Miami Heat Check Gaming putting teams on notice at THE TICKET tournament

Scott Cole (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cole (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Due to their regular season woes, Heat Check Gaming needs to win THE TICKET tournament to definitely secure a playoff birth. Will they though?

The NBA 2K League has taken its talents to Orlando, Florida. Literally. All twenty-one teams, of course including Heat Check Gaming,  along with the league equipment so infamous for being on the stage in Brooklyn.

For what, might you ask? The final in-season tournament of the year, THE TICKET.

There’s $180,000 in prize money up for grabs this time around, but for a lot of teams, there’s something even more significant in the pot. Of course, this is If they can reach in and pull it out, that is. The winning squad will automatically punch their ticket to the 2019 playoffs, regardless of their regular season record.

Last year Knicks Gaming found themselves slipping into Cinderella’s slippers as they caught fire and scrapped their way to the banner chain and an automatic playoff berth. These shiny slippers ultimately led to them bringing home the NBA 2K League championship trophy against Heat Check Gaming.

Since seeding for this tournament is determined only by a teams records since the last tourney, things were looking mighty bleak for Miami. Sporting a paltry 1-5 record since THE TURN tournament, Heat Check had to accept a tough schedule and prove they belonged by winning their play-in game against the streaking Bucks on Thursday evening. Their five-game losing streak earned them the 19th seed in the bracket and forced them into a must-win play-in game against Bucks Gaming.

Change is not something most humans are good at, but change is precisely what Coach Famous Enough dialed up. The best lockdown defender in the league, Lotty, was benched in favor of sixth man ChaChingSingh.

Singh ran the point on a shot creating sharpshooter build while the Heat’s million dollar man Hotshot moved to the power forward on a wrecking ball of build, the shot creating post scorer. Heat Check was determined to play through their best player, win or lose, and were willing to live with the results. MaJes7ic took over as the center on the pure glass cleaner archetype, because like Kawhi Leonard says, “Boardman gets paid.”

Miami took care of business, dismantling the rock and sock connection of Plondo and Arooks. With no pure lockdown defender out there, the Heat knew it would be tough to slow down a point guard as shifty as Arooks. He finished with 31 points and five assists.

Everyone else had less than ten. The Heat were bringing the fire(see what I did there) and made sure Plondo felt it.

Every time he touched the ball in the post, the double team appeared with the Heat swarming all over everywhere at once. At times it felt like Miami had six players on the court. I’m sure Plondo would agree, as he was feeling the pressure with seven turnovers on the day.

The player of the game was by far Hotshot who was looking like an absolute stud there on the low block, and he had twenty-seven points to show for it. Hood moved to a pure sharpshooter build at the shooting guard and looked fantastic.

He may have finally found his home with the team and may have unlocked a unique ability on that build folks didn’t know existed — the slam dunk. Every time you turned around, he was going up for another one, and the animations were clean as a whistle.

Miami blew an otherwise close game out of the water by dropping nineteen in the third quarter. You could tell the game was over when HotShot got the assist of the night by jab stepping his defender into submission in the corner, then throwing a dot to ChaCHingSingh on the opposite wing which he promptly cashed. The Heat beat Milwaukee 68-58 and only picked up two turnovers in the fourth quarter once they realized their lead was sustainable.

Fast forward to Friday and you were in for a treat as Heat Check took on the number one seed in the tournament, Blazer5 Gaming. They earned every bit of their top seed, and the squad from Miami was in for a heavyweight boxing match on the sticks.

This was undoubtedly the game of the night, even though it was first up on the broadcast. With 10,000 viewers watching at home along with the busload of people they brought up from South Florida, the team saying they felt emboldened would be the understatement of the season.

Heat Check continued to give HotShot the Shaq treatment, making sure he got a touch every time down on the offensive end and to a tune of 34 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Unlike the Bucks, Portland was deadset on putting a stop to HotShot early by putting Daveed 3X on him with his sharpshooting rim protector build. Yes, it was a hurdle HotShot needed to maneuver around, but he did just that.

HotShot game highlights against Blazer5 Gaming:

This game was intense and everything a game of this magnitude should have been. The players were chirping, Twitter was chirping, and Keyboard Gabe (league admin) had seen enough.

He issued a warning to HotShot and Mama Im Dat Manwhich quieted both men down just a touch because avoiding a silly technical foul was paramount. This game was close but don’t let the scoreboard fool you. The one-two punch of OneWildWalnut (10 points and 17 rebounds) and Mama Im Dat Man (21 points, and nine assists) were cooking, but it wasn’t enough as Blazer5 Gaming went down swinging to Heat Check Gaming.

If there were ever an NBA 2k League Social Media Awards, we would definitely have a winner. This little gem here would definitely be the Tweet Of The Season.

For Portland, they had nothing to lose. With a 10-1 record for the regular season, which includes a still active and scorching ten game win streak, no one doubts they’ll somehow make the playoffs.

Heat Check, on the other hand, had everything to lose since they’re most likely mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. If they don’t win THE TICKET, the best they could finish is with a record of 9-7. I predicted a regular season record like this wouldn’t get you into the playoff conversation and especially if one of the higher seeds doesn’t win the tournament.

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

Heat Check’s quarterfinals matchup is a battle for the state of Florida being that it’s against Orlando. If they can win this, their next matchup will be against the winner of the Raptors Uprising GC/Warriors Gaming Squad matchup later in the day. Here’s a look at THE TICKET 2019 bracket heading into the Quarterfinals:

With each of the top four seeds already eliminated in the Blazer5, Mavs, Nets GC, and the Celtics, this bracket is looking mighty soft and prime for the taking. If you’re a Heat Check fan, you have to like your odds.