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Breaking Down the Playoff Races With NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17

Breaking Down the Playoff Races With NBA 2K17

With NBA teams either throwing in the towel for the year, fighting for a spot in the playoffs, or resting their stars to prep for a deep playoff run, we’re in the final stretch of the season. In the Eastern and Western Conferences, the teams holding the 7th and 8th seeds are playing for their lives to hold their spots and make it to the Second Season. The teams in the 9th and 10th spots are attempting to move into 8th and play spoiler.

After the trades that went down before the deadline, and the free agency acquisitions that have been made, what are the 7 to 10 spots looking like going into crunch time? The layouts of the conferences in the East and the West at the fringes (7 to 10) are looking interesting.

Small Beasts In The East

In the East, there’s a tight race for the 7 and 8 playoff spots. Detroit, Milwaukee, Miami and Chicago are all within a .5 to 1.5 game differential respectively. By the end of the season, any of the four teams could be in the 7 or 8 spot; in my opinion Milwaukee has the best chance to solidify its spot. I can even see them landing in the 6 spot, passing Indiana. Let’s take a quick look at these squads, using NBA 2K17 as a reference:

7. Milwaukee Bucks (34-35, 12.0 GB)

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF, 90 Ovr)
  • Jabari Parker (PF, 83 Ovr)
  • Khris Middleton (SG, 82 Ovr)
  • Greg Monroe (C, 79 Ovr)
  • Malcolm Brogdon (SG, 77 Ovr)
  • Michael Beasley (PF, 76 Ovr)
  • Terrence Jones (PF, 76 Ovr)
  • John Henson (C, 75 Ovr)
  • Spencer Hawes (C, 75 Ovr)
  • Tony Snell (SF, 74 Ovr)
  • Mirza Teletovic (PF, 73 Ovr)
  • Matthew Dellavedova (PG, 72 Ovr)
  • Thon Maker (C, 72 Ovr)
  • Jason Terry (PG, 71 Ovr)
  • Rashad Vaughn (SG, 70 Ovr)

8. Detroit Pistons (34-36, 12.5 GB)

  • Andre Drummond (C, 85 Ovr)
  • Tobias Harris (SF, 79 Ovr)
  • Marcus Morris (SF, 79 Ovr)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG, 78 Ovr)
  • Jon Leuer (PF, 78 Ovr)
  • Reggie Jackson (PG, 77 Ovr)
  • Ish Smith (PG, 74 Ovr)
  • Beno Udrih (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Boban Marjanovic (C, 72 Ovr)
  • Aron Baynes (C, 72 Ovr)
  • Stanley Johnson (SF, 71 Ovr)
  • Michael Gbinije (SG, 70 Ovr)
  • Henry Ellenson (C, 70 Ovr)
  • Darrun Hilliard (SG, 69 Ovr)
  • Reggie Bullock (SF, 68 Ovr)

The teams on the fringe in the 9 and 10 spots both have the potential to force the issue and fight for the 8th and final spot. These teams are:

9. Miami Heat (34-36, 12.5 GB)

  • Hassan Whiteside (C, 86 Ovr)
  • Goran Dragic (PG, 85 Ovr)
  • Dion Waiters (SG, 79 Ovr)
  • James Johnson (SF, 78 Ovr)
  • Tyler Johnson (SG, 78 Ovr)
  • Justise Winslow (SF, 76 Ovr)
  • Josh Richardson (SG, 75 Ovr)
  • Willie Reed (PF, 74 Ovr)
  • Rodney McGruder (SG, 73 Ovr)
  • Wayne Ellington (SG, 73 Ovr)
  • Josh McRoberts (PF, 72 Ovr)
  • Udonis Haslem (PF, 70 Ovr)
  • Luke Babbitt (SF, 70 Ovr)
  • Okaro White (SF, 70 Ovr)

10. Chicago Bulls (31-34, 12.5 GB)

  • Jimmy Butler (SG, 90 Ovr)
  • Dwayne Wade (SG, 84 Ovr)
  • Robin Lopez (C, 77 Ovr)
  • Nikola Mirotic (PF, 75)
  • Rajon Rondo (PG, 75 Ovr)
  • Cristiano Felicio (C, 74 Ovr)
  • Bobby Portis (PF, 74 Ovr)
  • Jerian Grant (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Joffrey Lauvergne (C, 73 Ovr)
  • Cameron Payne (PG, 72 Ovr)
  • Anthony Morrow (SF, 71 Ovr)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (PG, 71 Ovr)
  • Isaiah Canaan (SG, 70 Ovr)
  • Paul Zipser (SG, 69 Ovr)
  • Denzel Valentine (SF, 69 Ovr)

