Welcome to Part III of simulating the rest of the NBA season on NBA 2K. The first article featured the final standings along with a brief recap of each team’s season, while the second revealed all of the individual awards.
Here, we will be simulating the playoffs while giving the results and a brief description of each matchup.
1. Bucks vs. 8. Nets
Result: Bucks in five
The Nets stole the first game on the road, outscoring the Bucks by 16 in the fourth quarter for a 136-128 victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a monster second game by putting up 41 points and 15 rebounds along with a career-high six three-pointers. The Bucks dominated the rest of the series, winning by an average of 28 points, including a 41-point rout in Game 5. Milwaukee will be without Antetokounmpo to start the next series due to a sprained ankle suffered at the hands of Jarrett Allen.
2. Raptors vs. 7. Magic
Result: Raptors in four
The Raptors swept the Nets, winning each game by at least 15 points. Pascal Siakam averaged 28 points in the series with 50-40-90 shooting splits. The Magic, already without starting center Nikola Vucevic to start the series, lost Evan Fournier five minutes into game one. Terrance Ross went one-for-16 in game four.
3. Celtics vs. 6. 76ers
Result: 76ers in seven
The Celtics, down 3-1, fought back to force a Game 7 but ultimately fall short. Ben Simmons puts up a 28-point triple-double to clinch the series for Philly. As spectacular as Jayson Tatum was in the regular season, he was the exact opposite in the playoffs, scoring only 14 points a game while shooting an abysmal 27 percent from three. Joel Embiid, on the contrary, recorded 30 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, including seven blocks in game five.
4. Pacers vs. 5. Heat
Result: Heat in seven
Without All-Star Jimmy Butler for the playoffs, the Heat were massive underdogs heading into the series. After losing the first two by 64 points combined, the Heat looked helpless. Then, Bam Adebayo happened; he averaged 27 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the final five games. Bam also received help from rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro, who scored 96 points combined in Games 6 and 7 to propel the Heat over the Pacers.
1. Lakers vs. 8. Grizzlies
Result: Lakers in four
LeBron James showed no sign of rustiness after missing the last seven games of the regular season as the Lakers swept the Grizzlies. The King had a series to remember by recording 36 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists on 56 percent shooting from the field and 15-for-30 from three. He also shot 35 of 41 from the free-throw line. Anthony Davis struggled, only scoring 19 points a game, but JaVale McGee picked up the scoring load by averaging 16.3 points.
2. Clippers vs. 7. Mavericks
Result: Clippers in six
Without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers lost the first two at home before going on to win four straight. Lou Williams scored 37 points in Game 6 including a go-ahead floater with 4.5 seconds remaining. Luka Doncic averaged a 30-point triple-double but it was not enough to pull off an upset. Kristaps Porzingis struggled as he failed to record double-digit points in Game 2 and 5, both of in which he fouled out.
3. Nuggets vs. 6. Thunder
Result: Thunder in six
The Thunder continued to overachieve as Chris Paul carried them to the second round. Paul recorded 25 points and 10 assists along with two steals per game on spectacular 60-50-96 shooting splits. Nikola Jokic struggled, producing only 15 points a night in addition to 3.5 turnovers. Jamal Murray drained nine threes in the elimination game but it was ultimately not enough.
4. Jazz vs. 5. Rockets
Result: Jazz in seven
Houston stormed out to a 3-0 series lead, including a 162-111 win in Game 2. The Jazz managed to fight back and become the first NBA team ever to come back from down 3-0. Donovan Mitchell averaged 36 per night in the last four games, including dropping 45 in Game 7. Utah squeaked out a one-point victory in Game 7 with Joe Ingles hitting a game-winning three with 2.1 seconds left. James Harden struggled by scoring 38 points combined in Games 6 and 7.
1. Bucks vs. 5. Heat
Result: Bucks in four
Milwaukee manhandled Miami by sweeping them, winning by an average of 24 points. Brook Lopez stepped up for the Bucks as he hit four threes and posted three rejections a game. Khris Middleton also impressed, scoring 26 a night with five three pointers on 58 percent shooting. Adebayo was unable to sustain his previous dominance as he was held to under 10 points in two of the four games.
2. Raptors vs. 6. 76ers
Result: 76ers in seven
The Raptors and 76ers went to seven games for the second straight season, with Philly getting the better of Toronto this time. Joel Embiid averaged 29 points and 15 rebounds, highlighted by a 25-point, 20-rebound effort in Game 7. Down 11 heading into the fourth, Simmons puts up 16 of his 30 points in the final quarter including, hitting four clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the victory. Siakam’s 38-point effort in Game 7 was not enough to will Toronto past Philly.
1. Lakers vs. 4. Jazz
Result: Lakers in 5
Another easy series for the Lakers and another dominant performance from LeBron James saw The King put up 30 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists; hee also received help from Anthony Davis, who dropped a 30 spot in each of the Lakers’ wins. The Jazz lost Rudy Gobert for three games due to an illness (ironic, eh?) and Mitchell’s 46 points in Game 5 were not enough for the outmatched Jazz.
2. Clippers vs. 6. Thunder
Result: Thunder in 5
When the Thunder traded All-Star Paul George to the Clippers, it seemed as if the two teams were going in totally different directions: the Thunder rebuilding and the Clippers contending. However, the Thunder, led by veteran Chris Paul and second-year player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, got the better of Los Angeles (albeit the Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard). The Thunder dropped the first game but stormed back to silence the Clippers, led by a pair of Gilgeous-Alexander 38-point performance.
In Part IV, we will be simulating the Conference and NBA Finals, giving a game-by-game recap of each.