Well, either that, or the East got a heckuva lot better.
My colleague JakeTheSnake at the Wizards blog Bullets Forever linked to NBA.com's season prediction for Washington, derived from a simulated season of NBA Live '08, the latest installment in EA Sports' NBA Live line. Intrigued, I clicked over to the Orlando Magic page.
What I saw stunned me.
In spite of the fact that four of the five projected starters are on the rise in terms of value, the simulated season has the Magic finishing 37-45, or 10th in the conference. You'd think that the folks at EA would be a bit kinder to Orlando, considering they have a studio in nearby Maitland, but that was just not the case.
For your consumption, here is the Eastern Conference playoff bracket:
- Boston (49-33)
- New Jersey (47-35)
- Washington (46-36)
- Detroit (44-38)
- Cleveland (43-39)
- Miami (43-49)
- New York (41-41)
- Milwaukee (40-42)
Wait, so New York and Milwaukee are in, but Chicago and Orlando are out? It may be fair to say that the Magic are a team on the playoff bubble, but Chicago? They were one win away from getting the two-seed last year. I don't get it. Maybe the computer is biased against undersized two-guards or something.
But I'm not worried -- after all, the whole idea of the simulated season is to promote the video game, not necessarily to provide accurate predictions -- but I am surprised.