Pistons GT seeks to bounce back from ‘horrendous’ performance in search of first victory

By Vince Ellis, Special to PistonsGT.com

Pistons GT members didn’t mince words.

After an 0-2 start and going winless in four matches to begin the NBA 2K League regular season last week, gamer Devin “DevGoss” Gossett called the performance “horrendous.”

General manager Adam Rubin said players need to be more cognizant of team play.

The belief is better days are ahead.

After a week of scrimmaging, Gossett said the team is closer and poised to get the first victory over the season this week when the team faces two opponents.

“For all of us, losing our first game, it was definitely a different experience. Since losing both games, we’ve gotten a lot closer as a team,” Gossett said Tuesday afternoon.

Pistons GT will face Lakers Gaming (0-5) on Wednesday night and Pacers Gaming (2-3) on Friday night.

NBA 2K League games can be seen on the ESPN app, YouTube’s gaming channel and Twitch, a live streaming service geared toward gaming. Week 4 games are also being aired on ESPN2.

With most of the sports world suspended because of social distancing measures ordered by governments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Pistons GT has an opportunity to garner attention from Detroit sports fans.

But the top path to widespread notice is winning games – especially after a 2-14 record and last-place finish in 2019 during the league’s second season.

And it’s a certainty one-on-one play isn’t a path to success.

“(The struggle) comes down to players trying to play the game themselves, rather than as a collective unit,” Rubin said. “This year, it’s really hard for one player to do it by themselves so it’s just breaking that mentality and recognize that the only way we are going to win is if we work together and spread the load.”

Rough start

After postponing the start of the season, the league started play on May 5.

Pistons GT received byes for the first two weeks.

Team members practiced remotely, with equipment brought to a nearby apartment building where the gamers reside.

The franchise is seeking to bounce back from last season when it lost 13 games in a row at one point, a far cry from the initial season in 2018 when Pistons GT reached the playoffs.

As a result of the crisis, games are played remotely and under a best-of-three format.

After a solid first half and playing to a tie at halftime of the season opener against Wizards District Gaming, the offensive performance cratered.

Pistons GT managed only 15 points in the second half of a 67-57 loss.

The Wizards completed the victory with a 41-point thumping in the second match.

In the second game against defending champion T-Wolves Gaming, the offensive struggles continued with a 16-point first half in the first match on the way to a 67-54 loss.

A 10-point loss in the second match dropped Pistons GT to 0-2.

“It was just a horrendous offensive performance for us,” Goss said.

Bright spot

Although Goss blames himself for the lack of execution, Rubin says the shooting guard played well, culminating in a 23-point performance where he was 5-for-8 from 3-point range.

He averaged 14.25 points per game and shot 52% (13-for-25) from 3-point range.

Goss, who was acquired from Hawks Talon Gaming Club last season, said the team played too fast, but he is ready to assume whatever role is needed the rest of the season.

“Dev knows that if the team needs him to sit, for whatever reason, he’s going to take a step back and help everyone else get better,” Rubin said.

“On top of being a better player this year, he’s fully understanding his role as a veteran.”