Miami Heat : Using NBA 2K20 to predict vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) keeps an eye on the basket after getting fouled by the Los Angeles Clippers' Montrezl Harrell (5) in the second quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) keeps an eye on the basket after getting fouled by the Los Angeles Clippers' Montrezl Harrell (5) in the second quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat take on the Clippers for the 2nd & final time this season Wednesday on the road. What does 2K20 have to say about this clash of titans?

Although it feels like these two teams just played, it’s time for the Miami Heat to start a five-game road trip with a bang. So, off to Los Angeles, they go.

In their last matchup, the Heat blew a 15 point lead to eventually lose by only five points without the services of Goran Dragic and three-time Eastern Conference player of the month Kendrick Nunn. That game showed progress and what the team could do under pressure with Jimmy Butler at the helm. The Heat will again be tested by adversity on this road trip.

Leading up to the game, it was learned that not only would Justise Winslow not be making the trip, but neither would starting center Meyers Leonard who came down awkwardly during his last game while attempting to euro step around Joel Embiid. In a new development, Heat fans also learned that the team’s resident bucket Tyler Herro would be held out of this contest even though he’s making the trip.

The rotation will look drastically different than we’ve been accustomed to seeing in this series, but I wanted to field a throwback team with so many key players missing. There was a debate on if either Kelly Olynyk, Derrick Jones Jr, or James Johnson would get the start in place of the injured Meyers Leonard.

While all the debaters made good points, I decided to pay homage to last year’s team. Dion Waiters gets a nice chunk of time off the bench and I decided to start Olynyk alongside our all-star forwards Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

NBA 2K20 had Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s defensive rating an A while having his offensive rating at a D. In the same light as the last few matchups here, I changed his defensive rating to a B-.

This rating comes about by sorting all 30 NBA teams by points per game, then divided 30 by the number of letter grades that are available from F all the way up to A+ (13). This came out to about 2.3 teams being in each grade level with Miami landing around a B to B-.

If you want to see the simulation for yourself, the latest video on my YouTube channel will have the footage uninterrupted. There you’ll be able to see the adjustments I made.

Starting Lineup

Miami Heat

Point guard, Kendrick Nunn

Shooting guard, Duncan Robinson

Small forward, Jimmy Butler

Power forward, Bam Adebayo

Center, Kelly Olynyk

Los Angeles Clippers

Point guard, Patrick Beverly

Shooting guard, Paul George

Small forward, Kawhi Leonard

Power forward, Maurice Harkless

Center, Ivica Zubac


Miami Heat 118, Los Angeles Clippers 111

Just as the last game between these two teams started, it was a back and forth game through the first quarter as both squads end up tied at 32 going into the second quarter. It was more of the same in quarter number two right up until the two-minute mark. Just before halftime, the Heat went on a 12-4 run to secure an eight-point lead going into the break.

Checking the halftime stats showed an interesting trend in the frontcourt. Although the Clippers have a tough defensive frontcourt, it appears as their power forward rotation is a sweet spot.

All-star forward Bam Adebayo already had 20 points and seven rebounds while James Johnson had 11 points. Combined, the two forwards shot 62-percent and combined for 31 of the teams 67 points.

Miami was shooting 59 percent as a unit with nine turnovers and 15 assists. They were going to either cruise to a victory at this pace or falter at the end since they were on pace for 18 turnovers for the game. It was time to strap in.

The third quarter was a mirror image of the first half; a tightly contested ball game that saw the Miami Heat barely edge out the Clippers by five in the quarter heading into the fourth. At this point, the Heat’s lead over the Clippers was holding steadfast at 97-84.

About midway through the final quarter, the Clippers went on a mini 17-12 run but it wasn’t quite enough to take the lead. The Heat escaped the Staples Center victorious and that’s all that matters.

Player stats

Miami Heat

Bam Adebayo – 34 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks

Jimmy Butler – 21 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals

James Johnson – 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Derrick Jones Jr. – 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal

Duncan Robinson – 11 points, 3 assists

Los Angeles Clippers

Kawhi Leonard – 27 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 1 block

Montrezl Harrell – 23 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals

Paul George – 14 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

Ivica Zubac – 12 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks

Rodney McGruder – 8 points, 2 assists

As Heat Nation already knows, this team is as resilient as they come. With three main contributors out of commission and a fourth who fans haven’t seen play all that much, the team came out and did their job.

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Bam erupted for his career-high in points of 34 for the second time this season at just the right time. The Clippers end up tied with the Denver Nuggets in the standings and Miami slides back into third place in the East. Hopefully, they can win two in a row as their next opponent is the Sacramento Kings, who no longer roster the players that have traditionally given the Heat trouble when visiting Sacramento.