Growing Pains: Raptors Uprising still winless following losses to Hornets Venom GT

TORONTO, Canada—Raptors Uprising GC, NBA 2K League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, had a night to forget on Saturday, dropping a pair of games to a red-hot Hornets Venom GT side in Week 2 NBA 2K League action.

Experimenting with a different lineup for the second time in as many days, slow starts hurt Raptors Uprising (0-6) big time in this matchup, as they fell behind early on in both games and were never really able to catch up.

“I don’t think we were clicking on all cylinders,” said Type after the game. “Obviously, we all didn’t do what we needed to do to win. We didn’t play as a team. We came out and we really didn’t have a good start and when we do that, we tend to fall behind, and it’s hard because we’re always playing catch-up. So, I think we let them get off to a good start, they did what they had to do, and they had a good game plan.”

In Game 1, Hornets Venom (5-1), winners of five of their last six, jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and extended it to as much as 12 in the second quarter. Toronto would bring that deficit back to within six heading into halftime, but the team had no real answer for the trio of Sherm, PeteBeBallin, and Rigby. The two former Dallas players finished with double-doubles, while Rigby led all scorers with 24 points.

Playing shooting guard for the first time since Season 2, reigning MVP Kenny Got Work finished with a team-high 19 points in Game 1, but was limited to just two in the second half, while ReeceMode chipped in with 16 points and nine assists making his first-career start at point guard.

In Game 2, a poor start in the first half from Raptors Uprising put the game out of reach early on as Charlotte jumped out to a 47-19 lead at the break, and despite the team from the North finishing strong, this one finished ugly. On a positive note, although the team got off to a very slow start, four out of five Raptors Uprising players finished with double-digit scoring, including TsJosh and Type, who combined for 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the floor.

Raptors Uprising vs. Hawks Talon GC: Game 1 | Game 2

“Honestly, they’re a good team that we played today, but this is just one of our worst games yet,” said Type. “We didn’t play as a team, we didn’t do the little things that we need to do. It’s a lot of work that we have to put in this week. Being 0-6 doesn’t really mean anything right now, obviously it’s a long season, I’m just looking forward to getting better and looking forward to the next week and the next game because at this point, you just have to take it one day at a time.

“Right now, we just need to regroup, get our minds right, and get ready for the next game.”

After becoming the first team in NBA 2K League history to go a perfect 16-0 in the regular season a year ago, Raptors Uprising find themselves in some unfamiliar territory, still searching for their first win of the season through six games. But as Type pointed out, with 22 games remaining, there’s still plenty of time for the team to hit the reset button and get things back on course.

“I think everybody is going to go ahead and take a good week to evaluate their individual performances and try to get better, everything we need to do,” said Type. “There’s a lot of stuff that I need to get better at and there’s a lot of stuff the rest of the players on this team need to get better at, so I think we’re all going to come together as one and try to do that. I think everyday, we’re putting in the work, we’re putting in the time to get better, but obviously, we’re not seeing the results we want in the game. So, we just have to work a little bit harder, try and focus on the little details, and get it cleaned up for the next game.”

Raptors Uprising are back in action next week when they take on Celtics Crossover Gaming (1-3) on Friday night followed by a Saturday night showdown with Gen.G Tigers.