ORLANDO — Magic Gaming returns to action this week when they face Jazz Gaming on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Week 3 of the NBA 2K League.
After going 1-1 during the opening week, Orlando spent its Week 2 bye not only preparing for Utah, but also working on corrections and learning from its games against Milwaukee and Washington.
“When you have a bye week, it’s kind of a blessing sometimes because you can sit back and worry about you,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards explained. “Like what small things can we work on to give us an edge and what things can we add to our arsenal that we can pull out?”
Those tasks include continuing to diversify the offense, which currently is centered around Brendan “Reizey” Hill and Daniel “DT” Tlais.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Reizey currently leads the team in points (21.5) and assists (8.5) per game, while DT has continually stuffed the stat sheet, posting 20.5 points, 12.3 rebounds (a squad best) and 3.5 assists per contest.
The one-five combination being the focus of an offense is not unique to Orlando as the current league build of the game encourages scoring from the point guard and center positions. Although that’s likely to remain a constant for Magic Gaming, the team has spent time looking for ways to get others involved and diversify their offensive attack.
They’ll get the opportunity to put their adjustments on display against a Jazz Gaming squad that’ll be playing in their first game of the season.
Utah’s Spencer “Ria” Wyman, the first overall pick of the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, will certainly test Orlando’s interior defense.
“The biggest challenge, number one, is Ria,” Edwards said. “I regard Ria as an elite (player) in the 2K world. In my opinion, he’s a top 3 center, a top 3 power forward, a top 3 small forward, and he’s probably the one in the world that you could make that claim about.”
With Jazz Gaming likely putting Ria on an archetype built for scoring, DT and power forward Robert “May” May will have to do their best to limit Utah’s prized big man without letting his teammates go off.
KEY MATCHUP: While an easy choice here would be to go with the aforementioned DT vs. Ria showdown, we’ll instead point to the matchup between Orlando’s Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush and Utah’s Shaka “Yeah I Compete” Browne.
Although the two small forwards won’t spend much time defending one another, they’ll both likely be tasked with limiting the opposition’s point guard.
With Yeah I Compete potentially playing on a lockdown build similar to ToXsiK, he’ll certainly be zeroing in on taking Reizey out of his comfort zone. Similarly, ToXsiK will be aiming to do the same against Kimanni “Splashy” Ingram, Utah’s 2020 first round draft selection, who’ll be making his much anticipated NBA 2K League debut.
HOW TO WATCH: Thursday’s matchup will be broadcasted on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch (@NBA2kLeague) and YouTube (@NBA2kLeague) channels.