In this episode of NBA Laboratory, we use the video game NBA 2K12 to see what would happen to the Heat if LeBron James had to take all the shots. And, uh, if all his teammates were five feet tall.
Hello, and welcome to the first NBA Laboratory of 2012. As usual, we will use this space to plumb the depths of NBA 2K12, the greatest basketball game ever made.
As of this writing, the Miami Heat lead the league in scoring this season, and LeBron James ranks second in individual scoring (29.8 points per game). He has plenty of help, of course, in Chris Bosh (20.0), Dwyane Wade (19.6), and Mike Miller (18.0).
THE EXPERIMENT: What if LeBron's teammates stopped shooting? What would his numbers look like? What would happen to the Heat?
And, of course, there's the most compelling question: can the perpetually-maligned LeBron James somehow find a way to bring a championship to Miami without anyone's help?
I made a few ... uh ... adjustments to his teammates, and then let it rip. Let's see what happens:
A postscript: Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been retired for months, but he was on the original roster that shipped with NBA 2K12. After careful consideration, I decided to keep him on the Heat because the idea of a 5'3" Ilgauskas cracked me up. Science.
If you have any suggestions for a future NBA Laboratory experiment, I would, of course, love to hear them.
Previous adventures in NBA Laboratory:
Is being tall the only thing that matters in basketball?
Let's make Kobe Bryant super-mad