Talon chilling

Hawks Talon GC looks for lessons after their first loss of the season

The NBA 2K League is officially underway and the Hawks Talon GC was on the receiving end of an opening season loss to Mavs Gaming.

It was a paltry 2-0 sweep by Mavs Gaming Tuesday night that left a sour taste in the mouth of those who watched the game. The many issues the Hawks Talon GC team faced were glaring enough to be more learning for, what is essentially a new squad in its infancy.

Outside of bright star BP, the Talon struggled mightily with turnovers (26 in the series) and a lack of assists. The other bright spots were Kel and Lee who looked great in the first game but vanished in the second.

Add in-game two where the offense was just BP, the Talon were in trouble.

But this isn’t a knock on the team that’s searching for their identity with a new roster. Instead, take it as a lot of lessons to be learned and a quick chat with head coach Wesley Acuff after the game can assure you that lessons are being learned.

The story can begin with the lack of assists in the loss to Mavs Gaming. With an offense constructed around BP, it’s only an issue when the team can’t use its key weapon to its fullest advantage.

“We want to focus on making the right play,” Hawks Talon GC head coach Wesley Acuff said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “Our team is constructed around BP who is a high volume shooter and scorer so you’re going to see a high volume of shot attempts from him every night but we also want to keep in mind as defenses prepare to stop that, we’ve just got to read the defense and make the right play.”

The second lesson of the loss comes back to the turnovers. With 26 of them throughout the series and a stalled offense anywhere else, it looked like the Talon GC was facing an issue that went beyond the offense.

Once again though, the way the team is constructed must be the factor of this whole issue. When the key weapon is being keyed in on and the rest of the team is struggling to make proper reads and get the ball out into space, turnovers tend to happen.

Especially when the attempts at adjustment led to forced passes.

“I think it’s no secret the way our offense is set up. You pretty much watched them lock in on BP,” Acuff said. “Trying to adjust to that and find the open man, we kinda forced a few passes that we shouldn’t have forced and didn’t execute the way that we had been preparing so it’s just a moment where we got away from our original game plan a little bit and we let them force us into playing their game. We’ll learn from it and we’ll be better.”

Another thing that must be learned is the lack thereof in face-to-face coaching and communication for the team. Social distancing is a huge thing due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) but Acuff doesn’t want that to be an excuse for his team.

He does acknowledge how difficult it is to communicate from far away, but the team is still in contact through other means throughout the game.

“It’s easier to talk it out when you’re face-to-face but at the same time we don’t want to make excuses,” Acuff continued. “We’re in Discord chats together and we can communicate. We don’t want to have anything as an excuse. They were better than us last night and they just beat us and that’s all we can do. Get past that and learn from that and get ready for the T-Wolves on Thursday.”

The club’s next match will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 7 against the 2019 NBA 2K League Champions T-Wolves Gaming.

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