Knicks Gaming are your inaugural 2018 NBA 2K League champions.
It’s about as improbable of a phrase as their come-from-behind, series-clinching win during Game 2 of the best-of-three series, as New York trailed by nine points in the fourth quarter – 11 at the end of the first half – to pick up the W on Saturday.
In complete contrast to their finals opposition, Knicks Gaming put together a total team effort to claim victory. All five members scored in double figures, marking the first time such a feat occurred for Knicks Gaming during their shocking playoff run. Credit first and foremost goes to Finals MVP, NateKahl, who registered 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting while playing impeccable defense on Heat Check Gaming star forward Hotshot. Two critical three-pointers down the stretch by the “stretch” power forward helped push Knicks Gaming ahead in the contest, and without NateKahl’s defense throughout the multi-series contest it’s possible the outcome could be completely different than what occurred Saturday.
Save for NateKahl’s timely threes and excellent defense, the other major component behind Knicks Gaming’s turnaround was the rebounding prowess of center G O O F Y 757. Relegated to essentially the third or fourth scoring option most nights due to recent meta changes, Goofy’s rebounding literally saved New York in the fourth quarter. In one particularly pivotal sequence of events, Goofy corralled not one, not two, but three offensive rebounds, setting the stage for what would a clutch three-pointer for Knicks Gaming to push the deficit under five points. Given iamadamthe1st’s struggles from the field (12 points, 4-of-16 shooting), Goofy’s rebounding and scoring load (18 points on 9-of-14 shooting) was the difference between a series sweep and the possibility of extending to Game 3.
Heat Check Gaming nearly pushed it to a third game thanks to a more “balanced” scoring effort which three players from Miami register in the double digits. Of course Hotshot was the main scorer, tallying 38 points on 18-of-22 from the field, but Majes7ic and Jalen03303 helped chip in some buckets, with the former supplying essentially the only scoring threat from the outside. Second place is a difficult pill to swallow, but given the last time these two teams faced Miami was just 3-4 in the standings, a cool $100,00 isn’t a bad way to end the season.
Knicks Gaming will walk away as the inaugural NBA 2K League champions and also pocket $300,000 for their troubles.