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The Heat will three-peat, according to NBA 2K14

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NBA 2K14 simulates 2013-14 season.

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The Miami Heat kicked off the 2013-14 NBA season Tuesday night by trouncing the Chicago Bulls, but they really just played for posterity’s sake, because the season’s already been decided.

By a video game, that is.

The ballers at 2K Sports simulated the entire upcoming season in NBA 2K14, and -- hold on to your overpriced Heat hats -- it turns out the King will retain his crown. LeBron James and the Heat will finish the regular season with a stellar 66-16 record en route to winning their third straight title. James will also nab his fifth MVP award.

It’s probably worth mentioning that LeBron also happens to be the cover athlete for the game, which features a ‘Path to Greatness’ mode that lets gamers guide the reigning MVP through the rest of his career. So no way there’s any bias here. Not a jot.

To prove it, the simulation also gives props to the retooled New Jersey Nets, who will finish second to the Heat with a 62-20 record. Despite the opening night loss, the Bulls will follow (a mostly healthy Derrick Rose will average 26.4 ppg), though neither team will find a way to stop the Heat.

Over in the West, the Spurs once again dominate a very competitive roost with a 51-31 record and a trip back to the Finals. Dwight Howard’s new-look Rockets squad will manage a decent start by placing 5th, while Kobe’s depleted Lakers somehow scrounge up enough wins to make the playoffs as the 7th seed.

The full conference standings, according to NBA 2K14:

Western Conference

1. San Antonio Spurs 51-31
2. Golden State Warriors 49-33
3. Los Angeles Clippers 47-35
4. Oklahoma City Thunder 47-35
5. Houston Rockets 46-36
6. Portland Trailblazers 45-37
7. Los Angeles Lakers 42-40
8. Minnesota Timberwolves 40-42

Eastern Conference

1. Miami Heat 66-16
2. Brooklyn Nets 62-20
3. Chicago Bulls 59-23
4. Detroit Pistons 45-37
5. New York Knicks 44-38
6. Indiana Pacers 40-42
7. Washington Wizards 37-45
8. Cleveland Cavaliers 37-45

Video game predictions are no laughing matter – Madden has an amazing track record picking Super Bowl winners, for instance – but before you rush off to Vegas to drop money on any of this, it might be worth considering 2K’s predictive attempt last year using NBA 2K13. Though it correctly placed the Heat in the Finals, the game gave the title to the Lakers, who they predicted would win 62 games. Not so much, it turned out.

Still, so long as the Heat keeps making video game plays like this, it’s hard to pick against them.

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