It all comes together today, August 25, 2018, for Miami Heat Check gaming.
There it is.
Their first opponent of the weekend was Pistons GT.
This was a game I was only able to listen to on my way home from work and boy was I happy about that. Pistons GT was run right out of the gym, 67-85. Usually, if you can control the boards, you can control the game. That seemed to not be the case for the Pistons during their first and final playoff game of the year.
They had a definitive advantage on the glass and shot a high percentage, but the key to that game was 3-point attempts. The Pistons’ two leading scorers LetsGetItRamo (Ramo Radoncic) and JosephTheTruth (Joseph Marrero) scored 29 and 16 points respectively, on a combined 78 percent. The only problem with that is they were all 2-point shot attempts.
The Pistons went 2-9 from deep and against a Heat Check team that is going to attack the basket at will with Hotshot, with 3-point shooters all around; so let’s say they were doomed from the start.
The Heat were able to advance to the league semifinals with ease.
Next up was the second-seeded 76rs GC.
The Sixers are known for their excellent ball movement, that usually results in made 3-pointers. On offense, they’re led by their point guard Radiant (Ethan White) who mentioned at the start of the playoffs that he felt he was unrightfully left off the MVP finalist list.
For both his teams’ success and his own personal success, it was imperative that he showed up ready to play in the semifinal round. Not that it needed to be said, but they were reminded every step of the way that coming out victorious in this best of three series, would secure the team an additional $300,000 for the season.
On defense, the Sixers are led by IFEAST (Mihad Feratovic). Due to the prevalence of 5-out in the 2K League, he has earned the nickname Ivan Drago in reference to the infamous line in Rocky IV. They leave him all alone against the opposing Shot-Creating Slasher, and if he dies, he dies.
The stage was set, and everyone knew what the Heat were planning on doing.
Their lineup or archetype selection hasn’t changed in weeks. They believed they had the best player in the world in Hotshot, and they planned on letting him go to work.
The first game was intense and close throughout until the fourth quarter, where the Heat broke the game open on a mini-run and good defense. The key for the Sixers’ defense was to ‘limit’ Hotshot to around 40 points.
The MVP candidate wasn’t hearing any of that.
He went off for 52 points on 25-for-34 shooting. No one else on the team attempted more than six shots for the game.
The Heat played carefully on the offensive end, only giving up four turnovers total. The competition was intense, and there were a lot of moments of trash talk, with players having to be separated between games. But in the end, the Heat edged out the Sixers 68-63.
Radiant was on the board with 16 assists but only had four points on 2-of-5 shooting. In a playoff series worth that amount of money, more is required from a first round pick.
You could tell the Heat’s play style was getting to the Sixers.
The combination of Hotshot getting any shot he wanted regardless of what Feast was doing on defense, trash talk, and the inability to hit 3’s was unraveling them by the minute.
Hotshot had 45 points, six rebounds, and five assists so the Sixers went on to lose Game 2, 62-56, and got swept out of the semifinals.
Similarly to last game, Radiant had 16 assists but only two points off 1-for-6 shooting. In a semifinal game with your season on the line, that has to be considered the biggest meltdown of the year.
Visiting the Heat for the championship round is eighth seeded Knicks Gaming.
They are a fast-breaking team that shares the ball, lead by Tournament Kude aka iamadamthe1st (Adam Kudeimati).
The Knicks are playing with house money after upsetting the number one seeded Blazer5 Gaming in round one, then continuing to defeat Cavs Legion in Game 3 of the semifinals.
Since the ball is spread so evenly amongst the Knicks, I can see the Heat Check having lapses in defensive coverage, that may expose some areas of opportunity for the team on that end of the ball.
As long as the Heat can remain strapped in, they should be able to play the appropriate amount of defense. We know Hotshot is going to get his. But the question really is: can the others score points as well?
They can’t afford to be cones out there.
I’ll be rooting for Heat Check Gaming this weekend.
As a fan, I hope I can gloat afterward about how the Heat organization has gotten yet another iteration of itself winning the title again.
As a journalist, I hope the best team wins as long as its a competitive matchup.