The first four weeks of the regular season and the first midseason tournament, the Turn, of the NBA 2K League are over, with the Blazer5 Gaming clearly coming out on top. Now, the rest of the league will be looking to topple them. Only time will tell if they can rise to the challenge. After the Turn, here are the teams in our Top 10:
#1 – Blazer5 Gaming
Regular Season: 4-0; The Turn result: Champions
The Blazer5 almost came back to win the finals of the The Tipoff, the league’s preseason tournament, against the 76ers GC. Since then, the squad has been unstoppable, steamrolling to a perfect 8-0 record in the regular season and the Turn so far.
With such a loaded roster, it’s hard not to see why the Blazer5 are so dominant. They have the league’s best frontcourt duo in Dayne “OneWildWalnut” Downey and Connor “Dat Boy Shotz“ Rodrigues, along with one of the top point guards in Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser, who also happened to be The Turn’s tournament MVP. Does that remind you of anyone in the NBA?
The Blazer5 are confident coming in to the rest of the season, and OneWildWalnut embodies his team’s confidence best. “We’re the best team, we’re here to stay, and no one’s gonna stop us,” said the star center after their victory at the Turn.
#2 – 76ers GC
Regular Season: 4-1; The Turn result: 3rd
The 76ers GC rode the high of their win in the preseason tournament with a strong showing in the regular season. They were looking to raise their second tournament banner until they were stopped abruptly by the CLTX Crossover at the peak of its Cinderella run.
As always the team has been reliant on its star point guard and MVP of The Tipoff, Ethan “Radiant” White, who averaged 24 points and 12 assists per game in the Turn. If the 76ers supporting cast can complement Radiant’s strong performances with their own, then expect the Philly squad to be the strongest contenders. The 76ers won’t have to wait long to prove themselves again, as they will match up against the Blazer5 in Week 5 of the regular season.
#3 – CLTX Crossover Gaming
Regular Season: 2-3; The Turn result: Runners-up
The CLTX Crossover must have found a four-leaf clover or something, as their resurgence at the Turn was nothing short of lucky. After losing three straight in the regular season, they blitzed through the midseason tournament and only fell short because of the Blazer5 meatgrinder. It’s nothing to scoff at, especially when you consider that they beat the 6th, 3rd, and 2nd tournament seeds as the 11th seed.
The squad’s duo of point guard Albano “oFAB” Thomallari and Devon “ARS0NAL x” Peek led the way, with oFAB dishing out a total of 77 assists and ARS0NAL averaging 19.8 points and 10.8 rebounds throughout the tournament. With that said, the squad needs to prove that their three regular season losses were just a fluke, and their Cinderella run would be more like the norm.
#4 – Mavs Gaming
Regular Season: 4-1; The Turn result: 5th
The Mavs and the CLTX are very similar teams, and they match up well on paper across all five positions. The Mavs won their first two meetings handily, the first being a 81-74 drubbing in the Tipoff group stage and then a 66-59 walloping in Week 2 of the regular season. The Mavs were given a taste of their own medicine in the Turn quarterfinals, as the CLTX handed them a 77-59 beatdown.
The Mavs have seen their second abrupt tournament exit now, which stings when more considering their solid regular season showing. They will have to find some consistency and prove their excellence in the regular season is not just a flash in the pan.
#5 – Wizards District Gaming
Regular Season: 3-2; The Turn result: 6th
The Wizards have been trending upward lately, but they would still be disappointed they didn’t advance as deep into the tournament as they must have hoped.
The squad’s biggest problem has been closing out opponents it had on the ropes. In the Turn quarterfinals, they fell short of beating the 76ers by 3 points, which mirrored another narrow 60-59 loss to the 76ers in the regular season. The Wiz need to maintain their momentum going forward and conjure up some late-game magic in future matches.
