It’s that time of the year again: yet another edition of the popular NBA video game series, NBA 2K.
NBA 2K22 was released less than a week ago on September 10, and the talent of each and every NBA player has been given a numerical score on a scale from 0-99. Although players shouldn’t take too much meaning from these numbers — it’s a video game, after all — these ratings do, to a considerable extent, reflect a player’s progress and talent, relative to the other players in the league. “Calculated” based on a player’s numerous attributes — outside scoring, defending, and athleticism, to name a few — some of these ratings seem to be fair representations of how good a player is while other ratings are unreasonable, to say the least. The latter most accurately reflects the player ratings of the Clippers ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Namely, Paul George and Reggie Jackson and their impressive playoff performance were not done justice. The two perimeter players were given ratings of 88 and 80, respectively. George being given an 88 is disrespectful. Not only did he lead the injury-stricken Clippers to their first Western Conference Finals appearance, but he also averaged 26.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game in doing so. I think those numbers themselves are enough for at least a 90 rating.
But, just for the sake of bolstering my argument, Jimmy Butler, in comparison, was given a rating of 91 despite being swept and averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in the first round of the playoffs. During the regular season, Butler put up 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per contest. George had similar numbers, averaging 23.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. Thus, there is no reason why the Clippers’ star player should not be given a rating as high, if not higher, than a player Jimmy Butler.
As for Reggie “Mr. June” Jackson, his playoff performance alone should have boosted him up to at least over an 80 — where he is ranked alongside players like Keldon Johnson and Jonathan Isaac, who did not carry a team to the Western Conference Finals. In case you forgot, Jackson put up 17.8 points per contest and kept the Clippers playoff boat afloat, draining 48.4 percent of his field goals and 40.8 percent of his threes. What’s more, his buckets came in the form of big-time shots that brought the momentum to the Clippers or tough shots that acted as the final jab to knock the opposing team over. 80 seems to be an underwhelming number for someone who put on quite a show for NBA fans.
Although George and Jackson were the more notable players who received surprising ratings, the other Clippers ratings were more in line with expectation — albeit lower than I anticipated. Here is how they ranked.
Kawhi Leonard - 95
Serge Ibaka - 79
Marcus Morris Sr. - 78
Ivica Zubac - 78
Terance Mann - 77
Nicolas Batum - 77
Eric Bledsoe - 76
Luke Kennard - 75
Justise Winslow - 74
Harry Giles III - 71
Given the nature of these ratings, it’s hard for every single one of them to be accurate. And though it might seem unreasonable for Clipper fans — especially those who use their favorite team in the game — for some of the ratings to be lower than they should be, the players have a season ahead of them to prove, once again, why they should be ranked higher. If the Clippers continue to play the way they did in last year's playoffs, it will only be a matter of time until these ratings go up.
The Clippers could have yet another chip on their shoulder entering the 2021-22 season.