While potential for finishing the 2019-2020 NBA season remains in doubt, the folks at NBA 2K have moved forward with simulating the results. The 2K Sim playoffs have completed their conference championships and are ready to “play” the final round. In their simulated semifinals, the Milwaukee Bucks survived as Eastern Conference champions, beating the Boston Celtics four games to two. In the west, it came down to a battle of LA teams as the virtual Lakers defeated the virtual Clippers 4 - 1.
NBA 2K Sim Conference Finals stats:
Milwaukee Bucks (4), Boston Celtics (2)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.3 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 4.2 APG), Khris Middleton (22.8 PPG, 5 RPG, 5.3 APG)
Kemba Walker (24 PPG, 4 APG, 3 RPG), Jayson Tatum (19.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.8 APG), Daniel Theis (11.7 RPG), Enes Kanter (7.3 PRG)
Los Angeles Lakers (4), LA Clippers (1)
LeBron James (31.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 9.6 APG), Anthony Davis (21 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 2.2 APG), Dwight Howard (11.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 2.8 BPG), Rajon Rondo (11 APG)
Kawhi Leonard (19.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 3 SPG, 2.2 BPG), Paul George (17.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3 APG, 2.4 SPG), Montrezl Harrell (13.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG), Patrick Beverley (6.2 APG)
2K plans to release results from the simulated final round on May 15th, and even snagged quotes from star players on each team (which probably wasn’t too hard, since they were tabbed for the game’s cover the last two years). NBA 2K20 cover athlete Anthony Davis said “It would be great to be here in real life but for now, I love that 2K is giving fans a way to follow their teams on the virtual court.” Giannis Antetokounmpo was on the cover in 2019, and said “We all miss basketball and are doing our part in hopes to play again soon, but in the meantime, I can’t wait to see what happens against the Lakers next week!”
I’m not sure if it’s disappointing that there weren’t any big upsets on the way to the simulated final round, or if I’m just missing real basketball too much. To make things feel real, at least there are stats, a highlight reel and even reportedly betting action going on. Given the league’s statements after a call with commissioner Adam Silver on Friday, it’s certainly possible that this will be the only trophy we see raised for the 2020 NBA season, so hopefully it’s satisfying for someone. If you prefer live-controlled action, NBA 2K League players are already back in action, and there are archived streams of the NBA’s Player’s Tournament still available.