Heat

What Does NBA 2K20 Predict for the Heat in Orlando?

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The Miami Heat kick off the 2020 Restart with a day game against the Denver Nuggets. From there, they’ll face the Raptors, Celtics, Bucks, Suns, Thunder and Pacers twice. With NBA2K the center of attention during the hiatus, we thought it would be cool to see how the game thinks these eight games will play out.

The Process

To properly simulate the Heat’s eight seeding games, we utilized the Playoff game mode located in the MyLeague section. By using this mode, every player was on an even scale with morale. The 2K simulation system uses morale to raise or lower a player’s rating. Depending on how high or low their morale is, a player can have their rating increased or decreased.

To set up each matchup, we formed eight different playoffs with the Heat playing each of the teams that they are slated to play in the Bubble. Each game was simulated with Simcast, a version of simulation that allows one to see the scoring of the game as it happens.

The Rotation

The rotation created was based on the Heat’s real-life regular season rotation. We located the exact minute-per-game averages for the Heat and assign them to each player. Some players were cut from the rotation. Jae Crowder, Chris Silva, Solomon Hill, Gabe Vincent, and Udonis Haslem filled the reserve spots. KZ Okpala was removed due to injury. The minutes are just projections for the players, as the simulation system can take players out if they are in foul trouble.

The Results

The Heat were able to win five of their eight seeding games in the Bubble. They began with a dominating win over the Denver Nuggets, only to lose their next two games to the Raptors and Celtics by a combined 53 points– including a 36-point loss to the Celtics.

They went down to the wire against the Bucks, which is expected given the season series. The Heat were up by two late, but Giannis Antetokounmpo hit a game-winning three as time expired.

The Heat then dominated their next four games, posting a score differential of +31. The leading scorers in these games were Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic.

Player Statistics

After the eight games, Bam Adebayo led the team in points, rebounds and blocks per game. Jimmy Butler led the team in steals, and Goran Dragic was the team’s assist leader. Despite taking fifteen more three-point shots than anybody close to him, Duncan Robinson was by far the Heat’s most efficient three-point shooter. Robinson made 25 of his 53 shots from deep, leaving him with a 47% three-point percentage. He was also the team’s best free-throw shooter at 94%.

Despite playing 14.5 minutes a game, Andre Iguodala failed to average a single statistic above two a game. Derrick Jones Jr. struggled to shoot, posting a 20% three-point percentage. Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro all averaged around 11 points per game. Nunn just missed out on the 50/40/90 shooting split, coming up one free throw short. Herro took the second-most three-point shots, but was inefficient. He made 13 of his 38 attempts, the second-lowest three-point percentage on the team. Starting power forward Meyers Leonard was a bit underwhelming, only averaging seven points in 22 minutes a game.

Analysis and Predictions

It was a bit surprising to see Bam Adebayo as the leading scorer. Most would expect Jimmy Butler to have that accolade given his role on the team. The Heat should have a similar record in their seeding games, but the fashion in which they lost was a bit unrealistic. They have only lost four games by a score of more than 17, and 2K predicts two losses of that magnitude. Their schedule favors them in many instances, and they could realistically finish with a 6-2 record. Jimmy and Bam could easily average 20+ points a piece. Overall, the Heat have a great chance to improve on their current standing with these eight games.

Follow us on Twitter @HeatLead for the latest Heat news and insight.

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