For NBA fans (like me!), today is a big day as the NBA season officially kicks off! While the season is just starting, 2K Games’ NBA 2K18 has the season “recap” with its NBA 2K18 season simulation.
Obviously, everything here is conjecture and guesswork, but it’s for fun, mixed in with a bit of basketball analytics.
OKC’s Big Three Not Big Enough
Westbrook, Melo, and PG13 continued to put up great numbers, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to propel the Oklahoma City Thunder into the top of the Western Conference. Even with Westbrook winning MVP again (26.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 8.8 assists), OKC’s lack of depth was unable to support the ball-dominant leaders.
The team finished with a 52-30 record and was later eliminated in the Conference Semis.Houston, We Don’t Have a ProblemChris Paul used his ability to distribute – 11.3 assists per game with 12.5 points and 3.7 rebounds – to lead the Houston Rockets to a 58-24 record.Not only did the team place second in the Western Conference, but Ryan Anderson was also awarded the Most Improved Player Award. The duo led the Rockets in eliminating OKC, but the team later lost to Golden State in the Conference Finals.Lotto WinnersThe NBA recently voted on reforming the draft lottery starting in 2019. This is the last season teams can race for the best odds at getting a top draft pick. Teams like the Knicks and Bulls are in need of young talent during their rebuilding. So which teams took the crown of Winner of the Losers?Surprisingly, the Miami Heat (22-60) and Indiana Pacers (27-55) were the “winners” here, with the Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings (both 30-52) rounding out the bottom four.All four teams certainly benefit from top picks, and the Kings get to bring in another top talent to play alongside last year’s 5th overall pick De’Aaron Fox.The Rookie of the Year Goes to…All eyes will be on Fox and Los Angeles Lakers rookie sensation Lonzo Ball as they clash four times this season. In our sim, Ball won the battle between the two every time they met head-to-head. Ball’s averages in games against Fox were near identical to his season stats: 14.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists.However, the Rookie of the Year award went to the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons. After missing the 2016-2017 season, he averaged 16.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists.Having been with an NBA team for a year may have prepared him for the grind of the season and helped him develop quickly.And speaking of the 76ers:The Process Was Worth the WaitJoel Embiid came back healthy and stronger than ever. In 27 minutes per game, he was able to produce 17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks.Markelle Fultz also came out with a strong rookie season stat line of 14.4/4.7/5.4. The 76ers finished with a 45-37 record, their best since the 2002-2003 season.Though the team wasn’t strong enough to get past the first round of the playoffs, the simulation shows there’s a bright future for the team.Leaders of the EastOne of the biggest questions coming into the 2017-18 season is “which team will take the East?” Our sim showed the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers had a close race for the top seed all season – Cleveland finished first with 53 wins, Boston second with 47. Ultimately the trade for Kyrie Irving and signing of Gordon Hayward paid off for the Celtics.Statistically a better shooting team than the Cavs – 56% to 47% on field goals, 39% to 33% on threes, 82% to 74% on free-throws – and leading in every category except rebounds and blocks, the Celtics won the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games.Durant Dethrones LeBron as KingIt’s been an on-going discussion as to who is better between the two superstar forwards. This season may finally be when Kevin Durant takes over the league.Durant put up better season stats than LeBron in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Oh, and he won Finals MVP again.And with that, you may have guessed it…This is Still the Dubs’ NationEven with all the major moves in the NBA offseason, the Warriors won the NBA Championship. After another five-game series against the Boston Celtics in the finals, Golden State remained the top team in our simulation.The Celtics won game four by two points behind a Kyrie Irving triple-double. But with an overwhelmingly talented core of players, the Dubs won every other game in the series by an average of 12 points.
Steve Kerr also won Coach of the Year.Go ahead and run your own MyLEAGUE sims in NBA 2K18 and try it for yourselves. Are you getting similar results? Tell us what your sims turn up!