The NBA 2K Players Tournament kicked off this past weekend and the field has been cut down from 16 participants to eight as we reach the Quarter-Finals.
To summarize the action, there were a handful of upsets, a couple close games, a ton of trash talk - we're looking at you, Patrick Beverley - some inexcusable blowouts and some good back-and-forth conversations among the NBA stars participating.
With the Quarter-Finals set to take place on Friday, April 10, take a look at the matchups ahead and each player's updated odds to win the tournament via OddsShark.
Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Montrezl Harrell (8)
Odds to win the tournament: Jones Jr. (+450), Harrell (+1400)
Jones kicked off the tournament with a decisive upset over the No. 1 seeded Kevin Durant and it didn't appear to be any sort of a fluke. Granted, he used the best team in the game in the Milwaukee Bucks - a team selected by four players in the first round, all of whom advanced to the second round - but Jones looked comfortable on the sticks.
In fact, his first round display was so impressive that he went from +2200 odds to win the tournament (tied for last) to +450 odds to win the tournament (second-best).
As for Harrell, he handled Domantas Sabonis in a battle between the only two players that elected to play with their virtual selves in the first round. Poster dunks in 2K are electrifying, but have you ever postered someone with your own virtual character? Me neither.
But based on how hyped Trezz got in his 20-point win over Sabonis, it must feel pretty good.
IRL Trez throwin it down with 2K Trez 👀 #NBA2KTourney pic.twitter.com/Vyz35wvzMo- NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) April 5, 2020
Jones will have to choose from the Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks or his own Miami Heat squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Harrell will have to choose from the Houston Rockets, Heat, Celtics, Bucks, Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder or Portland Trail Blazers in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Devin Booker (5) vs. Rui Hachimura (13)
Odds to win the tournament: Booker (+275), Hachimura (+1400)
Before his first round matchup with Michael Porter Jr. even began, Booker caused a quick stir on NBA Twitter when he shook off the idea of playing with his Phoenix Suns team. After the win, Booker took to Twitter to explain his reasoning for declining to play with his own player and team.
Because @NBA2K has my player messed up https://t.co/iHpVqugU6n- Devin Booker (@DevinBook) April 6, 2020
Anyone who has played NBA 2K20 with Booker can back the All-Star guard's statement there.
During his 10-point win over MPJ, Booker's trash talk placed a challenge on the rest of the tournament, saying no player will get within 10 points of him. I wonder what Hachimura thinks about that.
The rookie forward pulled off an upset win in a closely contested battle with Donovan Mitchell, one of the previous favourites to win the title. He was running set plays to come up with crucial buckets down the stretch of the fourth quarter to pull out the win, and he even has a boxing match-like ringside service during his timeouts.
"Did you do that or did the game do that??" Donovan clownin Rui after he makes a nice play 🤣 pic.twitter.com/KEpwv86iLE- NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) April 5, 2020
Can he pull off another upset to get to the Semi-Finals?
Booker will have to choose from the Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Rockets, Toronto Raptors or Celtics in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Hachimura will have to choose from the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics, Mavericks, Nets, Raptors or his own Washington Wizards squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Trae Young (2) vs. Deandre Ayton (10)
Odds to win the tournament: Young (+500), Ayton (+700)
Ayton pulled off a strong 16-point win over Zach LaVine, flashing his 2K experience in the process, talking about how he's been playing the game since NBA 2K9 with recently inducted Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett on the cover.
Ayton's victory was different in the sense that he didn't talk much trash as the game played out. Instead, he sparked some casual conversation with LaVine throughout the game, which made for a solid viewership experience if you're tuning into the tournament to get to know the personalities of the players a bit more.
Whether or not he'll keep that casual tone as it gets later into the tournament is yet to be seen, but past moments in Ayton's history as a gamer have shown us that he can flip the competitive switch fairly quickly.
As for Young, he put an absolute licking on Harrison Barnes to the tune of a 42-point win, dropping 101 points in the process. The first round's second-largest victory could mean one of two things: Young is a 2K juggernaut and might walk right past Ayton or Barnes is absolutely brutal at this game.
Either way, these two players are among the favourites to win the tournament in what should be the best matchup of the second round.
Young will have to choose from the Clippers, Lakers, Celtics, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Nets or his own Atlanta Hawks squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Ayton will have to choose from the Bucks, Clippers, Lakers, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, Nets or his own Suns squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Andre Drummond (6) vs. Patrick Beverley (14)
Odds to win the tournament: Drummond (+1400), Beverley (+225)
As you probably could have expected, the first round of the 2K Players Tournament saw a significant boost of energy the second that Beverley hopped on the mic.
Alright, the @patbev21 we know has arrived 🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️ pic.twitter.com/WciN8JwpxX- NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) April 4, 2020
Nobody was safe from Beverley's trash talk - not his opponent Hassan Whiteside, not even the virtual version of LeBron James.
Is Beverley actually this good at 2K or did he just talk so much that Whiteside got fed up and stopped playing his game in the 30-point loss? We'll surely find out this round, but the Clippers guard is now dubbed as the favourite to win the whole tournament.
He'll go head-to-head with Drummond, who picked up the biggest win of the first round in a 52-point victory over DeMarcus Cousins. Up by only seven points at halftime, it appeared as though we were going to have a close game on our hands between Drummond and Boogie. The Cleveland Cavaliers centre turned things up a notch after halftime, putting Cousins away with ease.
Despite his blowout first round win, Drummond's odds to win the tournament got worse. Whether that's a hat tip to Beverley's skills or just plain disrespect will be seen.
Beverley will have to choose from the Jazz, Celtics, Blazers, 76ers, Nuggets, Rockets or his own Clippers squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
Drummond will have to choose from the Bucks, Mavericks, Nuggets, Clippers, Warriors or his own Cavaliers squad in this Quarter-Finals matchup.
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