Lakers Dwight Howard and Jodie Meeks exit the court after a 116-106 loss… (Don Ryan / Associated Press )
According to simulations run by 2K Sports, the Lakers will win their 17th championship in June.
Using the NBA 2K13 video game to simulate the entire 2012-13 season, the Lakers tie the Miami Heat with 62 wins but gain home-court advantage by virtue of a regular-season sweep.
Dwight Howard projects to average 25 points and 12 rebounds while earning his fourth defensive player of the year award.
The Lakers, theoretically, advance to the Western Conference finals by defeating the Clippers in a hard-fought seven-game series.
According to the simulation, the Oklahoma City Thunder finish second in the West, just one game behind the Lakers. The two face off on the verge of the NBA Finals, but the Lakers advance once again in seven games.
Continuing that trend, the Lakers will need seven to topple the Heat, according to the simulation.
Of course, in the stark reality of the last few days, the Lakers still need to win their first game of the season. Perhaps 62 wins may be a little generous.
Simulated conference playoff brackets
1. Los Angeles Lakers 62-20
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 61-21
3. San Antonio Spurs 57-25
4. Los Angeles Clippers 53-29
5. Denver Nuggets 50-32
6. Memphis Grizzlies 47-35
7. Golden State Warriors 44-38
8. Minnesota Timberwolves 43-39
1. Miami Heat 62-20
2. Indiana Pacers 52-30
3. New York Knicks 48-34
4. Boston Celtics 46-36
5. Chicago Bulls 45-37
6. Brooklyn Nets 41-41
7. Milwaukee Bucks 39-43
8. Philadelphia 76ers 38-44
Bench rotation still in flux
Lakers talk musical tastes
Lakers update fans on broadcast impasse