In an article posted earlier this week, I had put that Damyean Dotson would represent the Knicks. That came from a tweet from Chris Haynes the night before.
Pardon that mistake. And now, without further ado, the eight matchups with subsequent predictions!
No. 1 Kevin Durant vs. No. 16 Derrick Jones Jr.
Though KD has not played in any real games this year, he is the best player on the Nets. And the top seed for the tournament based on his own high 2K rating. He is better than DJJ at everything but dunking, and he will come away victorious in the first matchup of the tourney on ESPN.
No. 2 Trae Young vs. No. 15 Harrison Barnes
This one will be an exciting matchup. We know how good Trae is in real life, but can he pull from 35 feet in video games effectively?
Barnes’ style of play in the NBA may actually give him an advantage in this one as he has a role to play that is not that of the star. He will defeat Trae in the first upset!
No. 3 Hassan Whiteside vs. No. 14 Patrick Beverley
This features two players known for their defensive abilities, and that will likely shine through in the matchup. If they play as their respective teams, I expect Whiteside to lift his Blazers past the impressive Clippers squad. CJ and Dame in video game form with the game’s best shot-blocker will be too much to overcome for Pat and Co.
No. 4 Donovan Mitchell vs. No. 13 Rui Hachimura
Hachimura is the only (true) rookie partaking in the tournament, and he will have a chance to put himself on the map in a bigger way if he can be successful. Given that Mitchell is a gamer and likely spends more time with the controller in hand, he’s our pick here.
No. 5 Devin Booker vs. No. 12 Michael Porter Jr.
This is going to be the best matchup of the first round between a couple of young guns that are tech-savvy and ready for a serious battle. MPJ is going to pull a narrow upset over Booker in what will be a tightly-contested matchup.
No. 6 Andre Drummond vs. No. 11 DeMarcus Cousins
Drummond has a chance to bring a second title to Cleveland in the past four years by winning it all. But Cousins is going to take what Ronnie 2K said personally about him being annoying and a pain in his keister. Drummond is going to narrowly win.
No. 7 Zach LaVine vs. No. 10 DeAndre Ayton
Phoenix is one of two teams to have multiple players partaking in the tournament. Chicago has its dunk maestro and bucket-getter Zach LaVine.
Whereas Booker is going to lose in the opening round, Ayton is going to pull off the win against LaVine. This one will not be too close.
No. 8 Montrezl Harrell vs. No. 9 Domantas Sabonis
The second matchup featuring two big men. This will be an intriguing one, but Sabonis has the vote here. His passing ability in the real game will help him to find open teammates more often than his opponent in this showdown.
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