The wait is finally over.
The second-ever NBA 2K League regular season tips off this week as the Raptors Uprising get set to kick off week one with a pair of tough matchups.
On Thursday, the team from the North will begin their regular season against heated rivals Cavs Legion, who knocked the Uprising out of the playoffs a season ago in a hotly-contested quarterfinal matchup, before falling to eventual champions Knicks Gaming in the next round.
These two teams are no strangers to one another, with their latest exchange of pleasantries coming at last week’s Tipoff tournament. The Uprising advanced at the top of their group ahead of Cavs Legion, despite a 59-47 loss to the team from Cleveland in round-robin play.
“Cavs Legion came out strong and had an amazing first quarter in which we couldn’t come back from despite winning two of four quarters,” said Uprising Coach Ogi Micic. “Credit to them, they played really well. As long as we don’t allow a 23-8 run again, we will be alright.”
In addition to rookie small forward Strainer, who finished last week’s win over the Uprising with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in his professional 2K debut, Cavs Legion will be led by power forward oLarry who was acquired in the off-season from T-Wolves Gaming for former leading-scorer Hood in a blockbuster move.
“Larry will be Larry,” said Coach Ogi. “He does little things on both ends that help his team, but we have always been a team that focuses on team defense first. We do our job, and we should be alright.”
With the additions of point guard Doza and rookie shooting guard OOC Slim to this Uprising squad with four returning players from last year’s side, the team from the 6ix enter this year confident — and with higher expectations.
Players to Watch: Uprising star Kenny Got Work was quiet, utilizing a pure lockdown archetype in his last outing against Magic Gaming. The talented small forward is too good to have another off night like the one on Saturday, so expect the Uprising’s leader to be more of a focal point offensively — regardless of whether or not the team once again elects to roll with two pure lockdowns on the wings. Sick x 793, meanwhile, is the player to watch for Cavs Legion in this one as the sharpshooting-rebounding center is well known for his ability to do all the little things right while controlling the paint.
Where to Watch: Tune in live at www.twitch.tv/raptorsgc at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday April 11, 2019 to see the start of the NBA 2K League regular season.
Then on Friday, the Raptors Uprising will finish off their two-game week against the red-hot 76ers GC, who are coming off their second of back-to-back Tipoff tournament titles.
Led by their floor general Radiant at point guard — who averaged 19.6 points and 8.4 assists en route to his second Tipoff tournament MVP in as many seasons — the team from Philadelphia enter Friday’s contest confident after making light work of Celtics Crossover (70-52) in the finals on Saturday.
Like the Uprising, 76ers GC brought back four returning team members to fill-out their six-player roster. First-round pick and newcomer breadwinnerLA joins returning players Radiant, center Steez, shooting guard newdini33, and small forward ZDS to create one of the best starting lineups in the league after the team was swept by Heat Check Gaming in the semi finals last season.
But Radiant and the rest of the 76ers GC squad — who lost to the Uprising (72-68) in their only game last season — may have their hands full in this one, especially thanks to Uprising newcomer and 2019 first-round pick Doza controlling the tempo at point guard for the Uprising. In his first three games with his new squad, the sharpshooting playmaker averaged 12 points and 8.3 assists despite playing in a new environment alongside two pure lockdown defenders in the backcourt.
“I expect a lot from my group of guys,” added Uprising Coach Ogi. “We have six players that play the game at the highest level. The ultimate goal is to win a tournament and the championship at the end of the season.
“Although we came up short of our goal in the Tipoff Tournament, I know what we’re capable of. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.”
Tune in Friday evening to see if the Raptors Uprising can repeat last season’s success and knockoff the formidable 76ers GC in this early week one matchup.
Players to Watch: This game may come down to a battle of point guards as Raptors Uprising first-round pick Doza will be pinned head-to-head with the ever-dangerous Radiant.
Where to Watch: Tune in live at www.twitch.tv/raptorsgc at 8 p.m. EST on Friday April 12, 2019 to see if the Raptors Uprising can overcome the mighty 76ers GC.