The 2K Gods frown as Heat Check Gaming loses another close one

Head Coach Derric Franklin of Heat Check Gaming (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Head Coach Derric Franklin of Heat Check Gaming (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Heat Check Gaming desperately needed a win on Friday to secure a playoff birth, as they are running out of time and opportunity. Could they get it done?

With a 1-4 record following THE TURN tournament and a loss to Magic Gaming earlier the day prior, Heat Check Gaming knew that their Friday night matchup against Jazz Gaming was ‘do or die.’

Coach Famous decided to shake things up in a way that signaled the end was near. Everyone but Lotty and Hotshot changed positions and archetypes for Friday’s game.

24K Dropoff moved to the power forward with a shot-creating post scorer build, MaJes7ic moved to the point as a sharpshooting playmaker, which most noticeably moved Hood to the small forward on a shot creating sharpshooter build. This was the same build he transitioned to after being bumped down from the point in Minnesota before asking for a trade.

After watching the Bucks fulfill my predictions with a beatdown of Magic Gaming featuring Plondo as a shot-creating post scorer, I started to imagine Hotshot cooking dudes and getting back to his dominant ways of playing. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but at least a change was made because their old lineup was not getting it done.

Hood started the game somewhat cold, shooting 2 for 6 with five points, and you could feel it on the broadcast and in the chat that the pressure was mounting for the Weston, Florida native. Heat Check is his third team in two seasons, as he was traded to Miami for point guard JMoneyRep817 to score the basketball. In spite of his cold shooting, the game was close with Miami winning the first quarter by two while scoring a healthy eighteen points, but they couldn’t keep it up.

What do the Miami Heat and Heat Check gaming have in common? Turnovers. The Eric Spoelstra led team was in the bottom third in the NBA in turnovers per game, and while the NBA 2K League doesn’t keep track of team stats, you get the sense this is also the case for Heat Check.

They escaped the opening quarter with no turnovers but ended the second quarter with seven. Karma does has a way of catching up to you, doesn’t it?

In the 2K community, karma has a name. You don’t know when it’s coming, but you know for sure the 2K gods will rear their ugly heads.

Lotty anchored Heat Check in scoring with nineteen, while going perfect from the floor on a pure lockdown defender archetype. Imagine Tony Allen doing that in a game. He almost led all scorers but fell just short to MOAM, who had 22. This was a player who wasn’t even traveling with the Jazz the past few weeks.

Heat Check lost the second quarter by eight, and they knew they had to tighten up. They came out of the halftime break and grabbed the momentum by the horns. Then it happened.

With 49.6 remaining in the third quarter, Hotshot drops RIA to the deck with a cold shoulder, then turns and dunks all over both Jazz point guard Yeah I Compete and forward KevDontMiss to close the gap to 47-45. During Hotshot’s free throw attempt, 24K Dropoff can be heard complaining about the brightness of his gaming monitor and then things get pretty heated. Hotshot drains the free throw to avoid the ten-second violation and the Jazz inbound the ball.

Things continue to spill over between Dropoff and the league admin as he doesn’t even come up court while asking him to stop the game. The Jazz get up a 3-point attempt that misses, which is then grabbed by Hood who quickly burns another timeout. You can hear Dropoff telling the admin, “We lost our energy because of you.”

It takes them a few minutes and a couple of commercial breaks to sort things out, but when the game returns, Utah’s shooting guard Deedz is at the charity stripe for a one-shot technical while Miami has two timeouts for the rest of the game. Hotshot attempts a long inbound, and you guessed it, turns the ball over.

Miami regains possession with the game clock ticking down to end the third. Hotshot backs down RIA on the right block and Yeah I Compete falls asleep in the corner, only to give up an open three to none other than Lotty at the buzzer. Splash.

With that Buzzer beater from Lotty, the Heat dropped twenty points on Utah in the third to enter the fourth with a one-point lead. This quarter was back and forth every step of the way. Up by two points, Compete takes an ill-advised moving 3-point shot that is rebounded by Miami.

Hood feeds the ball to Hotshot on the cut for a dunk to knot the game at 63 with 6.2 remaining in regulation. After advancing the ball during their timeout, Utah looked to hold the ball and take the last shot, but they went too early with an off-ball cut from MOAM that was read beautifully by Hotshot. If you’ve played 2K before, you’ve been there.

Instead of catching the ball in the passing lane, it just hits you in the face and takes the most unpredictable roll, while those precious seconds just tick away. The 2K gods would not allow the Heat to pass. While he repeatedly tapped square to dive on the loose ball, 24K Dropoff actually fouled RIA.

Lotty stands up and hangs his headset on the monitor. 24K Dropoff stands up in disbelief. There was nothing they could do because that foul was in the books.

The Utah center hit the first foul shot and missed the second, allowing Miami to call a timeout immediately to advance the ball with .7 remaining. This timeout felt like an eternity while both teams could be seen feverishly talking out their strategy.

In the 2K League, you can’t choose who inbounds the ball, so Hotshot was left with the honors. Coach Famous drew up a play with a few misdirections, which led to a wide open back door lob for Dropoff, but the pass hit him in the hands and bounced out of bounds. Game over.

For the second time in a week, Heat Check gaming loses by one point in a game they desperately needed to win. I’ve been on the record saying that the Heat needed to go 6-1 the rest of the season to make the playoffs, but with back to back losses in week eight, that looks impossible. Even if they do win the rest of their games, the best they can do is finish 9-7 on the year, which almost certainly won’t be enough to get them into the postseason.

Heat Check has one final prayer of getting into the playoffs, and that’s to win THE TICKET tournament. This is a tough ask of any team in their position, as they’ll have to win five games in a row of increasing difficulty, including a play-in game on Thursday due to their 1-5 record since the last tournament. Can Miami win five games in a row to save their championship aspirations?

Next. Heat Check Guide to the 2nd half of the season & playoff odds. dark

Will we see Hotshot on that shot creating post scorer build at the power forward in Orlando? We’ll have to wait and see. All that’s certain is that if they don’t win THE TICKET, their season is over.