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Monday, October 20, 2008
Updated: October 31, 1:57 PM ET
NBA Live 09 Impact Meter

By Jon Robinson

Can video games predict the future? Past simulations on ESPN have included a perfect week of NFL predictions using Madden and even the Celtics rise from worst to first using NBA Live 08 (although the game had them losing to the Suns in the Finals, oops).

DEEP IMPACT?
We look into our crystal ball (i.e. NBA Live 09) to see how these players will impact their teams this season:

Elton Brand to the Sixers

Derrick Rose in Chicago

Baron Davis to the Clippers

Healthy Oden on the Blazers

Heat with healthy Wade, Marion
and Beasley
Watch: NBA Live 09 Season Simulation

But the NBA Live 09 simulations should be even more insightful. Why? Because EA Sports has tapped Synergy Sports Technology to drive the data of the game's artificial intelligence, and if you're not familiar with Synergy, it's an analytical and scouting service that's actually used by over 25 NBA teams to track everything from player tendencies to their individual successes and failures running certain offensive and defensive sets.

Pop info like that into the game and when it plays out it should be about as real a simulation as we've seen since players turned polygonal.

No longer is the simulation based off of what some EA Sports producer in Canada thought Tony Parker would do in a double team or how successful Brandon Roy will shoot when he drives left. Now the game is actually crunching the real numbers from a real scouting service.

The results? Shocking to say the least, as if this simulation holds true, this is going to be one of the wildest, and should we say, unpredictable, NBA seasons in a long time.

That's because NBA Live 09's season sim includes facts like Orlando finishing with a losing record (40-42), the Utah Jazz not making the playoffs out West, and Charlotte finishing with a better record than New Jersey, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington.

What's not so unpredictable, alas, are the NBA Finals, where Kobe Bryant leads the Lakers to another championship thanks to Pau Gasol actually learning to make some his dunks, not to mention the continued emergence of young superstar Andrew Bynum.

Here is how the league shakes out according to NBA Live 09:

NBA LIVE 09 FINAL REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE   WESTERN CONFERENCE
TEAM W L   TEAM W L
Miami Heat
More on the Heat
55 27 L.A. Lakers 65 17
Detroit Pistons 48 34 Houston Rockets 59 23
Boston Celtics 44 38 Dallas Mavericks 54 28
Chicago Bulls
More on the Bulls
41 41 New Orleans Hornets 53 29
Cleveland Cavaliers 41 41 Denver Nuggets 50 32
Orlando Magic 40 42 San Antonio Spurs 50 32
Toronto Raptors 40 42 L.A. Clippers
More on the Clippers
47 35
Charlotte Bobcats 39 43 Phoenix Suns 47 35
Milwaukee Bucks 37 45 Utah Jazz 45 37
New Jersey Nets 37 45 Portland Trailblazers
More on the Blazers
33 49
Philadelphia 76ers
More on the Sixers
37 45 Golden State Warriors 31 51
Atlanta Hawks 36 46 Memphis Grizzlies 30 52
New York Knicks 32 50 Sacramento Kings 29 53
Washington Wizards 30 52 Minnesota Timberwolves 28 54
Indiana Pacers 29 53 Oklahoma City Thunder 23 59

LEAGUE LEADERS
PPG RPG APG BLKS STLS FG% 3PT% FT%
Bryant
27.9
Howard
12.1
Paul
9.3
Yao/Oden
2.2
Paul
2.3
Howard
53.7%
Kapono
47.2%
Szczerbiak
90.7%

AWARDS
MVP Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year 6th Man Most Improved Defensive
Yao Ming OJ Mayo Phil Jackson Ben Gordon Randy Foye Kobe Bryant