ORLANDO — Magic Gaming heads into Week 5 of the NBA 2K League season looking to find their offensive rhythm and snap a three-game losing streak.
They’ll have two opportunities to right the ship, first against NetsGC on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET and then when they face 76ers GC on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Orlando will roll out an overhauled starting lineup against Brooklyn with one of the key adjustments being Robert “May” May sliding from power forward to his natural position of center.
“Moving forward, I’m excited to play the position that I’ve always played in 2K,” May said. “Hopefully with the change we can turn the season around and as I’ve been saying to everyone ‘we’re on to Brooklyn.’”
Magic Gaming has touted May’s rebounding, defense, and team-first attitude at the five spot since acquiring him from Pistons GT during the offseason. They’re confident not only in his ability to play the position at a high level, but also to build a strong rapport in the pick-and-roll with point guard Brendan “Reizey” Hill.
“I expect elite rebounding and defense as we’ve pitched all along about Robbie,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards explained. “I think he’s really taken this opportunity to step up his game and his standing on this team. In a lot of ways, he’s our second leader now.”
While Orlando has yet to reveal the rest of its lineup adjustments, the team will be without Daniel “DT” Tlais, who returned home and will miss the next few games for personal reasons.
“I’m a very personal guy and I don’t usually do this but I’ve been dealing with family stuff the past few weeks and decided it’s best for me and my family if I go home and take the time needed,” he said on Twitter. “I won’t be able to play the next few games but I have full confidence in @MagicGaming.”
Despite three straight losses following its opening night win, Orlando remains confident. Its lineup changes have led to a successful week of scrimmages in preparation for matchups against Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
Magic Gaming also believes the best is yet to come for Reizey, who despite leading the team in scoring (22.7 ppg.) and assists (7.8 apg.) still has plenty of room for growth.
“I watch Reid every day and we haven’t seen the best of Reid on stage yet,” Edwards said. “He’s had performances that are insanely, insanely that good. He can be one of the best in the world.”
In addition to getting high-level scoring from the reigning NBA 2K League Rookie of the Year, Orlando is hoping to have its point guard assist the team in moving the ball more naturally and getting others involved.
“He understands that if everyone is involved and engaged in offense, we have a better chance of winning the game,” Edwards said. “He’s a really smart kid, he gets it. As much as him scoring, I want to see everyone equally involved.”
Matchup to Watch vs. Brooklyn: May will be put to the test right out of the gate going against Aziz “Shuttles” Salem. Shuttles, an Orlando native, has been a focal point for NetsGC’s offensive attack and always likes to try and put on a show against his hometown team. On the other side of the floor, May will look to showcase his innate screening ability and operate a pick-and-roll punch with Reizey.
Magic Gaming will also have to be cognizant of point guard Josh “Choc” Humphries, the ninth overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft.
“If he gets going early, he’s really engaged, really enthusiastic,” Edwards said of Choc. “He’s a good leader, so if we let him get going early, it’ll be harder for us.”
Matchup to Watch vs. Philadelphia: The start of the 2020 season has been a struggle for 76ers GC as they’ve dropped all six of their outings. However, that doesn’t mean this squad is devoid of talent. Ethan “Radiant” White remains one of the most electric point guards in the NBA 2K League and that’s why his battle with Reizey will be a key matchup to focus in on.
“These are two guys, who play together in the offseason and are good friends,” Edwards said. “They almost have pretty similar play styles now, so no question it’s going to be a battle of the Rookie of the Year versus a consensus top three guard in the league. They’re two of the top guys in their respective positions duking it out.”
Magic Gaming will likely deploy a heavy one-two dose of Reizey and May to capitalize on Philadelphia’s pick-and-roll defense, which has been erratic early this season. Also look for Orlando’s bigs to try and win the battle of the boards as 76ers GC has struggled on the glass to start the year.
How to Watch: Both matchups will be broadcasted on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch (@NBA2kLeague) and YouTube (@NBA2kLeague) channels.