If the 2019 NBA Playoffs Began Today: 2K Edition


With the All-Star weekend festivities over, the remainder of the regular season is upon us. At this pivotal point in the year, the playoff race generally starts to become more clear. By that logic, it would be safe to assume that the final playoff matchups will be similar to what they are now, barring any serious runs of good or bad luck for the teams in contention or outside of the pack. To catch a glimpse at what might occur in April, we’ve taken to NBA 2K19 to preview the 2019 Playoffs, using all current and updated official 2K rosters and NBA standings as of February 21st, 2019.

For the purpose of this simulation, I’ve imported a realistic set of rules to ensure the utmost accuracy. I will not be altering any of the games manually, but simply simulating them and analyzing the outcome of each series.

Disclaimer: All simulations were performed on Xbox One following the conclusion of last Thursday night’s NBA games. The outcomes of the games were not affected in any way.

As of February 21st, 2019, the 2019 NBA Playoff matchups are as follows:


(1) Warriors v. (8) Clippers

(2) Nuggets v. (7) Spurs

(3) Thunder v. (6) Jazz

(4) Trail Blazers v. (5) Rockets


(1) Bucks v. (8) Pistons

(2) Raptors v. (7) Hornets

(3) Pacers v. (6) Nets

(4) Celtics v. (5) 76ers

The playoff bracket can be viewed below:

For the Conference Quarterfinals and Semifinals, we will simply provide the final series score. For the Conference Finals and NBA Finals, we will analyze each individual game and highlight the leading scorers from each contest. Without further ado, let’s get to simulating.

West Quarterfinals

(1) Warriors v. (8) Clippers- Warriors win 4-0

(2) Nuggets v. (7) Spurs- Nuggets win 4-2

(3) Thunder v. (6) Jazz- Thunder win 4-3

(4) Blazers v. (5) Rockets- Blazers win 4-0

East Quarterfinals

(1) Bucks v. (8) Pistons- Bucks win 4-1

(2) Raptors v. (7) Hornets- Hornets win 4-3

(3) Pacers v. (6) Nets- Nets win 4-3

(4) Celtics v. (5) 76ers- 76ers win 4-2

West Semifinals

(1) Warriors v. (4) Trail Blazers- Warriors win 4-1

(2) Nuggets v. (3) Thunder- Thunder win 4-0

East Semifinals

(1) Bucks v. (5) 76ers- Bucks win 4-3

(6) Nets v. (7) Hornets- Hornets win 4-0

Western Conference Finals

(1) Warriors v. (3) Thunder- Warriors win 4-3

Game 1:

Steph Curry drops 28/5/4 as the Warriors take game one 113-109.

Game 2:

Kevin Durant pours in 29/11/3 on 71% shooting to propel the Warriors to the 114-76 win and a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3:

The script is flipped as Paul George goes off for 30/7/6 in a 132-99 Game Three victory.

Game 4:

In a 102-90 victory, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins both drop 25 points to push the series to 3-1.

Game 5:

Paul George impresses once again as the Thunder take Game Five 105-102 behind his 31-point effort.

Game 6:

Russell Westbrook triple-doubles as the Thunder win Game Six 120-105 and will face the Warriors one last time in Game Seven.

Game 7:

The Golden State Warriors avoid choking another 3-1 lead by winning Game Seven at home 101-72 to advance to the 2019 NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Bucks v. (7) Hornets- Bucks win 4-2

Game 1:

Kemba Walker, Willy Hernangomez and Jeremy Lamb all score 20+ to steal Game One and go up 1-0 on the first seed Bucks.

Game 2:

The Milwaukee Bucks come back to win Game Two 101-98 behind Giannis’ 20/9/3 and even the series at 1-1.

Game 3:

Ersan Ilyasova leads the team in scoring with 22 points off the bench in Game Three to push the Bucks to the 89-78 win.

Game 4:

The Hornets bounce back in a big way with a 114-99 victory in Game Three to even the series once more at 2-2.

Game 5:

Eric Bledsoe leads the Bucks to the Game Five victory with 24/5/6 after not having much impact in the first four games of the series, and the Bucks go up 3-2.

Game 6:

In a pivotal Game Six, Eric Bledsoe shines once more as his 29-point performance ends the series in six games and sends the Bucks to the 2019 NBA Finals.

2019 NBA Finals

(1) Warriors v. (1) Bucks- Warriors win 4-1

Game 1:

The Milwaukee Bucks steal Game One 126-106 behind Nikola Mirotic’s 25/13/2 off the bench to go up 1-0 on the defending champs.

Game 2:

The Durant-led Warriors return to form in Game Two with a 113-102 victory, tying the series at 1-1.

Game 3:

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combine for 63 points, giving the a 2-1 lead.

Game 4:

The Warriors have six players in double-figures as they win Game Four 110-87 to take a 3-1 lead.

Game 5:

The Golden State Warriors blow out the Milwaukee Bucks 138-93 in Game Five as DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant both drop 30+ points to win the team’s fourth NBA championship in five seasons, and third consecutive.

Stephen Curry is awarded Finals MVP for his impressive average stat line of 22 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals in around 35 minutes per game.

Obviously, some of these results would most likely not actually occur in the real-world NBA Playoffs come April, but it is interesting to see the potential for some of these matchups and take a look at what we could see happening by that time. Notable teams left out of the playoffs as of today are the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. Those teams are all within contention for a playoff spot, and many expect the playoff race to change drastically once we reach the end of the regular season. It will definitely be intriguing to see which teams make a push to get into the playoffs, as well as which teams fall out of the race.




About Patrick Carmody

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