Throwdown vs Breakout
MPBA PS4 JumpOff Finals
Throwdown v Breakout was an exciting series from start to finish. The anticipation was crazy, with seemingly everybody from the pro-am community, including some of the 2k League managers and Scott O’Gallagher, tweeting about their excitement for the game. Having watched a periscope by Mootyy earlier in the day, he was already visibly excited despite the series being hours away. There had been plenty of trash talk between both teams, with DevGoss posting a video of himself throwing a dime off a balcony, among other things. This series was the Finals of the MPBA “ JumpOff “ Tournament, which was the first of NBA 2k18 held by the MPBA. This may have had an impact on both teams, as for the first time this year, they were playing for more than just pride.
Breakout took Game 1 in a close game, 81-77. As most people suspected from the beginning, the Point Guard battle between Dimez and DevGoss was crucial. Both players scored 30 points and got 15 assists, both shooting 12/16 from the field. With those extremely similar stats, the difference came in the performance of those around them. For Breakout, xIxGOTxDEADEYEx had 25 points and 6 rebounds, while Swizurk had 11 points on 4/4 shooting. For Throwdown, iiNsaniTTy had 21 points as well as a steal that he got at the start of the 1st quarter. Throwdown had a hot start, scoring two quick baskets and getting a steal on defense in the first minute. However, it quickly fizzled out and both teams began to trade baskets for most of the game.
Both teams also ran similar offenses throughout the two games, mixing set plays in with freelancing. For Throwdown, they shared ball-handling duties between their two guards. The backcourt duo of DevGoss and iiNsaniTTy ran a two-man game often, with Dev handling the ball and Kris either cutting to the basket or spotting up at the top on the 3pt line. If that didn't work, they relied on dribble-drives and kick-outs, which worked effectively as every player on their team was capable of shooting the 3. Breakout ran a similar scheme to this. Where possible, they kept it simple, hitting open men and cutters for easy baskets. If they had to run a set, they ran a wrap around the 3pt line. If nothing came from that, they moved into either a 5-Out isolation for Dimez, or a 5-Out pick-and-roll, again with Dimez handling the ball. Both teams also did a great job of running the fastbreak, getting easy points in transition on plenty of occasions.
With Breakout having won Game 1, the pressure was on Throwdown in Game 2, as of them it was a “ Win or Go Home “ situation. Just like in Game 1, they started strong although the momentum didn't last long. Dimez led the way for Breakout, showing us once again that he is a player who shows up in big games. Having already proved he can score himself, he showcased his passing skills, racking up 10 assists in the first half. As well as his passing skills, he also showed off he could crash the boards, getting 7 rebounds and coming close to a triple-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 assists. Everyone had some idea that Throwdown would struggle in the rebounding battle, as they played without any sort of rebounding archetype on the floor. However what really let them down was their defensive rebounding. They let Breakout get second-chance points far too often, and it cost them hugely. They didn't exactly help themselves in terms of efficiency either, giving up plenty on turnovers off of inbounds, and shooting just 25% from the 3pt line.
Overall, regardless of the result, the series was still a great success. Breakout got the win and are now the first MPBA champions of NBA 2k18, and $1400 richer. But Throwdown still got some more big-game experience, as well as a massive opportunity to learn from their mistakes. We’ll get an opportunity to see both teams participate in the Classic, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see a rematch in the finals!