NBA 2K15 simulation of the Sixers 2014-15 season
The NBA 2K franchise is known for its extreme realism and authenticity, and is thus widely considered to be the ultimate basketball simulation.
With the Sixers' season start sitting just mere days away at this point, I decided to take it to the virtual world and simulate the Sixers' entire 2014-15 season on NBA 2K15 on Playstation 4 to see how the game sees the Sixers' season shaking out.
The game uses the team's actual calendar, so the game's schedule is identical to the one that the Sixers will experience this season. Trades were turned off heading into the season, as I am unable to predict what multitude of moves Sam Hinkie may make throughout the course of the season. Similiarily, Sixers 2014 lottery selection Joel Embiid was placed on IR to sit for the season, as we don't know when, and if, he is going to hit the hardwood.
I set the minute distribution as close to what I thought we might see throughout the regular season, with the starting lineup consisting of:
PG: Michael Carter-Williams
SG: K.J. McDaniels
SF: Hollis Thompson
PF: Nerlens Noel
C: Henry Sims
Tony Wroten was given sixth man minutes, and Luc Mbah a Moute was next minute-wise in the rotation. Quarter length was set to 12 minutes, like an actual NBA game.
After preseason tinkering was completed, the simulation started, and it was ugly early. The Sixers dropped their first 10 simulated games, quickly sinking to the bottom of the Eastern Conference before recording their first win over the Celtics on November 19th. The struggle continued throughout the simulated season, as each win was sandwiched between multiple simulated L's.
Injuries played a part throughout the simulated season, as several players missed times with various issues. Noel had to sit for a total of 20 simulated games for a combination of back and leg issues, while his frontcourt friend Henry Sims had to miss 15 of his own. Michael Carter-Williams missed 9 games throughout the course of the season, and Jerami Grant lost almost half of the season to a broken ankle.
In the end, the simulated Sixers finished in the spot expected of their real-life counterparts; last in the league.
A 20-62 final record was good for worst in the Eastern Conference, in the league at large, and in the 2K15 power rankings. Rough, yet realistic.
There were some bright spots in the simulated season however. Nerlens Noel had himself a solid season, finishing with per game averages of 8.6 points and 8.2 rebounds and landing on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team. Fellow rookie K.J. McDaniels landed on the All-Rookie Second Team. Michael Carter-Williams continued his statistical success, leading the team in both points and assists with per game averages of 15.7 points, 7.1 assists, and 6.3 rebounds.
The team finished with no all-stars and no All-NBA selections. If the simulation holds up as accurate, the Sixers are in store for a struggle of a season.