The 2K Wizards returned to the floor in virtual Capital One Arena Monday night following a loss to the Bucks over the weekend. This time, they went up against Jayson Tatum and the Celtics.
Washington's defense and bench contributions were especially strong in this game, vaulting them to an impressive 74-57 win over the Celtics at home.
Here's how the Wizards fared in the second 2K sim of the season.
Tale of the tape
Coming off a loss where they struggled to generate offense, the Wizards went with a different starting five this time around. Instead of a group consisting of Shabazz Napier, Bradley Beal, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner, the Wizards went with this five:
PG - Shabazz Napier
SG - Bradley Beal
SF - Jerome Robinson
PF - Rui Hachimura
C - Thomas Bryant
On the other side, the Celtics went with a starting five of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter.
Celtics come out firing
The Celtics must've been waiting for their 2K simulation debut because they looked incredible off the opening tip. They made everything difficult for the Wizards defensively and got out on the fast break whenever possible.
Jayson Tatum was the beneficiary of Boston's transition offense, scoring the first seven points of the game as the Celts sprinted out to a 7-0 lead.
The Wizards had trouble containing Walker's dribble penetration, which isn't necessarily surprising. Walker is one of the quickest players in the NBA and that skill is typically rewarded in a video game setting.
Second unit charges back
Fortunately for the Wizards, they have Davis Bertans on their team. Boston had blitzed Washington to build a big lead in the first half, but Bertans came off the bench and dominated the action, hitting four of his first five shots for nine points.
Down 21-13 after the first quarter, the Wizards led by as many as nine before Boston cut their lead to two points by the halftime buzzer.
All season long in real life, the Wizards relied on their bench to keep constant pressure on the opposing defense. This performance was especially impressive considering Brown and Wagner were relegated to the bench for this game.
Monday night saw its first dose of injury drama, albeit no actual person was injured in the making of this simulation.
Mid-way through the third quarter, Tatum appeared to injury his right arm, causing him to exit the floor. According to virtual David Aldridge, virtual Tatum suffered an elbow strain that would force him to miss 1-to-2 weeks of virtual basketball.
Virtually, this was a tough blow to the Celtics. They fell apart offensively following Tatum's exit and allowed Beal to take over to help the Wizards pull away.
Both the Wizards and Celtics experienced scoring droughts that surpassed three minutes of game action. While those types of droughts make for spurts of ugly basketball, it certainly made the game a roller coaster ride to watch.
Thomas Bryant was a swat machine in this game. Real-life Thomas Bryant hasn't averaged more than a block per game through his first three professional seasons, but this version of him was like Dikembe Mutombo incarnate.
Rui Hachimura has looked good in both simulations so far. His two-way versatility pops on the real court and it seemingly gives him a serious advantage against his virtual counterparts. He finished with a game-high 15 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Similar to when he was relegated to the bench in the regular season, Brown responded Monday with a strong performance off the bench to propel the Wizards to a win. Details like these show you just how in-depth the game really is.
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