TORONTO, Canada—Watch out NBA 2K League!
Just two days after knocking off the fifth-place NetsGC, Raptors Uprising GC, NBA 2K League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, impressed yet again, this time with a 2-0 series sweep of the third-place Warriors Gaming Squad to notch a season-high fourth win in a row.
“We wanted to see if we could put together two wins against a team that’s third in the Western Conference,” said reigning MVP Kenny Got Work. “We wanted to see how we matched up against a top team in the league, and that’s why we played with pride tonight…and with the addition of Dimez, now we’re 4-0.”
The influence of Dimez, who was acquired last week via trade, was felt throughout the evening, especially towards the end of Game 1, as Raptors Uprising found themselves in a tough spot: trailing by seven points with 90 seconds left on the clock. However, after finding Timelycook in the corner for a tough three-pointer the play prior, Dimez would fake the drive, step back, and hit a massive three to give his team life in this one.
From there, Raptors Uprising (9-17) would lock in, get some key stops — including one of Timelycook’s game-high four steals — and knock down some clutch free throws down the stretch, as the team would complete a heroic late-game comeback to pick up the 73-70 win and shock Warriors Gaming Squad (13-9).
“This team showed a lot of heart and a lot of grit to pull out that first game,” said Kenny Got Work. “The team that we had at the beginning of the season, I don’t see us pulling that win out.”
Playing against his former team, Type was outstanding for Raptors Uprising in this one, slamming home dunk after dunk to finish with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 12-for-15 shooting from the floor. As Kenny Got Work mentions, while a lot of the focus will be on the new-look backcourt of him and Dimez, the big man down low poses just as big of a threat any time he steps onto the court.
“Type is going to give you the same energy whether it’s his former team or any team in the league,” said Kenny Got Work. “He’s going to bring it every single night and tonight was his. They tried to make it hard on me and Dimez, but hey, we’ve got a big fella down there that can give us 20+ on any given night. Shout out to Type for the great performance he put on for us.”
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) July 31, 2021
In Game 2, Raptors Uprising once again were put to the test, as Warriors Gaming Squad quickly jumped out to a seven-point lead after the opening quarter.
But that’s when the man handling the rock, Dimez, the league’s first-ever player drafted back in 2018, would start to take over for Toronto. His 16 points at halftime would draw Raptors Uprising back to within five heading into the break.
In the second half, the team from the North would catch fire thanks to some unselfish play and solid all-around team basketball, once again led by Dimez, who was facilitating for his teammates if he wasn’t scoring on his own at point guard. A 10-0 run towards the end of the third quarter, capped off by a clutch three-point shot from TsJosh, put Toronto in the driver’s seat heading into the fourth quarter, where from there, the team would cruise to the victory and complete the sweep with a 81-71 win.
TsJosh finished 17 points, five rebounds, and three blocks, while Dimez — who remains undefeated in a Raptors Uprising uniform — led all scorers with 34 points of his own on 13-for-18 shooting from the floor.
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) July 31, 2021
“Dimez, he’s changing the culture right now,” said Kenny Got Work. “He’s somebody that I’ve needed this season, and we finally got him. He expressed to me how happy he is playing alongside of me, and we elevate each other’s game. I feel like we’re the best backcourt in the league.”
As impressive as Dimez has been, what’s arguably been just as impressive has been the unselfishness exhibited by reigning MVP Kenny Got Work. A player who led the NBA 2K League in scoring a year ago — the face of the Raptors Uprising franchise — has happily been willing to take a backseat to his new talented teammate, playing within his role in order to get the best out of his side.
In fact, in Game 2, Kenny Got Work, who averaged over 30 points a year ago, scored just 12 points — but he didn’t miss a shot, which speaks to his willingness and belief he has in this new-look team.
“I know what it takes to win in this league,” said Kenny Got Work. “I got all of the accolades under my belt, and that meant nothing; we didn’t finish the job last season. And my eye’s on the bigger prize, so I couldn’t really care less about the accolades — I just want that ring at the end of the season.
“I feel like if we get through that TICKET, we could make something shake.”
Raptors Uprising will head into their final bye week of the season on a high note as they’ll wrap up the regular season against another solid team in Grizz Gaming on August 11. As always, fans can tune in on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch or YouTube channels.