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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks lays the ball up against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Knicks defeated the Heat 93-88.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) Sadly, this didn't really happen.

nba simulation 2011-12

The Virtual Knicks Are 1-0!

As we established yesterday, until the lockout is over (and it's very possible that the lockout will never, in fact, be over), we'll be simulating each Knicks game on NBA2k12 using our PlayStation 3. Upon actually digging into the game last night, though, a few adjustments will have to be made. As Kotaku reported a month ago, the lockout not only froze the rosters from the end of last season, it also made the rookies unavailable. This means the game has no Iman Schumpert nor Josh Harrellson, depriving us of a virtual Jorts. It also means the players are not only locked at their skill set and age from last year, but also that the rosters are essentially the same too. It's almost as if a simulated video game season won't directly correlate with the nonexistent 2011-12 season. Weird! Alas, it is all we have.

So! In the virtual world, at least, the Knicks are awesome. In game one of Pretend 82, the Knicks smashed the Miami Heat 113-97 last night, thanks to 42 points from Carmelo Anthony and 29 from Amar'e Stoudemire. The game was essentially over by the end of the third, which was why Renaldo Balkman got so much fourth-quarter playing time, including one particularly memorable block of a LeBron James dunk. It was a surprisingly thorough thrashing of the Heat and would have had all the NBA tongues wagging, had this game actually existed, and had it actually turned out this way.

We'll be tweaking the rosters throughout the season, to try to make this as "realistic" as possible. (Michael Jordan is in the game, for example. He might fit in right nice at that two-spot. Come to think of it, we could probably fit Chris Paul in at the point, too.) But considering this is all the basketball we're getting right now — and are very likely to get at all, at least in 2011 — we must make do.

Next "game" is Saturday, November 5, at Milwaukee. We hope you don't mind waiting until Monday for that game's "result." But hey: Virtual Knicks are in first place!

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Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images