Although the season didn’t go exactly to plan, the Milwaukee Bucks Gaming team wrapped things up with an impressive win over Mavs Gaming, embracing the role of spoiler.
They may not be headed for the playoffs, but that didn’t do anything to slow Bucks Gaming down as they wrapped up their inaugural NBA 2K League campaign.
In their final game of the regular season, the Bucks defeated Mavs Gaming, 72-67, meaning they closed the year out with back-to-back victories.
The Mavs, with a loss, were eliminated from playoff contention in their final game of the season, meaning the Bucks, already well out of the postseason mix, successfully played the part of spoilers.
The Bucks rolled out an interesting lineup for Friday’s game — two sharpshooting shot creators at the 2 and 3 instead of the usual two pure sharpshooters, which I fully support. The pure sharp archetype can’t dribble, pass, guard, or do much of anything other than catch-and-shoot. The sharpshooting shot creators can run pick-and-rolls, are slightly more athletic, and still space the floor.
It was a good showing from the start, as the spacing was excellent and Game6Drake was absolutely on fire early, with 13 points in the first frame.
However, the Bucks started to struggle in the half court as the game progressed and the Mavs did enough to hang around. The first half ended 34-32 in favor of the Mavs.
The Bucks pulled ahead slightly in the third quarter, behind strong play from pretty much everyone, taking a 51-46 lead into the final frame. STL2LA played solid defense on his matchup, Mavs PG Dayfri, BigMeek added his usual all around Draymond Green-esque game, oLarry beat up the boards, and KingPeroxide showed some great poise in the halfcourt. It was legitimately the best quarter of play I’ve seen from the Bucks in some time.
In the fourth, the Bucks continued to play good team defense and Drake took over ball-handling responsibilities, hitting several midrange shots off the pick-and-roll. The final score looked closer than it really was, with the Bucks coasting to a 72-67 win.
Although they’ll miss the playoffs, the Bucks do have quality pieces that showed plenty of spark along the way. oLarry had 24 points and 17 boards in a standout game, while Drake finished with 28 points and five assists, and this particular lineup of archetypes feels best suited to the Bucks’ play style.
We will see if they stick to it next season, and if they make any roster changes as well, but heading into the final selection of games on Saturday, Bucks Gaming rank 11th in the standings with a record of 6-8, and likely to fall just a couple of places before the regular season is completely finalized.