NBA Throwback: Simulation Experiment

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With the current lack of sports to cover globally, we’ve come up with a thought-evoking topic. It involves NBA teams and their former players: NBA Throwback. It’s always fun to compare across eras. Many have tried to build “All Time Starting 5s” with players from their favorite team, but what if you could bring back only one former player from a team’s history to join the current day squad? Would you automatically choose the best player in the franchise’s history? Or would you first look at what the current squad needs help with and who would fit the best? We dive a little deeper into these questions in this NBA Throwback series.

NBA Throwback Rules

For more information about the rules we followed, assumptions we made, and simulated results we will have soon, check out the first piece in this series by clicking here or on the Southeast Division link below. Also, be sure to check out the division articles below to see our decision making process and reasoning behind why we chose each NBA Throwback player.

Divisions: Southeast | Atlantic | Central | Southwest | Northwest | Pacific

NBA Throwback: 2K Simulation

We’ve made our way through 30 NBA teams, choosing 30 retired players to join their respective current squads. Now it’s time to put them to the test. What better way to test unattainable basketball comparisons than to put your ideas through a 2K simulation? So, now that our teams are set, we’ve come up with a system that will test our decisions. It should let us know which NBA Throwback player truly had the greatest effect on their new team.

Control Group

To start, we’re going to run a pretty simple set of 2K simulations. We will start at the beginning of the season with the current rosters the way they sit today. Also, injuries, including pre-existing ones, will be turned off. The 2019-20 season will be fully simulated with no manual input from myself. The virtual coaching staff will handle all team situations including minutes, extensions, trades, etc. to allow for variation between seasons. At the end of the season, accolades such as MVP, 6MOY, DPOY, and the All-NBA teams will be recorded. The total number of wins for each team and how far they advance in the playoffs will also be noted. This process will be repeated 20 times to gain a solid foundation for us to test against.

Individual Testing

Next, we will choose one team, likely starting with the 76ers and working our way alphabetically, and add their NBA Throwback player to the roster. We will only test one team at a time to gain a better understanding of which NBA Throwback player would truly benefit their team the most in the current NBA. The same process will repeat five times for each team. This will give us the ability to compare their win totals, accolades, and playoff success to how the current roster performed without additional help.

All for Fun and Fun for All

Finally, we combine each individual roster into one. This will allow all of the NBA Throwback players to compete in the same league against each other. This won’t tell us much about how each individual player helps their squad in today’s NBA, but it is something we’d like to see. Additionally, the same process mentioned above will be repeated with the full NBA Throwback roster 10 times to attain enough results to compare against the original control group.

NBA Throwback Results

Finally, once all of the simulations are finished, yes all 180 of them, average win totals, accolades, and playoff success are to be compared among the different simulation groups. In conclusion, this should provide us an answer to the overarching question: which NBA Throwback player would most benefit their current squad?

For more articles covering the NBA, check out the Overtime Heroics site here and our twitter page here! Be sure to visit the forums page as well for discussions across all sports.

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