#6 – Pistons GT
Regular Season: 3-1; The Turn result: 9th
With a great run in the regular season, the Pistons came to the Turn as the 4th seed with high expectations for themselves. Unfortunately, they were upset by the Warriors Gaming Squad, 56-51, in the first round. After winning three straight, the Pistons have now lost two in a row and are spiraling downward.
The squad’s lone bright spot was Joseph “JosephTheTruth” Marrero, who posted 16 points and 11 rebounds in their loss to the Warriors. He needs to lead in righting the ship and steering his squad back to the right direction.
#7 – Jazz Gaming
Regular Season: 3-2; The Turn result: 11th
The Jazz have remained competitive throughout the season, with some costly mistakes in regular season games setting them in the middle of the pack. In the first round of the Turn, they did not match up well with the CLTX and were booted off early, 73-55.
While the squad has been strong in both ends of the floor, the one thing they need to really improve is how they take care of the ball. An embarrassing total of 14 turnovers proved costly in their loss to the CLTX. If the Jazz can improve as the season presses on, look forward to them breaking finally into the upper tier of the league.
#8 – Knicks Gaming
Regular Season: 2-3; The Turn result: 4th
The Knicks were a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. As the 12th seed, they upset the 5th-seeded Cavs Legion on the back of the league’s first ever triple-double by Idris “Idrisdagoat6” Richardson with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
It didn’t end there. They beat the Warriors, who were coming off of their own upset of the Pistons, in a heated 68-63 quarterfinals match. Then it ended when they ran into the Blazer5 brick wall in the semis.
Still, the Knicks should be happy with their result. Their frontcourt of Idrisdagoat6 and Dayvon “GOOFY757” Curry, who posted a cool 20.6 points per game, shone during their run. Their continued improvement could mean the Knicks would no longer be the underdogs in the future.
#9 – Cavs Legion GC
Regular Season: 3-2; The Turn result: 10th
While the Cavs were without the services of their star player Brandon “Hood is Glitchy” Caicedo for four games in the regular season, they were still able to get a 3-2 record, the 5th seed, and Hood back in time for the Turn. Things took a turn for the worst in their opening match against the Knicks, however.
In their ugliest loss of the season, the Cavs looked discombobulated, with top-scorer Hood held to just 7 points while Idrisdagoat6 of the Knicks dropped the league’s first-ever triple-double on them. While the loss can be attributed to a lack of chemistry following their star’s prolonged absence, the Cavs are still in quite the predicament. Getting Hood and the rest of the squad their groove back will be imperative if they still have any hopes of contention left.
#10 – Magic Gaming
Regular Season: 3-2; The Turn result: 7th
The Magic did as well as one could expect, considering the fact they were one of the teams caught in the Blazer5’s path of destruction. After beating Kings Guard Gaming, 71-61, in their opening match, they were simply outgunned by the eventual champions and promptly ground down, 86-70.
The Magic’s loss to the Blazer5 was actually its first since Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford joined the starting lineup. If KingCamRoyalty can boost the squad to a respectable showing in the Turn, will he also have the magic to keep them in contention going forward?
WILDCARD: Warriors Gaming Squad
Regular Season: 1-3; The Turn result: 8th
The Warriors really live up to that ‘W’ in their logo. No, it’s not because they always win. It’s because they’re up, down, then up again, then down again. It’s like writing down the letter, get it?
The squad had a respectable 8th place showing in the Tipoff, only to follow it up with three straight losses in the regular season. Their only win was a 68-65 nailbiter against the CLTX in Week 4, which they followed up with an upset of the 4-seed Pistons in their opening match at the Turn. They slid back with a loss to the Knicks in the next round, however.
While the Warriors have the talent to contend, they desperately need to find some consistency. Otherwise, they can only expect more roller coaster rides in the future. They should be going up from here, right? Right?
The regular season resumes on June 15 with another 4 weeks of action before the second midseason tournament on July 13. How will these 10 teams fare in that time? Catch all the action on the NBA 2K League’s official Twitch channel to find out.