Reacting to the Miami Heat’s leaked NBA 2K18 player ratings

The Miami Heat’s player ratings for NBA 2K18 were leaked, and we have some bones to pick with them.

NBA 2K has consistently been one of the most popular sports video games every single year. Every year, NBA 2K releases ratings for players prior to the commencement of the NBA season. Fans and players alike take these ratings extremely seriously. This year, the ratings for each player on the Miami Heat were leaked a bit early.

The ratings seem to be as follows:

Hassan Whiteside – 87

Goran Dragic – 85

Dion Waiters – 80

James Johnson – 79

Tyler Johnson – 77

Justise Winslow – 76

Kelly Olynyk – 75

Wayne Ellington – 74

Josh Richardson – 74

Rodney McGruder – 74

Bam Adebayo – 72

Udonis Haslem – 70

Okaro White – 69

AJ Hammons – 68

Clearly, NBA 2K did not favor Miami Heat players this year. Hassan Whiteside was the only player granted a top 10 rating in his respective position. Among NBA centers, Whiteside has the sixth highest rating. DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Marc Gasol, Nikola Jokic, and Rudy Gobert were all rated higher.

Luckily, however, NBA 2K does update these rankings as the season progresses. This gives players extra motivation to perform well during the season, as if winning games was not enough. Many players this offseason, Whiteside included, has stated that they will make it their goal to increase their 2K rating as the season goes on.

Players who I believe are most likely to increase their rating during the season are Whiteside, Waiters, James Johnson and Richardson.

Although Whiteside’s rating is already an 87, it still is not yet in the upper echelon of NBA centers. Some may attribute this to the fact that his  lack of a consistent jumpshot limits his offensive skillset. However, Gobert’s rating is an 88 and he has less offensive versatility than Whiteside. Gobert’s rating comes primarily from his lockdown defense, leading the league in blocks last year. Two seasons ago, Whiteside led the league in blocks. This past season, Whiteside led the league in rebounds. He has clearly shown his ability to impact the game on the defensive end while also averaging a career-high 17 points a game. If he continues to keep this up while Miami is winning games and in playoff contention, he should also be able to get his rating up.

After an injury-ridden and shaky start to the season, Dion Waiters finally made a name for himself in the second half of the season. He hit clutch shot after clutch shot and was instrumental in Miami’s second-half run. If he remains healthy this season and plays near the same level he played in the second half of last season, his rating should gradually increase.

James Johnson has proven to be one of the most underrated players in the league. Like most of the Heat, he had an extremely impressive second half of last season. Miami had the highest positive net rating with Johnson on the floor, and his ability to handle the ball and play as a point forward dramatically helped the team. If he is able to maintain some consistency, he should definitely be able to get his rating to at least an 80.

Josh Richardson, in my opinion, has the most underrated 2K rating. Richardson has proven to be extremely deft both on the offensive and defensive end. He has a very polished outside shot paired with the athletic ability to perform many highlight dunks. On the other end of the floor, he is capable of racking up steals and blocks. If Richardson can just manage to stay healthy and consistent for a full season, he will undoubtedly improve his rating.

Bam Adebayo is perhaps the most intriguing player on this roster. Although Miami selected him with the 14th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, he has shown flashes of potential to be one of the more elite players of this draft class. During the Summer League, Adebayo averaged 17.5 points along with 8.3 rebounds a game. He also showed a surprising ability to shoot midrange shots and handle the ball. If he is able to showcase these skills with some playing time and the Heat is winning games, he will be on track to raise his 2K rating.

The fact that Miami missed the playoffs definitely has something to do with the low ratings on many of the team’s players. Had the Heat made the playoffs, NBA 2K would have recognized and rewarded the Heat players’ skill with higher ratings. As if the team needed any extra motivation to re-do last year and make the playoffs this year, the constant NBA 2K updates should be another nice incentive.

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