Chasing History: Undefeated Raptors Uprising look to finish regular season strong vs. Cavs Legion

TORONTO, Canada—Only one opponent stands between them and a perfect season.

Toronto’s professional NBA 2K League team Raptors Uprising GC will have the opportunity to put a bow on their already-historic campaign Friday evening when the undefeated squad from the North takes on Cavs Legion GC in the team’s 2020 regular season finale.

Raptors Uprising (15-0) could become the first side ever to finish an NBA 2K League season with an undefeated record if they can once again do what no team has done before: win their 16th game in a row.

In their way stands a struggling Cavs Legion (4-10) squad, who have lost their last seven in all competitions. But despite already clinching first place and Cleveland’s recent struggles, don’t expect Raptors Uprising to take this one lightly.

“Me, personally, I hate losing,” said Raptors Uprising centre Sick One. “It doesn’t matter if I’m losing a free game or a game for a million dollars, I just don’t want to lose, so that’s motivation enough.”

To further add fuel to his fire, Sick One will be squaring off against his former team for the first time since being dealt to Toronto midway through last season. He was traded to Raptors Uprising from Cavs Legion on May 13 in exchange for All Hail Trey—a move MLSE Esports Manager Shane Talbot admitted was one of the toughest of his career.

But it’s paid off, and Sick One is coming out with a vengeance against his former squad on Friday evening.

“I feel like they (Cavs Legion) know they messed up trading me,” said Sick One. “They wish they could take that trade back. But I have a bunch of friends on the team still, so it’s going to be interesting.”

The third-year pro has been a pivotal part of Raptors Uprising’s success in his first full season North of the border. In 34 games, he’s averaging 14.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.7 blocks at the centre spot.

Toronto is also spearheaded by the reigning NBA 2K League Player of the Month: point guard Kenny Got Work. The NBA 2K League leading scorer hasn’t slowed down at all this season, averaging 38.7 points, 9.1 assists, and 3.8 steals in July.

“From the first game until the last game that we’ve played, Kenny just has that dog in him, that killer in him, that he’s going to put you away, that he’s not afraid to take any shot,” said Sick One. “So, we know that we can always count on him and he’s always going to be our leader.”

Cleveland will look to slow down both Kenny and Sick One early, and if they somehow manage to find a way to, the four-win side has a few weapons of their own that Raptors Uprising know are capable of catching fire.

In addition to All Hail Trey, who has been a steady figure in the Cavs Legion lineup since touching down, Cleveland also acquired Doza from Raptors Uprising in the offseason. He struggled to find his rhythm for most of the season, but has recently come into his own at point guard, averaging 27.8 points over his last four outings.

While these two teams haven’t faced off in over a year, Cavs Legion will hold onto the fact that they own a 3-1 all-time series edge over Raptors Uprising, most notably eliminating Toronto in their only postseason appearance in Season 1.

It won’t be easy to maintain that record, however, as Cleveland will take on the second-place Jazz Gaming on Thursday evening before Friday’s date with the two-time tournament champions.

Matchup to Watch: Doza vs. Kenny Got Work – One of the biggest question marks surrounding Raptors Uprising in Season 2 was who was going to play point guard: Kenny Got Work or Doza? Most of the time it was Doza who got the call, but Toronto unfortunately failed to find an identity, flip-flopping back and forth between the two for the majority of the year en route to an 8-8 record. In the offseason, the point guard debate was put to rest when Doza was traded to Cavs Legion in exchange for a second-round pick, putting the ball into Kenny’s hands full-time for the first time since taking the Memphis native 11th overall in Season 1. We all know what the frontrunner for MVP has done since, while Doza has had a similar up-and-down campaign filled with high’s and low’s. But perhaps the former Raptors Uprising PG knows something about his former teammate that the rest of the league doesn’t? Probably not. Look for Kenny to make a statement heading into the postseason against Cleveland in the regular season finale.

Stat to Watch: 18-for-18 – Kenny Got Work is red-hot from beyond the arch. The Raptors Uprising all-time leading scorer hasn’t missed a shot from three-point range in his last three games, going a perfect 18-for-18 from long distance. In 34 games this season, Kenny is connecting on 59.3 per cent (162-for-273) from three, but has been even more dialed in of late, knocking down 78 per cent (46-for-59) of his long-range attempts over his last four games. If Kenny gets out to a hot start in this one, it could be a long night for our friends in Cleveland. Keep an eye on Kenny’s streak in this one.

How to Watch: Fans can watch Raptors Uprising play Cavs Legion in its entirety via the Twitch Command Center, which is available on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch channel. The matchup will also be available on Sportsnet and ESPN’s digital platforms, plus streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. Can Raptors Uprising cap off their historic regular season or will Cavs Legion shock the world and pull off a jaw-dropping upset? Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.