Raptors Uprising open 2021 season with ‘Game of the Night’ matchup vs. Wizards DG

TORONTO, Canada—Raptors Uprising GC will look to get things back on track when the team opens up the 2021 NBA 2K League regular season with a pair of games Friday night against the defending NBA 2K League champions Wizards District Gaming.

In a rematch of the 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs semifinals, Toronto will host Washington in the NBA 2K League “Game of the Week” at 9 p.m. EST, before once again locking horns at 10 p.m. EST.

This season, instead of a best of three format like in 2020, teams will play two games against one another, with each game counting towards the regular season standings.

Raptors Uprising, who became the first team in NBA 2K League history to go undefeated in the regular season a year ago, is coming off an unsatisfactory start to their year, dropping four group-stage games at The TIPOFF Tournament powered by AT&T last week and will be determined to get the 2021 regular season started off the right note.

“It was obviously a disappointment, embarrassing to go 0-4 (at THE TIPOFF). We expect better from this team—and we’re going to be better,” said veteran point guard Kenny Got Work. “It’s a wakeup call. It’s still early, but we have to start the regular season off right. We’re still 0-0.”

The reigning NBA 2K League MVP, Kenny Got Work, once again leads the charge for Raptors Uprising, along with returning players Timelycook — the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year — and ReeceMode. All Hail Trey and TsJosh, meanwhile, who spent time with Raptors Uprising in Season 1 and 2, round out the side along with centre Type, who was acquired from Hornets Venom GT this past offseason.

Type played well in his Raptors Uprising debut at THE TIPOFF Tournament, averaging 14.5 points and 11.5 rebounds on an impressive 77.8 per cent shooting from the floor. He’ll be relied upon to make his presence felt down low once again against what will undoubtedly be a formidable opponent.

Wizards DG opened their regular season on Wednesday evening, splitting a pair of games against Celtics Crossover Gaming. The team also had a strong run at THE TIPOFF Tournament, reaching the semifinals before losing to the eventual-champions T-Wolves Gaming.

“… It looks like they picked up where they left off,” said Kenny Got Work. “I’m definitely looking forward to it, but we’ve got to work on this defence if we’re going to beat anybody.

“It’s definitely going to be a big matchup for us.”

Five players from their championship season return to Washington in 2021, including 2020 NBA 2K League Finals MVP Dayfri and 2020 first-overall pick JBM. They are two players Toronto will have to lock in on and contain to give themselves a shot at overcoming the defending champs.

These are two teams that are no strangers to competing when the stakes are high. Toronto and Washington met in the 2020 finals of THE TURN Tournament, with Raptors Uprising earning the victory (2-0 series) and their second banner of the year, while Wizards DG got the better of Toronto in the semifinals of the NBA 2K League Playoffs.

Raptors Uprising, who are 3-2 all-time against Washington heading into these two matchups, will be out looking for revenge.

“We were all kind of salty about not bringing home that trophy. We wanted to go 3-for-3,” said ReeceMode prior to the start of the year. “Just watching DayFri and all of Wizards DG celebrating and kind of tooting their own horns, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way, so we’re definitely looking to put the league back on notice.”

Key Matchup: Kenny Got Work vs. JBM — This matchup is not only one of the more intriguing ones of this contest, but it may be one of the more dynamic head-to-head matchups all season as Kenny Got Work and JBM are two of the best at the point guard position. 2020 NBA 2K League Most Valuable Player, Kenny Got Work, averaged 26.3 points and 9.8 assists in THE TIPOFF and will be challenged by 2020 first-overall pick JBM, who averaged 24.6 points and 10.6 assists during the tournament. With both players capable of taking the game over on their own, it’ll be interesting to see who gets the upper hand here and gives their team that extra boost they need to put them over the top.

Storyline to Watch: Raptors Uprising and Wizards DG played three series last season and each outing was a very close encounter. Toronto, who generally won by an average of 19.7 points, only edged Washington in their wins by an average of 3.2 points in five series games. In the playoff semifinals, Toronto lost two games by an average of just 6.5 points, so fans can expect another tight one Friday.

How to Watch: Raptors Uprising and Wizards DG will tipoff at 9 pm EST before once again squaring off at 10 pm EST. Fans can tune into Friday’s matchup on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch or YouTube channels.