Is it playoff time already? The three-month NBA 2K League regular season drew to close with a dramatic, do-or-die Week 12 that saw four teams, including Raptors Uprising GC, clinch a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season. Next week will bring the single-elimination quarterfinals and the best-of-three semifinals, before the final week of the season will see a champion decided in a best-of-three series.
Raptors Uprising GC 81, Heat Check Gaming 73: Raptors Uprising completed their incredible turnaround with a playoff-clinching do-or-die victory over Heat Check Gaming. The Uprising finished the season on a 7-1 run after starting the year 1-5 due to a brutal schedule. No team has integrated the powerful shot-creating slasher into its offense more effectively than the Raptors, who used their standard balanced, three-point heavy attack to take down the Heat. Kenny finished with 34 points and nine assists, while KingQuai dominated down low to the tune of 21 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Yusuf_Scarbz and AllHailTrey hit a trio of trifectas apiece, and Trey limited MVP candidate Hotshot to a relatively low (for a shot-creating slasher of Hotshot’s caliber) 35 points.
The Raptors finished the season with the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. They’ll play Cavs Legion GC in the first round. The Cavs also finished 8-6 and clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the season with an 88-77 win over Magic Gaming. The Raptors defeated the Cavs in the regular season, cruising to a 77-55 win in Week 10.
Canada Watch: Two Canadians will make an appearance in the NBA 2K League playoffs after running a gamut of very different emotions in Week 12. Yusuf and the Raptors gleefully clinched a spot with a win over 24K Dropoff and Heat Check Gaming. Dropoff and the Heat clinched a spot before the final day, but lost two games on Saturday to slip to the six seed; he did score 22 points in a Thursday win over Kings Guard that finalized the Heat’s place in the playoffs. The second Saturday loss came at the hands of AuthenticAfrican and Grizz Gaming; the Torontonian recorded a 31-point, 11-assist double-double in the win. Speedbrook and Devillon sat for Celtics Crossover Gaming and Mavs Gaming, respectively, while their teams were eliminated from contention.
League Roundup: Climactic Week 12 of the NBA 2K League regular season proved to be fitting denouement for the high-intensity campaign. Raptors Uprising and Cavs Legion GC clinched playoff berths immediately with do-or-die wins. Wizards District Gaming came from behind to beat playoff-bound Knicks Gaming on Friday night and clinched the seventh seed on Saturday when Magic Gaming beat Celtics Crossover Gaming. Warriors Gaming Squad went out on a high note with two wins to finish off a disappointing season, while Kings Guard Gaming snapped a nine-game losing streak with a win over Pacers Gaming in the very last game of the season. To sum up the unpredictability of the regular season: the first four overall picks will miss the playoffs, while the fifth, sixth, and seventh picks were MVP candidates and all made the playoffs.
Award Announcements: Blazer5 Gaming’s OneWildWalnut took won both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards for a stellar campaign. Walnut, Portland’s first-round pick, led Blazer5 to a league-best 12-2 record as the team clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, winning the “Turn” tournament along the way. Walnut was an unstoppable force on both sides of the ball and on both sides of the patch, leading the league in rebounds and blocks, finishing second in steals as well.
Pistons GT coach Duane Burton, known as KingDuOne, took home Coach of the Year honours for his efforts with a consistently underrated Pistons squad. Burton led the Pistons to a 9-5 record, the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, and semifinal appearances in both the “Tipoff” and “Ticket” tournaments. The Sportsmanship award went to 76ers GC sixth man Tfreshyy who, despite not playing in a single game, infallibly brought infectious energy and positivity to his team. 76ers GC finished 10-4, good for second in the league, and won the “Tipoff” tournament.
Boo Painter of Wizards District Gaming nabbed the fan-voted Play of the Year accolade for his double behind-the-back dunk in a win over Grizz Gaming. Raptors Uprising secured the Community Engagement Award, as determined by a panel of league officials, for their dedication to their fans and to the Toronto community throughout the season.
Playoff Primer: First-seeded Blazer5 Gaming (12-2) will take on Knicks Gaming (5-9), who won the "Ticket" tournament to earn an automatic playoff berth. Blazer5, led by MVP and DPOY winner OneWildWalnut and MVP candidate MamaImDatMan, were the first team to clinch a berth in the regular-season.
76ers GC (10-4) won the "Tip-off" tournament at the beginning of the season and will face seventh-seeded Wizards District Gaming. Led by MVP nominee Boo Painter, Wizards DG qualified in the last week of play, beating Knicks Gaming to finish 8-6.
Pistons GT (9-5) finished in third place with a defensive team headlined by MVP candidate LetsGetItRamo, while coach Duane Burton won Coach of the Year. They'll play Heat Check Gaming (8-6) and MVP nominee Hotshot, arguably the best player since the patch; the Heat fell to the sixth seed after losing their two final games of the season.
Raptors Uprising (8-6) will play Cavs Legion GC (8-6) in a rematch of a regular-season game that Raptors Uprising won 77-55. The Raptors finished their season 7-1 after a brutal first-half schedule, while the Cavs surged into the playoffs after a season with high highs and low lows.