriors Gaming Squad would not lose another tournament game for the rest of the season!
They ran the table and won the Turn Tournament. Then they ran the table and won the Ticket Tournament to become the first team in League history to win 2 tournaments in one season AND two tournaments in a row. It could be a very long time before we this type of run again.
Heading into the playoffs on a 5 game losing streak made them clear underdogs in the first round match-up against the heavily favored Blazer5 team who vowed that it was Championship or bust for them. What happened in that series was nothing short of shocking when they jumped out to a 28-7 lead after the first quarter of game one. The Blazer5 were completely stunned and never recovered from this. The Warriors Gaming took that game 67-45 and completed the sweep with a 61-55 win in game two. But they ran into the team of destiny in the T-Wolves who defeated them in a 2 game sweep, and their season was over.
Looking back to Season 1 and comparing it to what the team accomplished in Season 2, it is safe to say that this year was a tremendous success. They won The Turn Tournament and the Ticket Tournament, qualified for the Playoffs and took down the number one Blazer5 team before bowing out to the T-Wolves Gaming. There is certainly a lot for this team to be proud of this season.
Wizards District Gaming
The Wizards DG were one of the top 7 teams in Season 1 with an 8-6 and qualifying for a playoff spot. With Demon JT, Reese Da God and Gilly returning, along with the additions of DayFri, UserPick and PaulB, this team has a lot of potential to be great. That being said, things did not go as planned for the Wizards DG.
A Season can’t be won in three weeks but it certainly can be lost, and that is the story of the Wizards DG year. An 0-4 start over the first three weeks proved to be too much of a hole for the Wizards DG. They bounced back in week five with 2 wins which gave them a glimmer of hope. However, week seven was the deathblow to their playoff chances as they lost both games to the Grizz Gaming and Celtics Crossover to drop to 2-6. If they could have pulled out those two wins, they would have been 4-4 which would have given them a much better chance of making the playoffs. They would finish the rest of their schedule going 5-3 over their last eight games, but it was not good enough to make the playoffs. They would finish at 7-9 in 15th place.
This team also underperformed in tournaments winning one game in the Tip Off, but then getting bounced in the first round in both the Turn and the Ticket Tournaments.
It’s unfair to put all the blame on one player, but Demon JT admits that he was very disappointed with his play this season and he takes full responsibility for it. He ranked 90th with 8.3 PPG and never found his shooting touch as he shot a disappointing 38.5% (111th) from the field and 37.3% (96th) from three point range. JT is a much better player than his stats would show, so watch for him to bounce back big next season.
Reese Da God was a bright spot for the Wizards DGas he ranked 3rd in the league with 20.7 PPG. DayFri and Gilly both had good seasons scoring 14.9 PPG (32nd) and 13.3 PPG (43rd) respectively. Userpick was dynamite from 3 point range shooting 65.6% (2nd) while Paul B was very good when he was in the line-up ranking 23rd in the League in steals with 2.3 steals per game.
Overall, this could be called a disappointing season for the Wizards DG, and if they could have had a better start to their season, things could have turned out differently. They played the minimum 20 regular season and tournament games and ended up with only 8 wins in total.