Real basketball may be on hold, by NBA 2K is still going strong. With NBA players confined to their homes amid the coronavirus outbreak, 16 of them partnered with ESPN to broadcast a tournament that began on Friday and continued Sunday. The second day of that tournament is now officially in the books, and the first round has officially concluded. Here are the results from the tournament so far.
- No. 16 Derrick Jones Jr. 78, No. 1 Kevin Durant 62
- No. 10 DeAndre Ayton 57, No. 7 Zach LaVine 41
- No. 2 Trae Young 101, No. 15 Harrison Barnes 59
- No. 14 Patrick Beverley 84, No. 3 Hassan Whiteside 54
- No. 8 Montrezl Harrell 71, No. 9 Domantas Sabonis 53
- No. 13 Rui Hachimura 74, No. 4 Donovan Mitchell 71
- No. 5 Devin Booker 85, No. 12 Michael Porter Jr. 75
- No. 6 Andre Drummond 101, No. 11 DeMarcus Cousins 49
Yes, you're reading that correctly. Drummond did, in fact, lap Cousins with a 52-point blowout. Amazingly, that wasn't even one of the five most important takeaways from the day. Here's what you need to know from Sunday's slate.
Order was restored...sort of
We lamented the tournament's Montrezl Harrell dominating No. 9 Domantas Sabonis, and No. 5 Devin Booker and No. 6 Andre Drummond both walked away with comfortable victories.in this space on Friday, and while the bracket held closer to form Sunday, the final results aren't exactly what we expected. The higher seed took the first game of the day with No. 8
The highest seed to play on Sunday, though, was Donovan Mitchell. Despite coming in at No. 4, he lost to No. 13 Rui Hachimura, meaning only one top-four seed (No. 2 Trae Young) will make it to the second round. Four of the seven double-digit seeds in this tournament advanced. Chaos, thy name is 2K.
Loyalty is a lie
Harrell and Sabonis, who both play for playoff teams in real life, repped their employers with their choices. Harrell won for the Clippers, Sabonis lost for the Pacers. Beyond those two, it seemed that the fear of another "L" word destroyed any sense of loyalty these players had: losing.
Devin Booker said it best when Michael Porter Jr. suggest he play as his Phoenix Suns. "Ehh, no."
Andre Drummond similarly dismissed the notion of using his Cleveland Cavaliers. Porter pledged to save his Nuggets for the championship round, but he'll have to make it that far before we see if he keeps his word. So far, winning has been the sole priority for this tournament's participants.
The Bucks owned the first round of this tournament, with three of the four games involving them as one of the chosen teams. They still got some love on Sunday from Devin Booker, but a couple of other teams closed the game. The Lakers were chosen three times, while the Nets were taken twice and the Clippers, having been used once on Friday, are also now up to two total uses. Here is the tally to this point:
Not everyone is social distancing
NBA 2K is serious business. We all know that. Sometimes your hands even get a bit sweaty from clutching the controller too tightly. But come on, Rui. This is taking things a bit too far, don't you think?
I don't know who Rui Hachimura's mystery water boy is. Perhaps he has a roommate or a friend staying with him during this quarantine. I can simply assure you that no game of 2K is so intense that a moment cannot be spared to drink water. The pause button exists for a reason.
All hail Alex Caruso
Even during a quarantine, social media darling Alex Caruso is making headlines. His former teammate DeMarcus Cousins called him the GOAT during his game against Andre Drummond.
And you know what? He's not far off, and if Porter had recognized that, he might have made it through to the second round. He managed to cut Booker's lead with the Bucks down to six points in the fourth quarter with Caruso on the floor. He wound up losing by 10 after removing Caruso for the final stretch of the game. Even in virtual form, Caruso is a net rating savant.