NBA 2K20: Our 2020 NBA Playoffs 1st Round simulation

Kyle Kuzma Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /
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We sim the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs using NBA 2K20.

The NBA Playoffs are finally here! After two weeks of play to determine the standings of a season that was interrupted by coronavirus, the NBA is finally ready to crown a champion for 2020.

Of course, not even the eight seeding games were enough to determine the playoffs as the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers had to take part in a play-in series to for the West’s NO. 8-seed. Although our NBA 2K20 simulation for that series was wildly off, we decided to take another stab at it, this time simulating all of the 1st round games. To ensure the simulation is relevant we’ll be simulating each round of the playoffs as they are reached in real life so that the game has the correct teams.

We simulated all eight series of the first round in NBA 2K20 on 12 minute quarters with normalized stats. For simulation ease, we had the CPU adjust the rotations for every team so it’s possible some of the stats might not be entirely representative of what could happen. This is what NBA 2K20 predicts will happen.

NBA 2K20: Our 2020 NBA Playoffs 1st Round simulation
LeBron James and Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Portland Trail Blazers (8)

The L.A. Lakers win series in six and move on to round two.

Game 1: Portland Trail Blazers 117 – Los Angeles Lakers 103
Game 2: Portland Trail Blazers 112 – Los Angeles Lakers 114
Game 3: Los Angeles Lakers 112 – Portland Trail Blazers 114
Game 4: Los Angeles Lakers 113 – Portland Trail Blazers 98
Game 5: Portland Trail Blazers 102 – Los Angeles Lakers 130
Game 6: Los Angeles Lakers 141 – Portland Trail Blazers 104

Heading into the playoffs, everyone thinks the Blazers could give the Lakers a run for their money, especially given LA’s struggles in the bubble. NBA 2K20 predicts a semi-competitive series from the Trail Blazers, but ultimately the Lakers will take it in six.

The simulation was pretty reflective of real life. In games where Lillard went off, the Blazers won. In game one, he put up 41 points. In game three, 43 points. In fact, in the entire first round simulation, Lillard was the leading scorer in points per game with 30.5.

For the Lakers, it was LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the leading scorers in each game. King James had a particularly vintage game six in which he put up 50 points, including going 8-15 from three-point. James finished the first round with 27.3 points per game, 5 rebounds per game and 10.8 assists per game.

Despite the Lakers struggles in the bubble, they finish the first round with the most team points per game (118.8).