With both teams entering Week 7 at 2-5, Grizz Gaming and Knicks Gaming will rely on the men in the middle to jockey for positioning in the standings. The matchup takes place at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, June 30 inside the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in New York City.
The newfound duo of DDouble2K (Daniel Davis) at center and UniversalPhenom (Antonio Saldivar) has proven successful of late for Grizz Gaming while Knicks Gaming has received production from Idristhegoat6 (Idris Richardson) at center and G O O F Y 757 (Dayvon Curry) at power forward.
Grizz Gaming General Manager Lang Whitaker credits a league-wide trend when asked about both teams’ focus on the four and five positions.
“A lot of the league has sort of become this now where the pure rims are inside,” said Whitaker. “The Knicks have kind of found a groove. They lost last week to Miami but they were right in that game until the end. They seem to have found their way the last couple of weeks and we have our work cut out for us. UniversalPhenom and DDouble2K have been awesome for us in the interior and we have to look to build on that and try to play inside-out.”
UniversalPhenom has been arguably Grizz Gaming’s most consistent performer this season, including a 24-point, 12-rebound performance last week. The Arizona native has seen time at both power forward and center this year. After a bench role at the beginning of the regular season, DDouble2K had his breakout performance with a 24-point, 10-rebound outing at ‘THE TURN’ against 76ers GC. He followed with a double-double and game-winning shot in the team’s win against Warriors Gaming Squad and reached double digits again last week.
At power forward G O O F Y 757 leads the Knicks in scoring with 20.2 points per game to go along with 8.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals. Idrisdagoat6 is averaging 17.8 points and 8.3 rebounds paired with 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
In spite of last week’s loss, Grizz Gaming has been starting off its recent games particularly well, obtaining a 17-2 lead in its win over Warriors Gaming Squad and starting the game on a 7-0 run last week.
The fast starts are nice, but Whitaker wants to sustain that level of play for a full 24 minutes.
“Both of those games we were able to scrimmage beforehand and spend a little time playing together as a group,” said Whitaker. “I think we were able to carry that over from the pregame right to the game. Now the challenge is to sustain it. Against the Warriors, we got out to a 17-2 lead and gave up that lead. We need to figure out a way to keep that going throughout the game. I know for a lot of teams in this league it’s been very streaky and up-and-down. I think it would be helpful if we were able to play even throughout the game and try to have that same effort we had to start with.”
To secure a Week 7 victory, Memphis’ team must have the better showing in the paint in addition to building on a fast start if that trend continues. Fans can live stream the game at twitch.com/nba2kleague.
— Grizz Gaming (@GrizzGaming) June 28, 2018