Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rashidi simulates the 2011 NBA Playoffs

Over the last few weeks I have been using Synergy Sports to update my NBA 2K11 roster.  Now that the playoffs are over and I have fully edited the playoff rotations of nearly all the playoff teams, I feel it's worth it to run a simulation and see how closely it follows the events of real life.


1. Spurs - 4
8. Grizzlies - 1

The Spurs did not get upset by the Grizzlies as they did in real life, which surely had something to do with a healthy Manu Ginobili. Manu dropped 40 points in a tone-setting 31-point game 1 blowout.

4. Thunder - 0
5. Nuggets - 4

OKC was surpisingly swept by the lower seed Nuggets.  It's worth noting that they are my highest rated western conference team so this was probably an aberration.  Kevin Durant did everything he did to stave off elimination, dropping 40 points (13-29 FG, 4-12 3PT, 10-12 FT) in game 4, but the Nuggets had five players in double figures including Raymond Felton (24 points, 7 assists), Danilo Gallinari (19 points in 20 minutes), and Nene (16 points, 20 rebounds).

3. Mavericks - 4
6. Trail Blazers - 2

This is how the series went down in real life.  Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry lead the way in game 6 with 24 points apiece, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Miller could only muster 15 apiece.

2. Lakers - 4
7. Hornets - 3

LA held off the Hornets in 6 games in real life.  Kobe had 25 points (9-11 FG) in game 7 while Chris Paul had 31 points and 7 assists.


1. Bulls - 4
8. Pacers - 3

The Bulls had a bit more trouble with the Pacers than they did in real life, but still escaped the series victorious.  Rose had 31 points (11-28 FG) and 6 assists in game 7 while Danny Granger had 25 points (7-18 FG) and 6 rebounds.

4. Magic - 4
5. Hawks - 1

The one east series that didn't follow real life's events (though the simulation is certainly what we all expected).  It is worth noting that Kirk Hinrich did not play in my simulation as he did in real life, though that probably wasn't enough of a factor to sway the series' end result.  Al Horford spent game 5 in foul trouble, playing only 20 minutes, while Dwight Howard cruised to 23 points (10-11 FG, 3-8 FT). Similar to real life, Howard posted a huge game 1 line of 38 points (13-20 FG, 12-19 FT), 24 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

3. Celtics - 4
6. Knicks - 2

New York put up a little bit more of a fight, as Amare Stoudemire didn't have a lingering back injury in this simulation.  Just as in real life, Carmelo Anthony had a huge game 3 line with 44 points (17-29 FG, 2-2 3PT, 8-12 FT), 13 rebounds, and 5 assists, which the Knicks were able to turn into a win.  Melo had another big line with 42 and 8 (16-23 FG, 9-11 FT) in game 5 but in a losing effort.  Melo predictably flamed out in the deciding game 6 with 18 points on only 4-17 FG, while Kevin Garnett came up strong with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 steals to seal NY's fate.

2. Heat - 4
7. Sixers - 1

Another series that followed real life.  The big three were just too much to handle, scoring 68 points in game 5 while the entire Sixers team could only muster 75 (lead by Lou Williams' 14).  Elton Brand finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds but was much worse than that, shooting 1-9 from the field and commiting 8 turnovers.


1. Spurs - 2
5. Nuggets - 4

This matchup was Thunder/Grizzlies in reality.  At least the 4/5 bracket made it to the Conference Finals over San Antonio.  As with the previous series, Denver had a balanced offensive attack while Tim Duncan faltered in series clinching game six, scoring only 8 points on 3-16 shooting.

2. Lakers - 2
3. Mavericks - 4

LA managed to get two more victories in the simulation than they did in real life.  LA actually crushed Dallas in the first two games, but Dallas won the last four, so at least that made it similar to a sweep.  Series clinching game 6 saw Dirk drop his usual 24 points (10-15 FG) and 8 rebounds, while reserves Peja and Barea combined for 36 points in 37 minutes as Dallas blew LA out by 34 points. Which is pretty much what happened in real life.


