Using NBA 2K20 to predict the LA Clippers vs the Miami Heat

Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat celebrates with Goran Dragic #7 against the Washington Wizards (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat celebrates with Goran Dragic #7 against the Washington Wizards (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The injury-laden LA Clippers travel to take on the hottest home team in the NBA, the Miami Heat this Friday night. What does NBA 2K20 say about the matchup?

This year’s Miami Heat team has been red-hot inside the American Airlines Arena this season. They’re sporting a league-best home record of 20-1 and find themselves in a scheduling situation that is flat-out upside down. Due to their success, the Heat have put themselves in a position where there’s pressure to continue their winning ways during this five-game homestand. Other teams would feel relief to be at home, but the Heat need to keep up their winning ways. What a great problem to have.

While many people believe the LA Clippers will go to at least the Western Conference Finals, they’re sitting at third in the conference. That seed would force them to walk the toughest path to the third round of the playoffs. They’ve also got some potentially heavy baggage following them with reports via The Athletic from Jovan Buha, and Sam Amick of players feeling disgruntled about the way star players Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are being treated.

Couple that with the recent most recent injury report, and you’ve got major problems. Luckily this isn’t a game that’s a part of a back-to-back so we’ll hope to see Kawhi Leonard on the hardwood. Paul George will miss the game and Patrick Beverly will most likely miss the game as well according to the findings of Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald in the Clippers injury report.

I bumped up the Heat’s rotation to ten players by re-adding Duncan Robison and continued to distribute the minutes to mirror the action each player saw in the overtime win again the Wizards (minus about five minutes). Afterward, I headed over to the coaching tab and moved up Coach Spoelstra’s run zone tendency from 5-percent to 50-percent. While on this pane, I finally decided to change more of the coaching tendencies. I designated the teams’ top three scoring options to be Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo in that order. I also changed Bam Adebayo’s secondary position to power forward since Meyers Leonard‘s positions look that way. Lastly, I edited Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo’s vitals to allow them to initiate the offense.

NBA 2K20 had Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s defensive rating an A while having his offensive rating at a D. I’ve put up with this for way too long, so I changed his defensive rating to a B-. I came about that rating by sorting all 30 NBA teams by points per game then divided 30 by the number of letter grades that are available from F up to A+ (13). This came out to about 2.3 teams being in each grade level with Miami hovering around a B to B-.

If you want to see the simulation for yourself, check out the latest video on my YouTube channel. There I’ll be providing real-time analysis during the simulation as well as showing you the adjustments I made. Leave a comment to let me know you visited the video.

Starting Lineup

Los Angeles Clippers

Point guard, Rodney McGruder

Shooting guard, Landry Shamet

Small forward, Kawhi Leonard

Power forward, Maurice Harkless

Center, Ivica Zubac

Miami Heat

Point guard, Kendrick Nunn

Shooting guard, Duncan Robinson

Small forward, Jimmy Butler

Power forward, Bam Adebayo

Center, Meyers Leonard


Los Angeles Clippers 113, Miami Heat 108

To say the Heat got out to a slow start could very well be the understatement of the season so far. Miami scored a measly 22 points but managed to give up 36 points in the first quarter against the visiting Clippers. They eventually figured out their lives on the offensive in quarter number two but still gave up 35 points the Clippers, thus not improving the deficit one bit. Los Angeles was already up 15 points at half time, but I couldn’t figure out why at first since most of the team’s stats looked about even. And then I saw it. By halftime, Miami had sent the Clippers to the line a total of 21 times. To make matters worse, the Heat managed to make it to the stripe nine times but missed five of those attempts.

Whatever Coach Spoelstra said to them in the locker room must’ve worked as the team came out and put the clamps on the Clippers to start the second half, holding them to just 20 points in the third quarter. The only problem was Miami also scored 20 points in the quarter. L.A. still had that 15 point lead going into the fourth quarter, and it was time the Heat had something to say about it. They fought a valiant effort to hold the Clippers to just 21 points in the final frame and erupted for 31, but it just wasn’t enough.

Player stats

LA Clippers

Landry Shamet – 26 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists

Montrezl Harrell – 26 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block

Lou Williams – 18 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists

Kawhi Leonard – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Maurice Harkless – 8 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler – 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists

Tyler Herro – 18 poets, 7 rebounds, 1 steal

Bam Adebayo – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1assist, 1 block

Goran Dragic – 14 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists,

Kelly Olynyk – 12 points, 7 rebounds

Next. Thank Chris Paul for finally killing the noise. dark

The game was close and tightly contested in quarters one through three, but alas, the death crawl the Heat started with was just too much to overcome. The Miami Heat lose to a team by five that was missing one of the top-10 players in the league. This sim has been wrong before (although not often), and that’s why we play the games. See you in the next one.