Magic Gaming was one of the best teams in the second half of last season largely because of the contributions from Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford, one of the final selections from the inaugural NBA 2K League Draft a year ago.
The now-21-year-old from Cleveland was so good that, unsurprisingly, the Magic decided to retain him, which already appears to have been a wise decision with how dominant he’s been during THE TIPOFF, one of three tournaments scheduled throughout the season.
Fresh off gobbling up a combined 38 rebounds and recording a pair of double-doubles in two pool play games earlier in the week, KingCamRoyalty went right back to work in the quarterfinals, amassing 20 points and 19 boards in Magic Gaming’s 55-42 victory over Raptors Uprising GC on Saturday afternoon.
Although KingCamRoyalty’s interior dominance was a huge factor, it certainly wasn’t the only thing that catapulted the Magic to another impressive win. The defense was superb, as the Magic held the Raptors to 17-of-40 shooting overall (42.5 percent) and 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from 3-point range.
“Defensively, we want to speed the other team up just like most teams they want to speed us up when we are on offense,” KingCamRoyalty said. “Defensively, we look to play aggressive and take chances and make the other team think, make them uncomfortable so I feel like we did a good job of doing that and we saw what the result was because of it.”
Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, who also was on last year’s Magic Gaming squad, recorded four of his team’s nine steals. The New York native made six of his 11 shot attempts, finishing with 14 points, while Daniel “DT” Tlais scored 12.
The chemistry KingCamRoyalty is developing with newcomer Brendan “Reizey” Hill, especially in the pick-and-roll, is encouraging, too, as Raptors Uprising GC struggled to contain this dynamic duo throughout the game.
“He (Reizey) plays really similar with a guy I used to play with, playing in regular Pro-Am and just pick-up games and things like that, he plays similar,” KingCamRoyalty said. “So me stepping in at center, I’m used to setting these screens, people (defenders) crowding the three (point) line because they know he can score.”
Reizey, the Magic’s first round pick last month, dished out nine assists, many of which were delivered to KingCamRoyalty, who shot 10-of-11 from the field.
The Magic out-rebounded the Raptors 30-14, meaning KingCamRoyalty, currently the league’s leader in rebounds, had more boards than the entire Raptors team.
Although they made only four of their 16 3-point attempts, the ones the Magic made came at critical stages, like when Reizey drilled a triple with 19 seconds left in the third quarter that put his team up five.
The Magic will play the winner of the 76ers GC vs. T-Wolves Gaming matchup later in the day in the semifinals.