As I said, I really think the Milwaukee Bucks have the best chance to make a little headway and move into the 6 spot by season’s end. The Miami Heat have REALLY turned in on as of late with a record of 23-6 in their last 29 games. With the way they’re playing right now, it’s very possible they’ll bully their way into the 8th and final playoff spot; they can also play spoiler at the same time knocking off Indiana, Detroit or Milwaukee and ruining the playoffs for one of those teams while sliding their way in. The Chicago Bulls really need to pull up their socks and figure out ways to put wins together if they’re planning on staying in the playoff hunt, especially now with no Wade.

The Best Of The Rest Of The West

Over in the Western Conference, the race for the playoffs is also close, with a 2.5 game discrepancy between the current 8 seed Denver Nuggets and the 10th seeded Dallas Mavericks. Let’s take a quick look at the rosters from the 8 seed to the 10 seed.

8. Denver Nuggets (33-37, 23 GB)

  • Nikola Jokic (C, 87 Ovr)
  • Danilo Gallinari (SF, 80 Ovr)
  • Wilson Chandler (SF, 79 Ovr)
  • Kenneth Faried (PF, 79 Ovr)
  • Gary Harris (SG, 78 Ovr)
  • Mason Plumlee (C, 78 Ovr)
  • Will Barton (SG, 77 Ovr)
  • Roy Hibbert (C, 74 Ovr)
  • Jameer Nelson (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Jamal Murray (SG, 73 Ovr)
  • Emmanuel Mudiay (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Darrell Arthur (PF, 73 Ovr)
  • Juan Hernangomez (PF, 73 Ovr)
  • Mike Miller (SF, 70 Ovr)
  • Malik Beasley (SG, 69 Ovr)

9. Portland Trailblazers (32-37, 23.5 GB)

  • Damian Lillard (PG, 89 Ovr)
  • C.J. McCollum (SG, 86 Ovr)
  • Jusuf Nurkic (C, 77 Ovr)
  • Festus Ezeli (C, 77 Ovr)
  • Maurice Harkless (SF, 77 Ovr)
  • Evan Turner (SF, 76 Ovr)
  • Al-Farouq Aminu (SF, 75 Ovr)
  • Allen Crabbe (SG, 75 Ovr)
  • Ed Davis (C, 73 Ovr)
  • Noah Vonleh (PF, 71 Ovr)
  • Pat Connaughton (SG, 70 Ovr)
  • Shabazz Napier (PG, 70 Ovr)
  • Meyers Leonard (PF, 70 Ovr)
  • Jake Layman (SF, 70 Ovr)
  • Tim Quarterman (PG, 67 Ovr)

10. Dallas Mavericks (30-39, 25.5 GB)

  • Harrison Barnes (SF, 83 Ovr)
  • Dirk Nowitzki (PF, 79 Ovr)
  • Nerlens Noel (C, 78 Ovr)
  • Seth Curry (SG, 77 Ovr)
  • J.J. Barrea (PG, 77 Ovr)
  • Wesley Matthews (SG, 77 Ovr)
  • Salah Mejri (C, 76 Ovr)
  • Dwight Powell (PF, 76 Ovr)
  • Yogi Ferrell (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Dorian Finney-Smith (SF, 73 Ovr)
  • Devin Harris (PG, 73 Ovr)
  • Jarrod Uthoff (SF, 69 Ovr)
  • A.J. Hammons (C, 69 Ovr)
  • Nicolas Brussino (SF, 67 Ovr)
  • Manny Harris (SF, 66 Ovr)

The West, being the stronger conference, doesn’t yield any leeway in my opinion. Memphis and OKC are secure as the 6th and 7th seeds. This means Portland and Dallas will fight for the right to push Denver out of the 8th seed; in the end Portland will have the better chance at doing this, but Denver should hold on to the 8th and final playoff spot.

Do you think that the teams on the brink will play spoiler and shake up the last few spots in the standings? Post your opinions in the comments!

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A father, dedicated sports fan and gamer. FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA 2K are what I play majority of the time. Manchester United runs in my blood. Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos drape the walls of my man cave. Play hard, or don't play at all.

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