Each Wednesday during the 2011 NBA lockout, WhatIfSports.com's NBA simulation engine will simulate the previous week's unplayed games, using the NBA's actual 2011-2012 schedule. The NBA simulation includes cumulative standings updated each week, a game of the week, a player of the week and statistical leaders.
The statistical inputs to the NBA simulations are based upon analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically-based player rankings. Rosters reflect all transactions prior to the lockout and rookies are based on players of statistical equivalence.
The players have rejected the owners' latest offer, and a lift of the lockout has never looked bleaker. Negotiations are moving to the federal court, and David Stern has announced that games are officially cancelled through December 15.
NBA fans, it's time to prepare for the worst.
We'll be simulating every game of the NBA season for the duration of the lockout. Check back every Wednesday to review the previous week's action.
Together, we can get through this.
NBA Week 3: November 16-November 22
Find a Utah Jazz fan in Salt Lake City and they'll say, "Deron Williams who?" At 9-2, the franchise is off to its best start since the 2006-07 season, and they're doing it without Williams, who was traded last season for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors. Harris is filling in nicely for Williams at the point, averaging 15.5 points and 5.9 assists.
But the real catalysts of Utah's success have been post players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Jefferson evidently needed a season to become acclimated to the Jazz system. Now he's averaging 21.0 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Millsap sports averages of 18.9 points and 9.0 rebounds.
What's wrong with the Oklahoma City Thunder? After last season's 55-27 mark and a trip to the Western Conference Finals, expectations have been raised. Yet they've followed up that performance with a 4-8 record to begin the season. It seems the Thunder's troubles have been on the defensive end, where they are allowing 110.8 points per game, ranked among the worst in the league. The good news for the Thunder: Six of their eight losses have come to teams in last year's playoffs.
For the rest of this week's action, view the full team-by-team scoreboard.
Interested in learning which players have dominated the stat books or who the early leaders are in the MVP race? Check out the season's statistical leaders.
Game of the Week: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
|Game of the Week|
|Player of the Game: Rajon Rondo: 18 points, 9 assists, 7 steals, 5 rebounds|
When the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met last May in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Celtics appeared no match for their younger and more athletic foe, losing the series in five games. It appeared as though the matchup signaled a changing of the guard, with the Heat dethroning the Celtics as the East's best squad.
However, the Celtics aging core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are not quite ready for their curtain call. They're back, healthy and looking to prove any team eying an Eastern Conference title will have to go through Boston. The Celtics hoped to make a statement as they traveled to Miami for our Game of the Week.
The tightly contested game was back-and-forth the whole way, included four lead changes in the final minute of play. Dwyane Wade gave the Heat a 104-103 advantage with three seconds remaining, hitting a jumper from eight feet out. The Celtics used a timeout and inbounded the ball at half court, running a play for Pierce. He caught the ball at the top of the key and buried a three-pointer over Dwyane Wade as time expired. Official review confirmed Pierce's shot beat the buzzer, and the Celtics escaped with a 106-104 win.
The Celtics were able to overcome a large rebounding discrepancy, as the Heat pulled down 59 rebounds to their 38. The charity stripe proved an important differential, with the Celtics making 22 of 28 attempts (78.6 percent), compared to just eight made free throws for the Heat.
The Celtics placed five players in double figures in scoring, led by Pierce's 24 points. Jeff Green and Glen Davis chipped in 15 points and 13 points, respectively, off the bench. Rajon Rondo's seven steals played no small part in the Heat's 18 turnovers.
Wade and LeBron James combined for 60 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists in the loss, but counterpart Chris Bosh was less impressive, managing only eight points and five rebounds on 4-for-14 shooting.
Player of the Week: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
|Kevin Love Week 3 Statistics|
|Team Record||Average Points||Average Rebounds||Average Assists|
|NBA Simulated Standings Through November 22|