Bucks Gaming advance to knockout round of NBA 2K League Tip-Off Tournament

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 4: (Photo by Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 4: (Photo by Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LONG ISLAND CITY, NY – JUNE 9: (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY – JUNE 9: (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Game 1 – Blazer5 Gaming

Bucks GG opened up their season with BigMeek and ARooks lining up in roles similar to the ones they had grown into by the end of last season, with three of the team’s rookies slotting in around them.

PG- chaddynick (Playmaking Sharpshooter)

SG- ARooks (Sharpshooting Shot Creator)

SF- SlayIsland (Lockdown Defender)

PF- BigMeek (Slashing Stretch 4)

C- Plondo (Pure Glass Cleaner)

It didn’t take long for the balance within the lineup to become apparent either, particularly as the Bucks were matched up against the best regular season team from last year, along with OneWildWalnut, the league’s inaugural MVP.

Two quick dunks from Plondo, Milwaukee’s top pick this year, got things rolling for Bucks GG. Most notable among those plays was a beautiful Eurostep from Plondo, although the Bucks’ wider success was really coming from a grittier approach that saw them smother Blazer5 with defense early on.

SlayIsland was particularly active on that front, as was to be expected from his Lockdown Defender archetype. After a 10-2 start for Milwaukee, Blazer5 did begin to find their footing, though. That was thanks to a very familiar face, as former Buck KingPeroxide was key for Portland in scoring seven of their first 10 points to tie the game up once again. Peroxide was traded by the Bucks in the offseason, and seemed eager to make a point against his former team.

Picking up where he left off last season, a BigMeek corner three restored Milwaukee’s lead, giving Bucks GG a 15-12 advantage after one quarter.

Improved defense from Blazer5 Gaming certainly changed the flow of momentum in the game early in the second quarter, as Peroxide continued to haunt his old team with his scoring.

As Portland’s defense adjusted, the Bucks countered with a barrage of three-pointers. ARooks knocked down a couple of really deep three-pointers, which in turn opened up more space for chaddynick to start scoring from inside the arc.

With the two teams taking a break for half time, the game was finely poised at 28-28.

Opening up the second half, it was clear the focus remained the same for Milwaukee: steals and three-pointers.

SlayIsland and Plondo were colossal on the defensive end, amassing five and four steals respectively, while Plondo also added a couple of blocks for good measure. Plondo’s dominance completely eliminated the threat of OneWildWalnut, and gave the Bucks a strong foothold to build on from there.

On the opposite end of the floor, much of the emphasis was on setting up pull-up threes. Bucks’ picks on the perimeter were used to create space for the ball-handler to let fly, and chaddynick and ARooks both obliged.

Still, with the clock winding down in the period, the game remained tied, with a point hanging in the balance with Blazer5 on offense. In response, Plondo came up with a vital steal, and following a timeout, he was found on a cut to the basket for a dunk that gave the Bucks another point, and the lead heading into the fourth.

Considering just how tight the group finished up, the importance of Plondo’s plays in the final 13 seconds of the third quarter can’t be overstated.

A couple of quick triples from chaddynick to start the fourth provided some more comfort for Milwaukee, while their defense began to choke all of the life out of Portland. By the time SlayIsland drilled a corner three for his first points of the game, BucksGG’s players were particularly loud and animated in the New York studio. As statement wins go, they don’t get much bigger than this 71-56 victory against Blazer5.