NBA 2K Simulation: Conference Finalsby samwk04 April 22, 2020 0 comments
Welcome to Part IV 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. The third and most recent article recapped the first two rounds of the playoffs, giving the results and a brief description of each matchup.
Here, we will be simulating the conference finals while providing a game-by-game recap.
(1) Lakers vs. (6) Thunder
Game 1: Thunder win 108-102
Oklahoma City continues their miraculous playoff run, handing the Lakers their first playoff loss at home. Chris Paul hits a step-back three with 8.2 seconds remaining to give the Thunder a six-point lead. He records five steals to go along with his 27 points and nine assists. Despite chalking-up a triple-double, LeBron James has a disappointing performance, only contributing 14 points.
Game 2: Thunder win 121-113
The Oklahoma City Thunder pull off yet another stunning upset, beating the No. 1-seeded Lakers at home for the second straight game. Paul puts up yet another spectacular performance, dropping 35 points as well as six dimes. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is nearly perfect from the field, shooting 14-for-16 and giving him 29 points on the night. James bounces back with a 36-point effort but the Lakers suddenly find themselves down 0-2 heading to Oklahoma City.
Game 3: Lakers win 125-114
Down eight entering the final quarter, James shows why he is still the best player in the world, scoring 23 of the Lakers’ 32 fourth-quarter points. He finishes with 37 points and 16 assists along with eight three-pointers. Up two with four minutes remaining, he hits back-to-back-to-back three-pointers. Dennis Schroder provides 32 points off the bench but it is ultimately not enough.
Game 4: Thunder win 118-103
The Thunder defend their home-court advantage, easily defeating the Lakers and finding themselves one win away from the finals. They outscore the Lakers by 26 in the first and third quarters combined. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander puts on a passing clinic, racking up a career-high 10 assists. Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee combine for 61 points and only miss five shots between the two of them but the Lakers still find themselves down 3-1, which is familiar territory for James, who will need to step up his game if he hopes to keep the Lakers’ championship hopes alive.
Game 5: Lakers win 122-85
With their playoff lives on the line, the Lakers play their best basketball of the series, annihilating the Thunder. The Lakers dominate the paint by scoring 70 paint points, which is twice as many as the Thunder. Davis and James combine for 67 points, 19 rebounds, and 18 assists despite sitting out the final eight minutes. The Thunder struggle from the start, shooting 19 percent from three as they fail to have a player score 20-plus points.
Game 6: Lakers win 121-117
The Lakers squeak out a nail-biter thanks to Anthony Davis’s 38 points, 17 rebounds, and six blocks. James adds 27 points and 15 assists while going four-for-four from behind the arc. Tied at 117 with 20.1 seconds remaining, James drives to the hoops and kicks it to Dion Waiters in the corner. Despite being three of 14 from the field at the time, Waiters steps into the shot and drills it with no hesitation. The Thunder, with a chance to tie it up, instead elect to go for a quick two. However, Davis is waiting at the rim and rejects the shot to seal the win for the Lakers, who will be heading back to the Staples Center with momentum and the hope to clinch a spot in the finals.
Game 7: Lakers win 112-102
The Lakers complete the 3-1 comeback and clinch their 32nd NBA Finals appearance. L.A.’s leading scorer was JaVale McGee, who dropped 22 points on nine-for-10 shooting from the field. James records yet another triple-double as he finishes the series averaging a triple-double. Paul had an off night, scoring only 11 points while also turning the ball over six times.
(1) Bucks vs. (6) 76ers
Game 1: Bucks win 115-95
Milwaukee comes out firing on all cylinders, outscoring Philadelphia 33-11 in the opening quarter. The Sixers claw themselves back into the game, cutting the deficit to eight midway through the fourth. Khris Middleton hits four threes down the stretch to propel the Bucks past the Sixers.
Game 2: Bucks win 124-108
The Bucks again control the game from the start, jumping out to a quick 34-16 lead. Giannis Antetokounmpo dominates the glass by tallying 14 rebounds, seven of which were offensive. Middleton scores 24 of his 35 points in the first half, including knocking down five threes in four minutes. Joel Embiid’s 47-point, 15-rebound effort is not enough as the 76ers find themselves in an 0-2 hole.
Game 3: Bucks win 121-91
Milwaukee man-handles the 76ers, outscoring them by 10 or more points in each of the first three quarters. Middleton puts on a scoring clinic yet again, scoring 32 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field and five-for-eight from behind the arc. Philadelphia only scores 61 points in the first three quarters, shooting an abysmal 31 percent from the field. Ben Simmons records more steals than points (seven steals, six points).
Game 4: 76ers win 130-108
Fighting for their playoff lives, Philly outscores Milwaukee 41-21 in the third quarter and never looks back en route to a 22-point victory. Joel Embiid controls the glass by grabbing 22 rebounds. Alec Burks provides a spark off of the bench, contributing 28 points. In the third quarter, Eric Bledsoe hits his head hard, forcing him to sit out the rest of the game. Fortunately for him and the Bucks, Bledsoe does not have a concussion and will be good to go for game five.
Game 5: 76ers win 118-99
The 76ers stifle the Bucks, holding them below 100 points for only the second time this playoff. Embiid scores 30-plus points and grabs 15 or more rebounds for the third straight game, as he is the only Sixer to average more than 20 points this playoffs. Antetokounmpo finds himself in foul trouble early and is only able to play 28 minutes. Middleton scorers 30 points yet again, his third such game over 30 this series. Philly will head to Milwaukee where they hope to force a Game 7 and ultimately become the first team ever to come back from being down 3-0.
Game 6: Bucks win 131-125
Giannis Antetokounmpo posts a 36-point triple-double, leading the Bucks to their third finals appearance in franchise history. The big three of Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Bledsoe combine for 89 points, including a playoff-high six three-pointers for Bledsoe. The 76ers take their first lead with 1:04 remaining, but the Bucks close the game out on an 8-0 run. Antetokounmpo scores the Bucks’ last seven points, including a foul shot, to give the Bucks the lead. Finals, here they come.
In Part V, we will be simulating the Conference NBA Finals, giving a game-by-game recap of each.