(Credit: 2K Sports)The Los Angeles Lakers have an 0-2 record and went winless in the pre-season. Kobe Bryant is playing on a bad foot, Dwight Howard's still getting in game shape and star point guard Steve Nash had to be helped off the court near the end of the first half on Wednesday after suffering a shin injury.
But according to 2K Sports's NBA 2K13, they're still going to win it all this season.
The game franchise's annual early pick of the league champions puts the Lakers on top, predicting the team will beat out the Miami Heat in a best of seven series. Both teams, it says, will end the regular season with a record of 62-20.
Now, before you rush out to stand in line for playoff and championship tickets, you might want to look at the game's track record. Last year, at the start of the NBA Finals, NBA 2K12 predicted the Oklahoma City Thunder would take home the title, leaving Miami holding the bag after seven hard fought games. Of course, the Heat wound up winning the series in five.
Still, predictions can be a lot of fun, so let's see what else the game sees in its crystal ball:
The Thunder's Kevin Durant, who's on the cover of this year's game, is expected to win his first MVP award, averaging 28.5 points per game and narrowly beating out the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony.
The Heat's LeBron James doesn't look set to rest on his laurels, either, with the game predicting a 25 ppg average on a career-high 54 percent field goal percentage. And Chicago's Derrick Rose, who was injured in last year's postseason, seems ready to rebound with a predicted 24 points per game.
The move of the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn seemingly re-energizes the team as well, with the game predicting a first round playoff face-off between the Knicks and the Nets. The Knicks, says the game, will take that series and ride it through to the Conference finals, where they'll fall to the Heat.
To get to the top, the Lakers will have to first conquer the Clippers and Spurs. In doing so, though, they'll earn home court advantage in the Finals, predicts the game, which will set up this season's victory -- the 17th in the club's history.
We'll find out how accurate the game's forecast is next June.