By Max Minsker
Week 10 was a pivotal one for T-Wolves Gaming. Coming in at 5-6 and facing down two of the league’s best teams, it was do or die time for a T-Wolves Gaming team that has struggled through adversity all season.
Two wins later, T-Wolves Gaming is now on a four-game winning streak and sits at ninth in the 2K League standings, one spot out of the playoffs and just half a game behind Nets GC.
In the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, T-Wolves Gaming got a shot at a rematch from the Ticket against Warriors Gaming Squad. The Warriors eliminated the T-Wolves from the Ticket in the first round after the T-Wolves gave up a fourth-quarter lead. However, this time around the game went quite differently. The T-Wolves didn’t lose a single quarter on the way to a 71-62 win. JoJo led the team with 18 points, while BearDaBeast and JMoneyRep added 17 and 16, respectively.
In the second game of the night, the T-Wolves had a chance to climb above .500 for the first time in franchise history if they could beat a 10-4 Kings Guard Gaming team who would clinch a playoff berth with a win. T-Wolves Gaming was hot out of the gate with a 15-point lead at the half before coming back to earth in the second half. A fourth-quarter push wasn’t enough for the Kings though, as the T-Wolves advanced to 7-6 with a 51-45 win.
Back in Week 8, T-Wolves Gaming made a change in the frontcourt moving FEAST to the sharpshooting rim protector and JoJo to center as a sharpshooting rebounder. This move put FEAST in a prominent defensive role while moving JoJo into the primary pick and roll action on offense. JoJo was a huge part of T-Wolves Gaming’s success in Week 10, averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds in the two games.
Since the lineup change, the T-Wolves have been on fire with a 5-1 record and a +11.5 point differential. The adjustment has opened up the floor for point guard BearDaBeast to operate. In these six games, Bear has averaged 19 points and 11 assists per game. This week, Bear earned his first player of the week award after averaging 17 points and 11 assists in two season-saving wins.
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) July 2, 2019
Next week, T-Wolves Gaming will face off against both participants from the 2018 2K League Finals, though coincidentally both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Despite a combined record of 6-18, these two teams are much more dangerous than they seem.
Both opponents made strong appearances in The Ticket, and Heat Check Gaming still has a lot of firepower. Hotshot is one of the best post scorers in the league, and Heat Check coach Famous always has a trick up his sleeve. This game also features two players exchanged for one another in a mid-season trade, adding an emotional component to the matchup. Will it be Hood or JMoney that is able to get the best of their former team? These players are two of the league’s best, and it should make for a great game.
If T-Wolves Gaming can come out on top, they will be sitting at 9-6 with a great opportunity to make the playoffs. It may very well come down to the team’s final regular season game against the current No. 1 seed Blazer5 Gaming.
After too many early-season collapses, this team will have to carve out a spot in the playoffs the hard way. If T-Wolves Gaming can win out and finish 10-6 they will almost certainly find themselves in the playoff picture, but there’s no margin for error. Each week could be this team’s last, and they’re playing like it. The T-Wolves have seemingly righted the ship heading into the bye week, but it will take three more wins to land them in the top-8. First, they will have to take care of business next week against Knicks Gaming and Heat Check Gaming. One step at a time.