Bucks Gaming lose to Heat Check Gaming in Tip-Off Tournament

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After advancing as the winners of Group 7 on Friday, Bucks Gaming fell to Heat Check Gaming in the first knockout round of the Tip-Off Tournament.

Having advanced from a brutally tough group in Friday’s action, the Tip-Off Tournament was already assured to be a positive experience for Bucks Gaming, but that won’t have eased the disappointment that accompanied Saturday’s loss to Heat Check Gaming.

Matched up against the Miami affiliate, who had earned their spot in the knockout rounds via wildcard status as the tournament’s best runner-up, Bucks Gaming found themselves plagued by some of the same issues that had been evident in group play, but without all of the positives from Friday to balance things out.

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That’s not to suggest that the game necessarily started all that poorly for the Bucks, though.

As chaddynick knocked down a deep three-pointer within the game’s first 10 seconds, only to be followed up by another long ball from BigMeek soon after, it seemed as if the red-hot three-point shooting that carried Milwaukee out of the group was again going to be a factor on Saturday.

Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case as the Bucks struggled to score for the remainder of the quarter. Still lacking any real penetration from their guards on the perimeter, and without a whole lot of obvious play-calling, the Bucks were left to play in front of a Heat Check defense that was never forced into collapsing.

As Milwaukee’s offense was bogged down, Heat Check had no such issues finding the bottom of the net. The first quarter finished with Miami holding a 17-9 lead, and with a particularly vociferous Heat Check squad letting their Bucks counterparts hear all about it.

There were some more positive signs in the second quarter, largely borne out of an uptick in the Bucks’ defense. The period started out with a SlayIsland steal setting up an ARooks dunk, while another steal followed on the next possession only for the first of two mysterious and potentially inadvertent timeouts to be called by Milwaukee.

Still, as BigMeek started to find some success, at least shots were beginning to fall for the Bucks. The problem for Milwaukee was the Heat were frequently knocking down threes in response to Milwaukee’s twos.

The absurdity of Heat Check’s three-point shooting was only further highlighted when HotShot beat the buzzer from deep to end the quarter, giving Miami a 35-24 lead.

The half time stats showed the Bucks dominating the battle of the boards (12-6), with Plondo doing well in holding his own against HotShot. Shooting was the issue, though, with the Bucks just 9-of-20 from field, 2-of-8 from deep, though.

Unfortunately for Milwaukee, the game’s early trends carried over into the second half. The two teams traded two-pointers to start the quarter, but it was still the Heat who proved most capable of bursts of three-point makes. Facing a 51-37 deficit heading into the fourth, the Bucks had it all to do.

The final period offered up little resistance except for BigMeek, who had an exceptional offensive performance overall. Meek scored in double digits in the fourth alone, and racked up a game-high 21 points by the time the final buzzer sounded. SlayIsland also chipped in with a couple of dunks in the fourth quarter, but it proved to be nowhere near enough as Miami prevailed 67-53.

Between them, chaddynick and ARooks struggled to create on Saturday, and the Bucks will certainly need to give some more thought to their offensive strategy in the days ahead. Working out the right combination of players and archetypes at the guard spots proved to be an issue for Milwaukee throughout last season, and they’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of that this year.

Elsewhere, 76ers GC went on to win the Tip-Off Tournament for the second straight year, beating Celtics Crossover Gaming in the final. Point guard Radiant also retained his MVP award in the event for his efforts too.

Next. Bucks Gaming advance to knockout round of NBA 2K League Tip-Off Tournament. dark

Bucks Gaming will be back in action on Wednesday and Thursday this week, when they get their regular season underway with a matchup against T-Wolves Gaming, and another meeting with Blazer5 Gaming.