Heat Check Gaming put up a valiant effort, nearly coming back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, but Knicks Gaming will walk away with the opening victory of the inaugural NBA 2K League finals, securing a 69-66 victory on Saturday.
If you were expecting either team to change up the offensive scheme that got them to the NBA 2K League finals, you would have been sorely mistaken. Knicks Gaming built an impressive first half lead off a vaunted three-headed attack from iamadamthe1st, YEYNotGaming and IdrisDaGoat6 who combined for 32 of the team’s 36 first half points. The trio beautifully set up one another on offense with iamadamthe1st knifing into the paint, only to kick it out to his two teammates for three pointers. And if either of the opening three-point shots was locked down, a backdoor screen would then open up iamadamthe1st to leak out and hit an open three pointer of his own, helping Knicks Gaming finish the first half 6-of-9 from the three-point land.
Trailing by 12 points entering the fourth quarter, a Hotshot-exclusive Heat Check Gaming offense would liven up in the final six minutes, making the opening 2K League finals contest closer than it should have been. Struggling in the first three quarters to hit his mid-range shots, Miami’s leading scorer would finally figure things out in the fourth, creating enough space close to the perimeter with his threatening mid-range game to open up three-point attempts for 24k Dropoff, who would can two in the closing minutes of the game. A handful of rushed shots by Knicks Gaming would allow Heat Check Gaming’s plodding and methodical offense to capitalize in the transition game, eventually pushing the lead down to just three points with under a minute left to play.
Any comeback attempt would be put to rest on a transition block from Knicks big man NateKahl, as the would-be easy layup was sent careening off the glass and into the waiting arms of another Heat Check Gaming player who then promptly threw the ball away, ending any hope at a completed rally.
Hotshot’s 44 points on 20-of-25 shooting are almost to be expected at this point, but it was telling that the Heat’s offense only started to pick up once 24k Dropoff was introduced into the fold. In order to Heat Check Gaming to bring home the first ever 2K League championships, a more balanced scoring attack may need to be in order.