ORLANDO – What we’ve learned during remote gameplay in 2020 is that making 3-pointers is much tougher on the current NBA 2K League build compared to last year, and perhaps the inaugural season’s game composition as well.
Magic Gaming, specifically, has struggled adjusting to that particular configuration of this year’s game, which was evident during its series loss to NetsGC on Tuesday night.
In Game 1, despite getting 40 points from Brendan “Reizey” Hill and 22 rebounds from Robert “May” May, the Magic made just three of their 14 attempts from beyond the arc in a 66-61 loss. Their struggles from long distance continued in the second game – a 62-49 defeat – as they knocked down just five of their 20 tries.
Orlando’s 3-point shooting woes overshadowed much of what the Magic did well throughout the series. With Daniel “DT” Tlais away from the team for personal reasons, May stepped in at center and was a terror on the glass, pulling down 39 boards in the two games combined. He was able to score effectively inside as well, posting 12 points in Game 1 and 14 in Game 2.
“If there’s any takeaway from tonight that’s really, truly positive, it’s Robbie’s performance,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “He had an incredible start to game one — did a lot of work for us. I really thought he played a phenomenal game, truly on both ends.”
Alex “Profusion” Snowden, the Magic’s second round pick in the 2020 draft, came alive late in Game 2, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
Orlando, as a team, was ice cold early on in that second game. The Magic scored just two points in the first quarter and trailed by as much as 20 before halftime. They did pull within single digits late, but the Nets hit a couple of big shots down the stretch to end Orlando’s hopes of a comeback.
Brooklyn was led in both games by its 2020 first round pick, Josh “Choc” Humphries. The versatile point guard erupted for 39 points in Game 1 and 29 in Game 2. Like his counterpart May, Aziz “Shuttles” Salem, who is from Orlando, did a ton of damage on the boards. He had 21 rebounds in the first game and 20 of them in the second.
The loss dropped the Magic to 1-4 on the season. Their series against 76ers GC, originally scheduled for Thursday, June 4, was postponed due to the technical issues Philly is experiencing. Next week, Orlando is slated to play Knicks Gaming on Tuesday and Kings Guard Gaming on Friday.
Considering the Magic have played very well in scrimmages recently, Edwards and his players remain confident they can quickly turn things around and get right back into the playoff mix.
“A big part of the struggle here is that this lineup was ultra-successful in scrimmages this last week,” Edwards said. “It’s really hard to hang our heads too much because we know what we can be capable of, when we are beating some of the league’s best teams in scrimmages every week. I think the message now is we’re going to be really, really focused in on improvements and maybe not really results (in scrimmages).”
“We can turn around and be three-and-four, and it doesn’t feel so bad and it can easily happen,” he added. “All of a sudden — three-and-four — and we’re easily right back in contention.”