Simulating the Los Angeles Lakers using NBA 2K16

The excitement is in the air, can you feel it? The Lakers’ first preseason game will be a week away from today, when they will take on the Utah Jazz in Honolulu. That’s still too long of a wait for my taste, so luckily Sheen Lee and I got out hands on the early edition of NBA 2k16. So, we decided to simulate the Lakers season for you guys, to see how many wins they will get and other interesting tidbits during the basketball season.

We all know of the ESPN’s prediction on how many wins the Lakers are expected to get this season (26), so let’s see how close they and 2K are in their forecasts. Each simulation were done five times from the both of us, in which the CPU controls most aspects of basketball decision, expect accepting or decline trades offered from the other CPU teams; we were in charge of that. There is no reliability or validity in our 2k simulations, but we did it anyways, so here are our results:

screenshot.211

(Thai’s simulation on XBOX One)

1st attempt:

Record: 35-47, 11th in the conference

TRADE ALERT: Andre Drummond and Jodie Meeks for Louis Williams and Brandon Bass

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: Jahlil Okafor

2nd attempt:

Record: 35-47, 10th in the conference

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Fred Hoiberg

ROY: D’Angelo Russell

3rd attempt:

Record: 35-47, 10th in the conference

TRADE ALERT: Evan Turner and Avery Bradley for Louis Williams and Robert Sacre

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Fred Hoiberg

ROY: D’Angelo Russell

screenshot.212

4th attempt:

Record: 32-50, 12th in the conference

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: Jahlil Okafor

5th attempt:

TRADE ALERT: Victor Oladipo and Channing Frye for Louis Williams and Brandon Bass

Record: 33-49, 12th in the conference

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: Jahlil Okafor

Interestingly, throughout five simulations, the Lakers worst record was 32-50, six more wins than the ESPN’s forecast. The average amount of wins throughout five takes was 35 wins. If somehow this was the case in real life, I will take it in a heartbeat. The Lakers are not expected to do much, so 34 wins is a great improvement for them. Also, D’Angelo Russell won the Rookie of the Year award two out five times, with Jahlil Okafor winning the rest. Remarkably, there was no sighting of Karl Towns on the list. Oh, and Kobe retired only once during the simulations. Plus, simulation Vlade Divac is just as crazy as real Vlade Divac.

screenshot.213

(LOL)

(Sheen’s simulation on Playstation 4)

1st attempt:

Record: 41-41, 10th in conference

MVP: Lebron James

TRADE ALERT: Lou Williams and Nick Young for Serge Ibaka and Josh Huestis

COY: David Blatt

ROY: D’Angelo Russell

2nd attempt:

Record: 36-46, 11th in conference

MVP: Kevin Durant

Trade(s): Nick Young and Ryan Kelly for Tim Hardaway JR. and Thiago Splitter

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: Jahlil Okafor

3rd attempt:

Record: 37-45*, 11th in conference

MVP: Kevin Durant

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: D’Angelo Russell

* The Lakers were 6th in their respective conference during all star break until season ending injuries happened at the same time to Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. They may have made the playoffs in this simulation if it wasn’t for injuries.

screenshot.214

4th attempt:

Record: 34-48, 13th in conference

MVP: Lebron James

COY: David Blatt

ROY: D’Angelo Russell

screenshot.215

5th attempt:

Record: 37-45, 11th in conference

MVP: Lebron James

TRADE ALERT: Julius Randle and Brandon Bass for Tristan Thompson and Mo Williams

Lou Williams and Tarik Black for Jared DUDley and Garrett Temple

D’Angelo Russell and Roy Hibbert for Al Jefferson and Michael kidd Gilchrist

COY: David Blatt

ROY: Jahlil Okafor

The Lakers don’t seem that great in these simulations. In an attempt to showcase different scenarios, I had a few simulations with no trades and a few with moves done based off of trades offered to me. The most impactful was Ibaka coming to Los Angeles for Nick Young and Lou Williams (I repeat; this was offered to me). D’Angelo Russell won rookie of the year three times with Okafor taking the award the other two times. Lebron James and Kevin Durant traded off most valuable player awards while Billy Donovan and David Blatt did the same for coach of the year. Kobe Bryant did not retire in any of my simulations but he did make the all star team in the 3rd simulation and 5th simulation. I also put in a special note for the 3rd simulation as the Lakers were prime to make the playoffs before Clarkson and Russell both suffered season ending injuries in the same game. The Lakers lost close to 95 percent of their games after the first game after the All-Star break.

Conclusion:

There is no way we can predict how the Lakers’ season will turn out, but it was fun to test it out and see what the results were. Out of 10 simulations, the Lakers did not make the playoffs, and realistically, that is likely the case this season. However, the Lakers were able to win more than 30 wins through each simulations, and that is a success. We each have our own methods of predicting the Lakers’ season, sometimes it may be accurate or not, we have no way of knowing, the only thing we can do is watch the Lakers play it out for themselves.

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