HCG Open Season Against Defending Champs

Let’s not get things confused here – the folks in charge of scheduling for the NBA 2K League knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to pit HEAT Check Gaming against Knicks Gaming as part of their regular season opening week slate.

Though these two teams are not entirely the same squads who faced off last August for the first ever NBA 2K League Title, their cores remain. Also, for Miami, Famous Enough, Hotshot, Majes7ic and 24K Dropoff won’t soon forget the memories of coming up just short when the championship (and largest prize pool of the season) were on the line.

Game 1: HEAT Check Gaming (0-0) vs Knicks Gaming (0-0) – April 10 (9:00 PM ET, Watch live on Twitch)

Sizing up Knicks Gaming: Knicks Gaming didn’t quite have the week they were hoping for after receiving their championship rings ahead of their first games in the TIP OFF Tournament, failing to advance out of group play after dropping their opening matches against NETS GC and Magic Gaming.

That being said, neither loss was a blowout – Knicks Gaming kept things close against Brooklyn on solid play by the rookie OriginalMalik, who scored 17 points on a Shot Creating Sharpshooter build as a Small Forward which included three 3-pointers to go with six assists and two steals. Returning vet Goofy757 put in solid work too as a Pure Glass Cleaner Center, adding 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

The one player who was absent on the stat sheet against NETS GC was IamAdamthe1st – the Shot Creating Sharpshooter Point Guard was held to two points, three assists, three fouls, and five turnovers.

Scoring wasn’t an issue for the Knicks Gaming ball handler in game two however, as he came to life and dropped 20 points, including five three pointers, on Magic Gaming. The same goes for Goofy757, who elevated his game even further and scored a game-high 26 points on Orlando with a perfect 13-for-13 stat line, to go with 13 rebounds and eight assists.

OrignalMalik pitched in 19 points and seven assists as part of the effort that stretched Magic Gaming into double overtime – though it was ultimately futile.

Based on their first two matches of S2 in the TIP OFF Tournament, it’s likely that Goofy757 will be the anchor of this Knicks Gaming team. OriginalMalik also showed he can handle the pressure of the stage with a consistent performance each game. How will the rest of the returning vets perform though? That will be something to watch Wednesday night against Miami.

Key Matchup: The matchup of the night appears to be Hotshot vs. Goofy757, based on their close friendship outside of 2K, as well as their profiles as top-performing big men within it. The winner of this battle may dictate the direction of the game overall.

Another important observation Famous may watch out for was how stagnant Knicks Gaming’s offense was against NETS GC thanks to a poor performance by IamAdamthe1st. Will New York decide on two Shot Creating Sharpshooters in the lineup again (IamAdamthe1st and OriginalMalik)? Will it be enough for Miami to completely contain one how NETS GC did?

This is where Lotty as a Pure Lockdown Defender Shooting Guard may factor in. Miami’s rookie first rounder settled comfortably into the role last week and was a big part of HEAT Check’s push into the semi-finals, and nearly the TIP OFF Tournament Finals.

Lastly, how will Majes7ic fare against Knicks Gaming rookie OriginalMalik? The HEAT Check Small Forward averaged 17 PPG through Miami’s first three TIP OFF Tournament games until scoring just two points against Celtics Crossover Gaming in the Semi-Finals. A big performance from the New York native could be a good sign for Famous and his squad.

Tune in to watch all the action at twitch.tv/HEATCheckGaming. For up-to-the-minute news, follow us at @HEATCheckGaming.