03/04/2021

Wizards District Gaming’s Blueprint

5 min read

Wizards Gaming District looked impressive against Kings Guard Gaming last night, routing them in game one en route to the eventual series sweep. This afternoon, they’ll take on an undefeated Raptors Uprising GC team. Here’s how they become the first team to beat them.

These two teams faced each other a few times, once during the regular season, on the year’s second night. The series went three games and all three were tightly contested, foreshadowing how their series would go when they’d eventually clash in the Turn. 

I went back and watched the tournament games. The Turn brought a different set of rules, but if you’ll remember, JBM and KennyGotWork’s favorite ‘Scoring Machine’ archetype remained in play. Players effected were ReeceMode and ReeseDaGod, as their favorite sharpshooting archetypes were barred from use. In addition, Newdini and Legit utilized the two-way stretch 4 after the glass cleaner was banned following game one. The point is: this one was played under rather normal circumstances. 

Game One, Quarter One:

The first quarter is all about JBM. He really flashes all of his potential in these six short minutes, but we’re starting with a missed three-point attempt. Dayfri and JBM reset. JBM gets open. Launches. In and out.

Here’s the very next possession, where JBM greens a much tougher, near-40% contested three:

That wasn’t the only time Washington’s rookie point guard answered a Toronto punch quickly. After he missed a pair of free throws and Raptors Uprising coasted for an easy transition bucket, JBM answered again.

Towards the end of the quarter, coming off a WDG turnover, JBM answered again, penetrating and scoring on Toronto’s defense in under seven seconds:

Game One, Quarter Two:

I know JBM will take advantage if he ever gets this mismatch on the perimeter again. Timely switches onto Dayfri in the pick-and-roll and JBM just dances around too much.

As a result, Dayfri winds up taking the blame via a 3 seconds violation and its a turnover. “He should have taken the middie” is right, and I bet he does the next time he finds himself in that situation.

This one seems simple, but people like to pick on JBM’s three-point shooting (another conversation, another day) so here he is greening another attempt off the dribble to quiet a 9-4 Raps run.

A few things here. Awkward is a pest, beginning before the ball was even checked in. Making Kenny uncomfortable is an important part of this recipe. Secondly, when they get the stop, JBM attacks immediately, ultimately leading to a converted and-one.

This is what happens when your frontcourt is filled with a pair of high-IQ players. Dayfri puts himself in position for the board, secures the ball, and doesn’t force a putback. He finds Dini, who passes up the midrange jumper and drives right past his defender. Hook shot. Two points. Oh, and if he misses, it’s probably another offensive rebound for Dayfri. Levels.

Headed into halftime, WDG had done a good job of getting JBM going (17 points), while limiting Kenny (9 points), and controlling the overall pace of the game.

Game One, Quarter Three

This is a tough sequence. JBM-Dayfri pick-and-roll, he makes the right pass, wide open ReeseDaGod… and straight arm animation. Toronto immediately cashed in with a TimelyCook green (JBM did answer with a quick two). Nothing for Washington to improve on exactly, but these are the things you must overcome when playing the Raptors.

JBM gets another clean look but fails to take advantage, late in the third. Dayfri gets the offensive rebound but nothing materialized. JBM has to take advantage of that opportunity in a close game.

It’s a quick clip but a ton goes poorly. First, WDG started this possession with 45 seconds remaining in the quarter a.k.a. two-for-one territory. Luckily, they did end up getting a stop and quick fastbreak bucket, so I can’t really complain.

Secondly, this is the same look as the clip above. Dayfri sets a screen and Reese wraps around to the opposite hash. But, this time JBM shoots middle way too early, essentially pinching himself and leading to the Toronto steal. Not the best possession.

Game One, Quarter Four

Another good look, another missed opportunity. It’s asking somebody to be perfect, but that’s what you’re going up against. JBM needs these to fall.

The clip starts with JBM answering a mini-Toronto run, getting to the rim and finishing for two. He lurks in the backcourt for the steal and it ends with… another good look not dropping.

We all remember how this one ended. Kenny sunk a middie immediately after, Dayfri had his dunk attempt blocked, TimelyCook nailed a 50% contested hook shot, and Dayfri’s illegal screen sealed the deal, rather than a defender, Raptors Uprising GC wins game one.

I know a ton of it seems like super simple stuff, but with this much cash on the line, at this level of competition, the ‘super simple stuff’ matters tenfold.

Defense #1

SickOne frees up Kenny with a perfect screen. Dayfri has no choice but to sell out and jump. Knocking the ball loose might involve a little luck, but look how disciplined the WDG defenders remain during the scramble.

Check out Newdini refusing to jump (which would have resulted in a foul 9 times out of ten), allowing Dayfri to defend any possible attempt down low. Defending Toronto involves all of the little things.

Defense #2

It might just be good, quick action by Raptors Uprising in attempts to force this mismatch, but Washington can’t let JBM get stuck in many of these situations on defense:

Defense #3:

Great defense from their corner defenders. Newdini helping on the drive and Reese being active in the passing lane:

Defense #4

This is great transition defense. Saving a few of these buckets throughout the game means a ton towards the final result:

Defense #5

Dayfri has his fingerprints all over this possession, showcasing his instincts as he nearly grabs a steal, settles, blocks shot attempt No. 1, and contests shot attempt No. 2 before hauling in the rebound:

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