Bucks Gaming fail to make ground in playoff race on busy night of action

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 could only manage to split their Friday night games, missing out on a chance to take a step forward in the NBA 2K League playoff race.

After a disappointing showing at The Ticket tournament saw Bucks Gaming eliminated after their first game last week, regular 2K League action returned with an important double header for the Bucks on Friday night.

With the race for the final few spots in the playoffs currently wide open and incredibly hotly contested, Bucks Gaming has little margin for error over the final few weeks of the season if they want to make their first postseason appearance.

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Unfortunately, as far as that pursuit goes, Gameweek 9 provided mixed fortunes for Milwaukee.

With two games in three hours on the slate, the Bucks got off to a perfect start with a dominant win over Lakers Gaming, only to end up on the other end of a blowout loss against Nets GC to finish the night.

As has been the case in many of their best performances of late, the win against the Lakers was set up by outstanding defense. Holding the Lakers to just two points in the first quarter helped the Bucks to open up a 12-point lead from the off.

A back and forth second quarter then gave way to a 27-10 third quarter when Milwaukee was able to showcase its ability on the offensive end.

Throughout the game, the Bucks turned the Lakers over at will, forcing 18 turnovers in total. Plondo led the way in terms of scoring with 28 points, but ARooks and Chaddynick were also close behind with 24 and 21 points, respectively.

A final tally of 77-32 didn’t flatter the Bucks in any way, and may also prove valuable if point differential factors into playoff tiebreakers down the line.

The second game of the night didn’t go anywhere near as well for the Bucks, with struggles either side of the half ultimately putting paid to a strong opening and closing chapter.

As Lav drove the Nets forward with an outstanding 30-point showing, the Bucks were left with slightly lesser efforts from Plondo and ARooks than they delivered against the Lakers, and considerably less help from the supporting cast beyond them.

Plondo and ARooks still chipped in with 20 and 17 points, respectively, meaning they were by no means all the way off their games, but it was nowhere near enough to prevent a 69-52 defeat.

Bucks Gaming will face another crucial double header next week, with games against Cavs Legion and Jazz Gaming set for Friday night.

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Following Gameweek 9, the Bucks slipped to ninth in the standings, yet remain just half a game down on the now sixth placed Nets, and only half a game ahead of the 12th placed Jazz.