Simulating the Los Angeles Lakers using NBA 2K 17

It is basketball season! Well, almost. The Lakers begin their training camp on September 26th and their first preseason game will be on October 4th. With a promising young coach and team, the excitement around this Lakers team is plentiful. In the interim, to satisfy our basketball cravings, we turn to NBA 2K17!

As many of you may have already known, 2K released their players’ ranking a few weeks ago. D’Angelo Russell is tied with Luol Deng as the highest rated player at 79 overall, followed by Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle who both earned a 77 rating.bh0qdv55

The Lakers are a young team, and many people expect them to finish last in the Western Conference, but how can we know for sure if the season is a month away? We can try to simulate their season in 2K.

Luckily for me, I got my hands on the early edition of 2K17.  I decided to simulate the entire campaign to see how many wins the Lakers got and if any interesting story lines happened during the basketball season.

Simulations in 2K are not an accurate or reliable alternative to predict the season, but no one can correctly predict the course of an entire season.  But it does not mean we can not try. I simulated the Lakers’ season 5 times. Each simulation was done by the CPU; I only intervened during the trade offers. These are my results:

1st attempt:

Record: 35-47, 10th in the conference

TRADE ALERT: Nicolas Batum and Spencer Hawes for Luol Deng and Jose Calderon5lxjlfqn

MVP: LeBron James

COY: Billy Donovan

ROY: Ben Simmons

*Brandon Ingram made All-Rookie 1st team

Lakers statistical leaders

Points: D’Angelo Russell, 20.5

Assists: D’Angelo Russell, 6.5

Rebounds: Julius Randle, 8.9

Minutes: D’Angelo Russell, 33.9

2nd attempt:

Record: 39-43, 9th in the conference

TRADE ALERT: Lou Williams for Stanley Johnson and Boban Marjanovic

MVP: Russell Westbrook

COY: Steve Kerr

ROY: Ben Simmons

*Brandon Ingram made All-Rookie 1st team

Lakers statistical leaders

Points: D’Angelo Russell, 21.4

Assists: D’Angelo Russell, 6.8

Rebounds: Julius Randle, 8.3

Minutes: D’Angelo Russell, 33.5

3rd attempt:

Record: 42-40 8th seed in the Western Conference (We started the season 1-6 prior to trading Lou Williams and Nick Young)

Playoffs: We faced off against the Warriors… we got swept 0-4 L

MVP: LeBron James

TRADE ALERT: Lou Williams and Nick Young for Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverly (TREVOR BYKE)

COY: Steve Kerr

ROY: Ben Simmons

*Brandon Ingram made All-Rookie 1st team

Lakers statistical leaders

Points: D’Angelo Russell, 20.2

Assists: D’Angelo Russell, 5.8

Rebounds: Julius Randle, 8

Minutes: D’Angelo Russell, 32.3

4th attempt:

Record: 33-49 13th in the Western Conference

TRADE ALERT: No trades were initiated

MVP: Russell Westbrook

COY: Steve Kerr

ROY: Ben Simmons

*Brandon Ingram made All-Rookie 1st team

Lakers statistical leaders

Points: D’Angelo Russell, 21

Assists: D’Angelo Russell, 5.9

Rebounds: Julius Randle, 9.3

Minutes: D’Angelo Russell, 31.7

5th attempt:

Record: 33-49 10th in the Western Conference

TRADE ALERT: Lou Williams for PJ Tucker and Archie Goodwin

COY: Tryonn Lue

ROY: Brandon Ingrammypb-dfz

*Brandon Ingram made All-Rookie 1st team

Lakers statistical leaders

Points: D’Angelo Russell, 19.8

Assists: D’Angelo Russell, 5.5

Rebounds: Julius Randle, 9.5

Minutes: D’Angelo Russell, 32

It seems like the simulations in 2K were favorable on the Lakers’ record. They were able to win over 30 games in all of the simulations and made the playoff at least one time. Throughout the season, the Lakers were offered a lot of trade deals centering on their young core that I did not accept.

I found it interesting that D’Angelo Russell was unequivocally the best player on the team. He led the Lakers in scoring, assist and minutes in each simulation. Brandon Ingram was able to nab one Rookie of the Year Award out of five simulations. These simulations do not carry any significance, but they are sure fun to play with.

Here are some screenshots from the Lakers’ opening night matchup against the Houston Rockets:

As we wait for the NBA season to begin, 2K season has already kicked off. The time for passing the sticks, trash talk, and handing out “L”‘s to your friends is now. Happy (virtual) hooping, Lakers fans.

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