2011 NBA Lockout Simulation: Awards and Standings for the Remainer of the Season

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 25:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic looks to have a foul called during the NBA season opening game against the Oklahoma City Thunder December 25, 2011 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma City defeated Orlando 97-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Each Wednesday until the beginning of the NBA's abbreviated season, WhatIfSports.com's NBA simulation engine will simulate the previous week's unplayed games, using the NBA's actual 2011-2012 pre-lockout 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.

Christmas Day marks both the beginning of the long-awaited 2011-12 NBA season and the conclusion of WhatIfSports.com's NBA lockout simulation. We'll complete the simulation by "playing" the remainder of the NBA's season, providing final standings and awards. But that's not all...

We've added a wrinkle.

In light of recent blockbuster acquisitions in the NBA's abbreviated offseason, we've decided to tinker with our rosters by incorporating some of the bigger player movements. Curious how much better the Los Angeles Clippers will be with the addition of Chris Paul? Consider this a litmus test. Our final simulation is highlighted by the following transactions:


Los Angeles Clippers
Before: 10-16 (0.385)
After: 37-19 (0.661) 

Paul proved to be every bit the boon the Clippers franchise had hoped for in trading Gordon, Aminu, Kaman and a draft pick for his services. The additional signings of Billups and Butler launched the Clippers into the NBA's upper echelon.

New Orleans Hornets
Before: 11-11 (0.500)
After: 25-35 (0.417)

Although the Hornets received some solid pieces in the Paul trade, including a future star in Gordon, it was not enough to prevent a slide in wins. Lost in Paul's exit was the departure of West, whom the Hornets received no compensation for.

New York Knicks
Before: 13-12 (0.520)
After: 38-19 (0.667)

In acquiring Chandler, the Knicks improved upon two of their biggest weaknesses, defense and rebounding. Although the loss of Billups left some ambiguity at the point, Davis proved a capable substitute.

Dallas Mavericks
Before: 16-9 (0.640)
After: 35-22 (0.614)

The Mavericks lucked out in finding a replacement for departed center Chandler when Odom suddenly became available. However, the team's defense took a hit, allowing the seventh-most points in the league.

Indiana Pacers
Before: 13-13 (0.500)
After: 31-25 (0.554)

The already tough-minded Pacers found a player that fit their mold perfectly in West. The power forward's scoring took a bit of a dip, dropping from 20.8 points per game with the Hornets to 17.4 points per game with the Pacers, but his rebounding improved from 8.0 boards per game to 9.4 with his new playoff-bound squad.

Boston Celtics
Before: 13-9 (0.591)
After: 30-30 (0.500)

Although Green has appeared somewhat out of place since arriving in Boston last season, he is an important part of the Celtics' rotation, if for no other reason than the lack of a suitable replacement. Boston saw its win percentage dip after losing Green, who will miss the 2011-12 season with a heart condition.

Portland Trail Blazers
Before: 17-7 (0.708)
After: 39-19 (0.672)

The Trail Blazers, already off to a hot start, were not slowed down with the retirement of Roy and acquisition of scoring guard Crawford. His addition to the starting lineup relegated Wesley Matthews to the role of super-sub.



MVP: Dwight Howard
Average Points Average Rebounds Average Assists Average Blocks Average Steals
24.9 15.8 1.6 2.4 0.9

Howard joins Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) as the only players to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award in the same season. Kevin Garnett and David Robinson have also been recipients of both awards but won each in different seasons.

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
Average Points Average Rebounds Average Assists Average Blocks Average Steals
24.9 15.8 1.6 2.4 0.9


Sixth Man of the Year: Lamar Odom
Average Points Average Rebounds Average Assists Average Blocks Average Steals
13.7 8.8 2.8 0.8 0.5

Odom is the first player since Detlef Schrempf in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons to win consecutive Sixth Man of the Year awards. Kevin McHale also accomplished the feat in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons.

Most Improved Player: Joakim Noah
Average Points Average Rebounds Average Assists Average Blocks Average Steals
12.2 12.3 2.3 1.6 1.3

Noah saw improvements in points, rebounds, blocks, steals and assists as he anchored the NBA's best defense. He is the first Chicago Bulls player in franchise history to be a recipient of the Most Improved Player award.

Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan
Team Record Points For Points Against Avg. Margin of Victory Win Increase
56-26 110.7 103.4 7.3 +8

McMillan received his first Coach of the Year award. He guided the Portland Trailblazers to a Western Conference-best 56 wins, an eight-win improvement over the team's 48-34 mark in the 2010-11 season.

Rookie of the Year: Derrick Williams
Average Points Average Rebounds Average Assists Average Blocks Average Steals
11.9 5.2 0.8 0.3 0.4

The Minnesota Timberwolves' Williams was challenged for the Rookie of the Year award by first overall pick Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who averaged 11.1 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds.


All-NBA Teams
First Team Second Team Third Team
F: LeBron James F: Dirk Nowitzki F: Amar'e Stoudemire
F: Blake Griffin F: Pau Gasol F: Kevin Durant
C: Dwight Howard C: Al Jefferson C: Al Horford
G: Dwyane Wade G: Russell Westbrook G: Chris Paul
G: Derrick Rose G: Kobe Bryant G: Monta Ellis
All-Defensive Teams
First Team Second Team
F: LeBron James F: Serge Ibaka
F: Gerald Wallace F: Josh Smith
C: Dwight Howard C: Joakim Noah
G: Dwyane Wade G: Tony Allen
G: Rajon Rondo G Chris Paul


NBA Simulated Standings - 2011-12 Season
Eastern Conference
Atlantic W L Win%
New York 51 31 0.622
Philadelphia 47 35 0.573
Boston 43 39 0.524
Toronto 25 57 0.305
New Jersey 13 69 0.159
Central W L Win%
Chicago 59 23 0.720
Indiana 44 38 0.537
Detroit 36 46 0.439
Cleveland 26 56 0.317
Milwaukee 25 57 0.305
Southeast W L Win%
Orlando 60 22 0.732
Miami 56 26 0.683
Atlanta 35 47 0.427
Washington 30 52 0.366
Charlotte 28 54 0.341


View the statistical leaders or the lockout simulation.


Western Conference
Northwest W L Win%
Portland 56 26 0.683
Utah 51 31 0.622
Denver 44 38 0.537
Oklahoma City 43 39 0.524
Minnesota 37 45 0.451
Pacific W L Win%
L.A. Lakers 50 32 0.610
L.A. Clippers 47 35 0.573
Phoenix 40 42 0.488
Sacramento 33 49 0.402
Golden State 33 49 0.402
Southwest W L Win%
Dallas 51 31 0.622
San Antonio 50 32 0.610
Memphis 43 39 0.524
Houston 38 44 0.463
New Orleans 36 46 0.439


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