By Sam Perley
- Hornets Venom GT (3-1) at Raptors Uprising GC (0-4)
- Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 9 PM EST (2 games)
- NBA 2K League Twitch and YouTube Channels
- Last time out: Raptors Uprising GC won, 86-58, on Aug. 21, 2020 (won 2KL Playoffs series, 2-0)
Hornets Venom GT Looking for Revenge After Postseason Elimination
After dropping Game 1 on Thursday night at home to Heat Check Gaming, Hornets Venom GT used a strong start and a couple of late clutch baskets to hold on for a 73-68 win and series split against Miami. Guards Justin “Sherm” Sherman and CJ “rigby” Burnett each had a pair of 20-point games with the former also notching nine assists in each contest, a category he now ranks T-9th in the 2K League in (10.3).
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) June 4, 2021
One area Charlotte needs to do a better job in tonight against Raptors Uprising GC – which eliminated the team in the 2020 2KL Playoff Quarterfinals – is turnover generating. Hornets Venom forced just four in its Game 1 loss to Miami, two of which came in the closing minutes and were fairly inconsequential. The second-half offense stalled too often in the halfcourt in the loss, although was rectified a bit in Game 2 with seven total takeaways registered.
Raptors Uprising GC Still Searching for Answers Amidst Surprising Start
Last year’s regular season champions are off to head-scratching 0-8 overall start (counting THE TIPOFF) after going a perfect 16-0 in Season 3 and then losing in the 2KL Playoff Semifinals to Wizards District Gaming. Reigning MVP Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey is currently averaging just 18.5 points (league-leading 35.3 last year) and a league-high 5.0 turnovers through Friday night, which ended with two losses to Hawks Talon GC. Toronto has also already shuffled its starting lineup, moving reigning Defensive Player of the Year Eric “Timelycook” Donald from lock to center and benching former Hornets Venom center Xavier “Type” Vescovi, who was acquired in a trade with Charlotte last November.
Matchup to Watch: Trap vs. TsJosh
Charlotte lock Gio “Trap” Elizondo enters this one averaging 5.8 points on 67% shooting and team-high 2.2 steals (T-6th in the 2KL) through the team’s opening four contests. And with Timelycook moving to the five, Toronto rookie Joshua “TsJosh” McKenna put up 9.0 points per game and tallied five total steals in Game 1 on Friday night. Whichever stopper does the better job at limiting the opposing team’s point guard and turning takeaways into transition opportunities will likely have the upper hand in tonight’s matchup.