The NBA Playoffs are underway, pitting 16 teams in a head-to-head, best-of-seven tournament to decide who will become the 2022 NBA Champion. In the video game world, 2K Games attempts to predict the NBA Final, using NBA 2K22 to simulate the entire tournament, much like they did last year with NBA 2K21.
The simulation is generated using the NBA Playoffs mode and entering all teams in their correct position to accurately represent the real-life structure. NBA 2K22 then runs the games through an automated system and plays out each playoff round, determining the winner of each and moving them on to the next round.
The first round had few surprises, as most of the power-house teams took down their opponents with relative ease. The matchups featuring teams closer in the rankings were nail-biters, especially the Mavericks and Jazz pairing, which went the full seven games despite the absence of NBA 2K22 cover athlete Luka Doncic in games one and two. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the seventh-seed Brooklyn Nets defeating the second-seed Boston Celtics in six games, mostly because the Celtics are off to a 2-0 start in the opening round. The one prediction that is the closest to coming true is the Philadelphia 76ers sweeping the Toronto Raptors, as the series is currently 3-0 in Philadelphia’s favor.
- Phoenix Suns def. New Orleans Pelicans (4-1)
- Dallas Mavericks def. Utah Jazz (4-3)
- Golden State Warriors def. Denver Nuggets (4-2)
- Memphis Grizzlies def. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2)
- Miami Heat def. Atlanta Hawks (4-2)
- Philadelphia 76ers def. Toronto Raptors (4-0)
- Brooklyn Nets def. Boston Celtics (4-2)
- Milwaukee Bucks def. Chicago Bulls (4-1)
In the second round, The Phoenix Suns takedown Doncic and the Mavericks in six games, while the Grizzlies stun the Warriors in six games. The 76ers continued to establish their dominance in the postseason thanks to Ja Morant, who remains one of the best point guards in NBA 2K22, defeating the Miami Heat in five games. The Bucks outlast the Nets in a thrilling seven-game series, setting the stage for an exciting pair of Conference Finals.
- Phoenix Suns def. Dallas Mavericks (4-2)
- Memphis Grizzlies def. Golden State Warriors (4-2)
- Philadelphia 76ers def. Miami Heat (4-1)
- Milwaukee Bucks def. Brooklyn Nets (4-3)
The first-seed Suns move on to the NBA Final by eliminating the second-seed Grizzlies in six games, ending their exceptional season. Devin Booker will have likely played a part in the Suns’ unbelievable postseason run, as he is the second-best shooting guard in NBA 2K22, ranked just behind James Harden. In a reversal of fortunes, the 76ers are swept by the Bucks after losing just one game in the tournament’s first two rounds. It’s a shocking end to what turned out to be a blazing start for Milwaukee and their fans. The stage is set for a final between the first-seed Suns and the third-seed Bucks.
- Phoenix Suns def. Memphis Grizzlies (4-2)
- Milwaukee Bucks def. Philadelphia 76ers (4-0)
The Bucks would come close to taking home the 2022 NBA Championship, but their efforts were thwarted by the Suns. In a Final series that went the full seven games, Phoenix hangs on to take down Milwaukee, putting an end to Milwaukee’s excellent season and thrilling post-season run.
- Phoenix Suns def. Milwaukee Bucks (4-3)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA 2K22’s best power forward, falls short in capturing his second consecutive trophy, but the Greek Freak won’t have to wait too long for another shot at winning it all. For the Phoenix Suns, congratulations on winning the NBA 2K22 Championship, but now it’s time to see if their video game representation translates into the real-life game.
NBA 2K22 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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