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May 29, 2012, 12:20 PM ET
Sim Season Revisited

by Bradford Doolittle

I received an email from our good friends at Strat-O-Matic this morning pointing out something I should have rememberd. Last fall, we ran our Sim Season series as a partial remedy to basketball withdrawal brought on by the NBA lockout. In conjunction with Strat, we used their game engine and Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE forecasting system to create the 2011-12 rosters, or at least the versions that existed at the time of the work stoppage. Then we ran the season game by game, and brought you the results on a daily basis.

Well guess what? The conference finals matchups forecast by Sim Season now look awfully prescient: Heat-Celtics and Thunder-Spurs. In other words, we nailed the NBA’s version of the final four well before we even knew if there would be a season. Okay, okay. There is some good fortune in that. The rosters across the NBA was markedly different than what they ended up as in the regular season. We had Chris Paul in New Orleans, Richard Hamilton in Detroit and lots of other players still in cities they ended up leaving. Nevertheless, we’ll score one for the simulation exercise, especially because most of us saw a Heat-Bulls matchup as inevitable and there weren’t a lot of people picking the Spurs to go this far.

We’ll have to try this again next year, though only in the aggregate. That daily thing was grueling …

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