Halfway through their season, Hawks Talon feeling the highs and lows of competitive matches

Hawks Talon rallied off a five-game win streak earlier this season but have since lost six straight. Submitted by Kyle Hess

The NBA season is winding down, and it’s clear that some fans are still eager for more basketball. Some franchises will still be represented this summer, especially with the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hawks Talon Gaming Club, midway through their season, sits at 5-9 and 11th in the NBA 2K League’s Eastern Conference. There have been triumphs and successful weekends through the season’s first five weeks, such as the team’s early five-game win streak with an average win margin of 10 points.

But since then, the Hawks Talon’s dropped six straight games. On the flip side, the team remains talented and could pull off an exceptional second half of the 2021 NBA 2K League season.

The team has played through Ceez, who’s taken over as the leader for this team in his rookie year in the league. Ceez, Hawks Talon’s eleventh overall selection in March’s draft, is posting 28.5 points and 8.5 assists per game, both top-20 in the league entering this weekend’s games.

Another new acquisition that’s caught the attention of the team’s eyes has been Fakiee, another player that Hawks Talon drafted. He entered the season as the team’s primary defender, replacing FollowTheGod.

“Fakiee’s really smart. He’s got a high IQ, he makes a lot of good rotations, helps in the right spaces that he’s in and he understands his role. Just seeing him in different roles and knowing what his ceiling is, it’s a little bit higher than only power forward, so we’re seeing that he’s capable of doing other things for us on the floor,” Acuff said. “We definitely respect his talent, and we just have a lot of guys that can actually fit in different positions. But finding that combination that works for us consistently is what we want to land on, and I think power forward is what mainly what we added him to the roster for, and that’s where he excels in.”

BP, a reigning finalist for the NBA 2K League MVP––and one of three players Hawks Talon retained from last season––has had to sacrifice quite a bit this year with Ceez. Following a season where BP held the keys to the offense, he isn’t replicating his volume of shots from last season. 

Another player who’s sacrificed a bit has been Lee, who Hawks Talon held out of the lineup last week against Celtics Crossover Gaming. Acuff didn’t mention specific reasons for the move in his press conference but noted that it wasn’t for anything specifically.

“We made some last-minute changes that put our lineup out of the normal lineup, and we definitely suffered for that. It was a group decision. It wasn’t one person’s decision. We know [what we’re capable of] when we have our strongest lineup on the floor cause we saw it happen in that five-game win streak,” Acuff said.

“The strength is that we can score. We [have] a lot of guys that can put up offensive firepower. That’s one of our weapons. But an area of improvement is just becoming more consistent. Defensively always getting stops when we need to get the stops and consistently building on that momentum to carry it into the next game. We definitely need to improve on extending winning streaks. We get one, and then we give two games away, so just improving on extending our winning streaks, becoming a more consistent team and I think that’ll get us where we need to be.”

Coming off of six straight losses, the team will look to rebound this weekend as they take on Magic Gaming Saturday night in a doubleheader beginning at 9 p.m. EST.