1. Bulls - 4
4. Magic - 3

The matchup we all would have rather seen instead of Bulls/Hawks.  Game 7 saw Howard go for 30 and 20 (10 offensive boards)  but he got absolutely no help from his teammates as he was the only player in double figures on his team.  Rose on the other hand was even better, with 31 points and 13 assists.  Boozer and Deng were the main beneficiaries, scoring 22 points apiece, and the Bulls handily advance to the Conference Finals.

2. Heat - 4
3. Celtics - 2

Simply too much LeBron and Wade in this series.  Series clinching game 6 saw the Heat rip Boston's hearts out in Overtime.  Wade finished with 35-5-6 while LeBron had 32-9-5 and 6 steals.  Ray Allen gave it his best, finishing with 27 [pomts but Paul Pierce only had 16 points on 5-17 FG which wasn't enough to keep pace with Miami's star studded perimeter.


3. Mavericks - 4
5. Nuggets - 1

While the opponent might have been different, the end result was not, as Dallas advanced to the NBA Finals in 5 games.  Dallas crushed Denver by 47 in the deciding game 5, giving Denver a taste of their own depth. Seven Dallas players finished in double figures including 33 by Jason Terry and 22 for Dirk.  Nene had 19 and 15 for the Nuggets but it just simply wasn't enough to combat Dallas' offensive onslaught.

1. Bulls - 0
2. Heat - 4

The simulation gave us the same eastern conference final, with a near identical result.  Miami lost game 1 before winning 4 straight, and the simulation just removed game 1 from the equation.  Game 4 saw Derrick Rose go for 36 points and 6 assists, but he only shot 12-32 from the field, which was a microcosm of his real life struggles.  The big three finished with 72 points (including 30-7-7 for LeBron) and the Heat advance to the NBA Finals.


2. Heat - 4
3. Mavericks - 2

Regardless of the series result, I consider it extremely awesome that I was able to generate a match of this season's NBA Finals.  The Heat won this in 6 as opposed to Dallas in real life.

Game 1: Wade has 32-8-3-2 while LeBron has 28-6-5-5.  Dirk only plays 23 minutes due to foul trouble, scoring 11 points.  Miami wins 92-89.

Game 2: Dirk avenges game 1 with 31 points (12-19 FG).  Wade has 34-5-4-3 but LeBron "struggles" to 19-6-8-3.  Dallas wins 97-92.

Game 3: Dirk posts 24 and 7, Tyson Chandler has 14 and 14, and Peja drops 21 (8-10 FG, 5-7 3PT) in only 19 minutes off the bench.  Still, it's not enough as LeBron triple doubles for 27-10-13.  Wade finishes with 23-3-10.  That's a lot of assists for your top two players.  Miami holds on for a 104-102 win.

Game 4: Dirk gets stuck in foul trouble again, scoring 20 points but in only 29 minutes.  The bench picks up the slack as Terry, Barea, and Peja combine for 55 points.  LeBron gets 39-8-4-3 but Wade only musters 14-3-5-3 on 4-13 FG.  Dallas wins 114-92.

Game 5: Dirk rebounds to post 26 points and 12 boards, and LeBron came back to earth with only 15-6-9.  However Dwyane Wade took over, finishing with 38-9-4-2-3 and the Heat squeezed out the game 5 win they couldn't in real life, 94-90.

Game 6: Dirk dropped 35 points (11-23 FG, 12-12 FT) but got an anti-clutch performance from Jason Terry (12 points, 3-15 FG).  LeBron (39-9-7-3) and Wade (25-5-8-5) put the nail in the coffin by holding Dallas to a mere 3 points in the 3rd quarter.  Miami wins game 6 and the NBA Championship by the score of 103-84.

LeBron clearly did not wilt under the Finals pressure, which is what seperates a video game simulation from reality.  The coaching adjustments Rick Carlisle made to neutralize LeBron (hard doubles, force him into playing PG) did not show up here.  Dallas also removed Stojakovic from the Finals rotation, which I did not do here, and could have been a factor in the series (since he was pulled in real life due to his inability to stay in front of LeBron).  As I said before though, it is tough to be disappointed with the result, because in reality the series was very close and it could have gone either way.