With group play officially wrapped up and us hurtling to the playoffs, I figure I would shake things up and break up all of our teams into groups of 5. If you know me, you know I love my tier lists, so tiers it is! Couple of tough decisions along the way, definitely a few borderline calls, but I said five a tier and I’m sticking to it. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Tier 1 – Clear Contenders
Pistons GT – 210 points (59-32)
T-Wolves Gaming – 170 points (71-43)
Bucks Gaming – 160 points (56-27)
Knicks Gaming – 160 points (59-22)
DUX Infinitos – 130 points (52-25)
The top 5 teams all hit a very specific criteria, but one I think separates them from other teams. They all have a win% of over 60% and have a point differential of at least 1. NBL Oz Gaming and Cavs Legion GC both have an argument to make this tier 1 list, but I’ll explain them when I get to tier 2. For our five tier 1 teams, they are dominant on both sides of the ball. One stat to note for these top 5 teams, They occupy four of the top 5 spots in 3PA and 3PM as a team, the only outside being T-Wolves Gaming who have the standing dunk king himself, ShiftyKaii, leading the line. Elite defense, elite 3P shooting, and one more important qualifier, all five have an MVP candidate playing at their best heading into the most important time of the year.
Tier 2 – Darkhorses
NBL OZ Gaming – 150 points (65-47)
Cavs Legion GC – 130 points (57-38)
Pacers Gaming – 70 points (48-37)
Nets GC – 140 points (49-50)
Celtics Crossover Gaming – 120 points (56-51)
All of these teams are very good and have a real chance of making a run in the postseason. I want to make that clear off the top. My only hold up with each team is that they have a flaw that has seen them be beatable at times. Weaknesses like that usually get exposed this time of year, so let’s go through them. NBL Oz and Cavs Legion don’t attempt nearly enough 3s, both ranked in the bottom half of the league with Cleveland ranking dead last. It’s definitely a style of play, but too many 2-pointers leaves too much to chance, it has to be a point of improvement for both. Pacers Gaming is on the rise, but it remains to be seen if their newfound offense will survive on stage. It’s a lot of ifs on that team to label them a true contender just yet, a great run through the Switch could change that. For CLTX and NetsGC, they both eased through group play and stare down another chance to get their PG with stage reps. But as we saw in the Slam, just not sure if they have the ammo to truly beat the elite.
Tier 3 – Is it too late?
Warriors Gaming Squad – 120 points (56-45)
76ers GC – 100 points (45-45)
Jazz Gaming – 120 points (53-48)
Hawks Talon GC – 130 points (45-52)
Wizards District Gaming – 110 points (48-53)
All five of these teams have talent, yet a certain level of execution has been missing down the stretch for each team. First off, seeing Hawks Talon down here after the start that they had is very surprising. Finishing the season 45-52 and in the STEAL OPEN wasn’t what anyone foresaw this season, who knows what happens now. Same goes for 76ers GC and Jazz Gaming who both made moves to improve their 3v3 rosters this offseason. Utah spent second round picks on both RekCombos and Kaaze, but just couldn’t get over the finish line with an offense that sputtered at times. Warriors Gaming Squad saw another real lack of tournament success sink their season and Wizards DG put up a measly 2-8 SWITCH OPEN record. The STEAL OPEN remains for this group. We could see the winner come out of it considering the talent.
Tier 4 – So you’re saying there is a chance?
Grizz Gaming – 90 points (37-41)
Magic Gaming – 50 points (30-50)
Heat Check Gaming – 60 points (31-40)
Mavs Gaming – 60 points (30-44)
Lakers Gaming – 60 points (35-50)
I wonder if there is a magical run in this group somewhere. All 5 have shown some late-season spunk and could be a threat in a single elimination tournament. Now credit, all have had glaring issues this season, but never discount any of these teams getting hot. Magic Gaming especially, we know what Unguardable-Matty-May can do in this tournament. Still, it is tough seeing some of these teams down here. Heat Check Gaming, Grizz Gaming, and Lakers Gaming all spent high draft picks on rookie guards yet never found any consistency in lineup or play. Mavs Gaming is coached by the best player in league history and despite some talent issues, I guess I figured it would finish a little better. Epic STEAL run, anyone?
Tier 5 – Back to the drawing board
Raptors Uprising GC – 70 points (40-44)
Gen.G Tigers – 60 points (32-44)
Blazer5 Gaming – 60 points (27-44)
Kings Guard Gaming – 50 points (24-46)
Hornets Venom GT – 50 points (27-52)
This group can be best described as, it just didn’t work. Each team made moves to improve in 3v3 this offseason to their credit, but they fell flat. Raptors Uprising rebuilt the team from the ground up, but just couldn’t hit that next gear offensively that other teams did. Gen.G, the same issue and it really killed their late-game execution. Blazer5 Gaming had some spunk to close the season, but it just made it more painful that their best lineup might’ve had a shot if played more this season. For Kings Guard and Hornets Venom, it just didn’t work out. For the Hornets Venom, at least they played all five guys and tried literally everything. They tried almost every reasonable lineup combination possible and nothing stuck. Kings Guard? I don’t know what happened with Dimez, I’d be surprised if we ever see him play a game in that uniform. Just shocking that the 5v5 Finals MVP hasn’t played a single game this season on a team that won 24 of 70 games. Good news is, at least Bray looks good! A nice 5-5 record in the SWITCH as well to close things out.