Bucks Gaming split in Week 6, move to 5-5 on season

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Bucks Gaming remain at .500 after splitting matches versus the Dallas and Golden State affiliates in Week 6 of the NBA 2K League season.

Bucks Gaming split their Week 6 matches of the NBA 2K League season, losing 59-45 to the undefeated Mavs Gaming, but recovering for a hotly contested 64-60 win over Warriors Gaming Squad.

Combined, those results moved the Bucks to 5-5 on the season.

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The Bucks made some interesting lineup changes at the start of the week, moving chaddynick to point guard and changing Plondo’s archetype to a shooting rebounder, but these moves did not prove effective against the Mavs.

chaddynick was held scoreless and Plondo was held to single digits. BigMeek had a decent line with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, but the team decided to give RSG his debut at power forward in the next game against the Warriors. He responded with 9 points on 4-of- 5 shooting — a quiet but reliable performance that featured some old-school post fades and a very smooth alley-oop to Plondo. RSG gives the Bucks a scoring option that can operate independently from Arooks, allowing both of them to be more efficient.

In the first matchup, the 2k League’s inaugural first overall pick Dimez showed why he was taken at that spot, dropping 15 points in the first half to take his team to an early lead. Arooks’ 13 first-half points were the only thing keeping the Bucks close as he made some excellent plays in isolation. The offense stalled out in the second half and the Bucks trailed by double digits for most of the rest of the way.

The Bucks made a run in the third quarter with good defense and transition buckets that brought them within three points, but Dimez responded with an iso dunk to stem the bleeding and the Mavs easily won the fourth quarter by focusing Arooks and daring anyone else to beat them. No one did.

In the second game, the rest of the team did step up around Arooks’ 22-point performance, as SlayIsland and Plondo each had 13 on 5-of-7 and 6-of-6 shooting respectively. The Bucks trailed by seven early, but Arooks and Plondo did excellent work in the pick-and-roll to bring things right back. They ended the half with two transition dunks from SlayIsland in a 32-30 lead.

Field goal percentage was the story in this one, as Bucks Gaming were 26-of-37 from the floor and 8-of-13 from three, while they held the Warriors to an inefficient (for a video game) 22-of-45 and 11-of-22. The game was close the whole way, largely because the Warriors were able to out-rebound the Bucks, offsetting the inefficiency by simply getting more shots up.

For the entire third quarter, neither team could take more than a one-possession advantage. Milwaukee opened up the fourth with a little 6-0 run that allowed them to hold a two-possession lead for the rest of the game. Plondo fouled out opposing center Type with two minutes to go, RSG hit a corner three, and Arooks threw a pass through three defenders for a Plondo dunk that iced the game to give the Bucks an upset victory.

This week had standings implications, as the Bucks were at 10th in the league after losing to the Mavs, but got up to eighth with their win, keeping playoff hopes alive. They now sit at 5-5 and have next week off to continue evaluating their lineup changes. Heat Check Gaming (4-4), the team sitting ninth, also has the week off, but Hawks Gaming (3-3) could leapfrog both squads by winning their next two

It seems as if the Bucks have a surplus of talented big men — although Big Meek has been in a slump lately, he’s basically the Draymond Green of the 2K league, and Plondo has had a strong rookie campaign, but the lineup they ran against the Warriors with RSG clearly had better offensive chemistry than anything we’ve seen over the four-game losing streak that preceded it.

Next. Bucks Gaming fall to two losses in worst week of the season so far. dark

The Bucks also desperately need a point guard, or really any backcourt player who can play consistently on the offensive end. For this season, at least, they may have found a lineup that can get them some playoff success, but to have any real organizational stability, greater change must happen.