Miami Heat: Using NBA 2K20 to predict vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers is defended by Derrick Jones Jr. #5 and Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers is defended by Derrick Jones Jr. #5 and Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat welcome the Philadelphia 76ers to South Beach on Monday for the 4th time this season. Does NBA 2K20 think they split the season series?

The season-long slugfest between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers will come to an end this Monday night in Miami as the two teams face off for the fourth time. This game will matter a lot for each team’s position in the standings.

I’m sure Sixers fans aren’t prepared to be stuck behind the Heat in the standings due to a lost tie-breaker. Philadelphia is in control of its own destiny.

All they have to do is go on the road and beat one of the hottest home teams the league has to offer without starting guard Josh Richardson. Easy right?

The way Philadelphia has been playing lately has earned them the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, but quite frankly, it should be worse. If the Brooklyn Nets weren’t having such an up and down season and the Orlando Magic just wasn’t so darn average, the Sixers would be in huge trouble. Right now, they’re in a ‘can’t fail’ scenario with the teams mentioned above nine and ten games behind them, respectively.

I shortened the Heat’s rotation back to nine players by removing Kelly Olynyk and Dion Waiters’ minutes and continued to distribute the rest of the minutes to mimic the action each player saw in Saturday night’s win against the Magic. 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 also changed more of the coaching tendencies. I designated the team’s top three scoring options to be Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Goran Dragic in that order.

I also altered Bam Adebayo’s secondary position to power forward, mirroring the setup of Meyers Leonard‘s position listing. Lastly, I edited Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo’s vitals to allow them to initiate the offense.

NBA 2K20 has Head Coach Spo’s defensive rating at an A while his offensive rating is a D. After deliberating and watching the past few games, I adjusted his defensive rating to a B-.

My formula for that particular adjustment and calculation is derived by sorting all 30 NBA teams by points per game then dividing that 30 by the number of letter grades that are available from F all the way up to A+ (13). This comes out to be about 2.3 teams per grade level, leaving Miami hovering somewhere between 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 showing you the adjustments I made.

Starting Lineup

Philadelphia 76ers

Point guard, Ben Simmons

Shooting guard, Shake Milton

Small forward, Tobias Harris

Power forward, Al Horford

Center, Joel Embiid

Miami Heat

Point guard, Kendrick Nunn

Shooting guard, Duncan Robinson

Small forward, Jimmy Butler

Power forward, Bam Adebayo

Center, Meyers Leonard


Philadelphia 76ers 113, Miami Heat 104

Well, Well, well. The Simulation is just begging to be proved wrong once again.

First of all, NBA 2K, I have a bone to pick with you. If I have everything relating to rosters set to manual, why are you interfering?

I had 66 overall Shake Milton replacing the injured Josh Richardson in the starting lineup, but when it came time for the sim, 2K disobeyed me and swapped the two players. So yes, Richardson played 20 minutes and had pretty much a no-show performance of nine points but still, he shouldn’t have played at all.

The first quarter started off right. A back and forth affair that saw the Heat take an early seven pointing lead heading into the second quarter.

Everything was fine and dandy and then Boom! The Sixers go on a 10-2 run, and my blood starts to boil.

I’ve been on the record for my disdain for the Sixers, and I thought to myself, “Oh boy, here we go.” But the Heat rallied back to actually win the quarter by a single point.

Great, its halftime, time to check the stats. All seems fine (Butler with 16, Johnson with 10, and Adebayo with 9 points, 8 rebounds).

They have a cool eight-point lead. Miami has three made 3-pointers by this time and Philadelphia only has one.

The Heat are playing their way, and it’s looking good, but one thing that was alarming at the half is that somehow the Sixers had ten second-chance points while only collecting two offensive rebounds. “It’s nothing,” I said to myself, let’s just continue the sim.

The Sixers came out of the break swinging on their way to a 13-4 run that the Heat would just not be able to recover from. They gave up a whopping 39 points in the third and there seemed to be no end in sight.

Miami cleaned it up in the fourth quarter, but there’s just wasn’t enough time or firepower to complete the comeback. The Heat made only one 3-pointer in the second half and for the second simulation in a row, Derrick Jones Jr fouled out of the game.

Ben Simmons matched his real-life career-high of 34 points while going 8-for-12 from the free-throw line. Who’d have thunk?

Player stats

Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons – 34 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Joel Embiid – 20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks

Tobias Harris – 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist

Al Horford – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Josh Richardson – 9 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler – 26 points,  3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Bam Adebayo – 20 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1 block

Tyler Herro – 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Goran Dragic – 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Meyers Leonard – 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

You can’t win them all, I guess. I know Heat Nation wants this simulation to be wrong, but it is a likely possibility.

The Heat have gotten lucky letting the Sixers shoot themselves into oblivion, but if they switch to that ‘double the ball handler out top’ scheme on Ben Simmons, I might have to turn the game off.

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It’s evident in 2K and real-life; the Heat need another piece. Hopefully, a piece that’ll get them out of tough losses like these.