In Grizz Gaming’s two previous meetings with Celtics Crossover Gaming, the team has outscored the Celtics 110-97 in the first, second and fourth quarters combined. The combined score of both third quarters has been 62-25 and, unfortunately, that has been the difference.
Celtics Crossover is the eighth seed in ‘THE TICKET’, the NBA 2K League’s third tournament of the season and Grizz Gaming’s first round opponent. Seeding for the tournament is based on the previous four weeks of regular season play. The two teams face off at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in New York City.
In order to advance to the quarterfinals, the team must bring their A-game in the third quarter and sustain their performance otherwise across the board.
“Hopefully the third time is the charm,” said Grizz Gaming General Manager Lang Whitaker. “We’ve played them in the tournament to start the season, we’ve played them in the regular season and we even scrimmaged against them before the season started. We’re pretty familiar with what they do. Hopefully, being more familiar with each other, the way we’ve played the last few weeks and coming into our own, I hope that gives us the push to get past them.”
The stakes are higher than normal at ‘THE TICKET’. The winning team gets an automatic bid to the league’s inaugural playoffs regardless of record or the standings. Currently sitting at 11thin the standings with a 4-6 record, putting together a string of wins could have the team simply worrying about seeding as opposed to fighting for its playoff life.
Things may not get any easier with a win. Grizz Gaming could draw Blazer5 Gaming, who sits atop the league standings at 8-1 in a quarterfinal match at 2 p.m. Saturday. Moving forward, the team would also likely draw more of the league’s upper echelon in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Saturday and the championship immediately following.
Whitaker stressed that the only way to combat the unknown is by focusing on themselves.
“Luckily, we’ve had tournaments before,” said Whitaker. “You come into it not really knowing day-to-day what’s going to happen. To me, the way we approach is that we focus on us. As long as we do what we do and do what we do well, we’ll be fine.”
However, in order to get that far, they’ll have to play a strong four quarters and contain oFAB. Fans can live stream both games at twitch.com/grizzgaming.
— Grizz Gaming (@GrizzGaming) July 11, 2018