Confidence breeds success.
If that commonly used phrase holds true, the fifth-seeded Kings Guard Gaming (11-5) are in great shape heading into the NBA 2K League playoffs Friday against fourth-seeded Wizards District Gaming (13-3).
This series will be the first time these two teams play each other this season and it should be fairly even with both having a defense-first mentality.
"I'm confident we're going to get a lot of stops on them," Kings center Connor Rodrigues, a.k.a. Dat Boy Shotz, said. "I think it's going to come down to us executing offensively and transition offense will be the key to us winning."
Confidence, especially on the defensive side, is a common theme when talking to Shotz about his team's chances in this series and the rest of the playoffs.
"I think we're winning it all," said the Kings center.
Shotz, who is new to the Kings this year after being traded from Hawks Talon GC in the offseason, has had that same confidence in his team all season long.
"As soon as I got here, we already had a good (core of players) and I knew we were set up well for the draft," Shotz said. "So I always had high expectations for this season even before we had our full roster."
Heading into the draft, it was clear that the Kings' strategy for the roster was to bolster the defense around forward Yusuf Abdulla, a.k.a. Yusuf_Scarbz, who was named to the NBA 2K League All-Defensive team last season.
On top of acquiring Shotz, who protects the paint, the Kings drafted forward Crush in the first round and he could be considered one of the best lock defenders in the game.
Yusuf is the true anchor of this Kings' defense which hasn't been together for all that long. Not only is he just one of three players who were on the team prior to this season, but he has a chance to make it on the All-Defensive team in back-to-back seasons.
If you follow Yusuf on Twitter, it's pretty clear to see which NBA player he models his game after.
"I post that because that's the grit I have on defense," Yusuf said. "He's a gritty guy on defense, so that's how I like to emulate my game off of. I just like being gritty on the court, make it tough for the opposing PG to make a play."
If the Kings make it through the series against the Wizards, there's a good chance they will run into Raptors Uprising GC, the lone undefeated team this season at 16-0. The Raptors naturally would be the favorites in a matchup with the Kings, but Yusuf, a Toronto native, is ready to do everything he can to make sure the Kings come out on top.
"I'm from Toronto, so I don't like losing to the Raptors, especially for the playoffs," Yusuf said. "Every bone in my body does not want to lose to the Raptors."
If any team has the best chance to take down the Raptors, it very well could be the Kings with the number of times they've seen each other. Between the regular season and tournament play, Kings Guard and Raptors Uprising have played each other three times.
Although the Kings lost the three matchups, they were all close and competitive games which is yet another reason to boost Sacramento's confidence.
"I feel like we're right there and I feel like we're the last team they want to see," said Shotz. "So I'm actually kind of confident as a team going to these playoffs. I think we can win it all for sure."
Kings Guard confident defense will take them far in NBA 2K League playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area