The 2018-19 NBA season is upon us! Opening Night is upon us. We all have a decent idea of what is in store as far as who the championship contenders are, but there are several other story lines throughout a season that can catch us by surprise.
One fun way to get a “preview” of the upcoming season is to do an NBA 2K19 season simulation. So here’s how I did that:
- I made all Southwest Division teams user controlled.
- Free Agent Signings and Trades before or during the season were turned off.
- DeJounte Murray‘s ACL injury was put in before the start of the simulation.
- All lineups and lineup changes were simulated and not manual.
With those guidelines in place, let’s take a look at how the season unfolded.
- Houston Rockets (54-28)
- San Antonio Spurs (44-38)
- Dallas Mavericks (39-43)
- Memphis Grizzlies (34-48)
- New Orleans Pelicans (33-49)
No surprise that the Rockets won the division and won it with ease. It is completely shocking that the Pelicans finished last. The Mavs and Grizzlies experienced improved seasons that are very realistic possibilities. The Spurs were a seven seed in the playoffs, which with the greatest coach on the planet, isn’t much of a surprise.
Luka Doncic– Rookie of the Year: 13.8 points, 7 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.3 steals.
Anthony Davis – All-NBA Third Team
Jrue Holiday, Davis- All-Defensive Second Team
Doncic- All-Rookie First Team
Jaren Jackson Jr. – All-Rookie Second Team
Luka Donic winning the Rookie of the Year should surprise no one, especially if his stats look anything like that in real life. Very surprising to see Anthony Davis on the All-NBA Third Team when most people are picking him as an MVP candidate this season.
Marc Gasol– Hand Fracture (32 Days)
Mike Conley– Strained MCL (22 Days)
Dillon Brooks– Severe Ankle Sprain (32 Days)
Nikola Mirotic– Torn Calf Muscle (39 Days)
Darius Miller– High Ankle Sprain (32 Days)
Chris Paul – Knee Tendinitis (30 Days)
Conley and Gasol are cursed. Their injuries had a two-week overlap which certainly would cause the Grizzlies to lose a handful of games. It is also no coincidence that outside of Chris Paul being hurt, the teams that stayed healthy finished ahead of the teams that suffered multiple long-term injuries.
DeAndre Jordan finished fourth in rebounding with 12.6 per game.
Chris Paul led the league in assists with 11.5 per game.
Paul was also second in steals with 2.2.
Mike Conley – 19.4 points, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steals.
MarShon Brooks – 15.3 points.
Marc Gasol – 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.
Jaren Jackson Jr. – 11.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
San Antonio Spurs
DeMar DeRozan – 21.9 points and 4.5 assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge – 18.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Marco Belinelli – 13.3 points.
Rudy Gay – 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.
James Harden – 25.2 points, 8.1 assists and 1.6 steals.
Chris Paul – 19.4 points, 11.5 assists and 2.2 steals.
Eric Gordon – 13.0 points.
Carmelo Anthony – 13.0 points.
Clint Capela – 12.2 points, 11.8 rebounds (3.9 offensive rebounds per game).
Dennis Smith Jr. – 19.2 points and 4.4 assists.
Harrison Barnes – 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.
J.J. Barea – 16.4 points.
Luka Doncic – 13.8 points, 6.9 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis – 23.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.
Jrue Holiday – 18.1 points, 6.6 assists and 1.5 steals.
Julius Randle – 14.5 points and 8.1 assists.
Nikola Mirotic – 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Harden, Aldridge and Davis were the only All-Stars from the division. The Grizzlies had the eighth-best odds of winning the lottery (their pick is top 8 protected) and won the lottery!
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