Welcome to the playoffs, where the top four teams from the Strat-O-Matic regular-season simulation -- Chris Ballard, Joe Posnanski, Alex Wolff and Paul Forrester -- competed for the title. As you'll see below, the best-of-seven semifinals yielded a tight Finals matchup headlined by two players whose real-life rivalry defined the NBA in the 1960s. You can click on the score lines to view box scores that provide a glimpse into how each series unfolded according to Strat-O-Matic's playoff simulation. And the Ultimate Basketball Draft champion takes his victory lap here.
RECAP: This series belonged to LeBron James, who, after missing Ballard's Game 1 loss with an injury, averaged 37 points, 6.8 rebounds and 10 assists in the next five games, four of them wins. James finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in the Game 6 clincher, which went to overtime as Forrester, playing without the ailing Shaquille O'Neal again, rallied after falling behind 38-19 through the first quarter. O'Neal also was unavailable for Game 3, but Forrester won that one behind Kevin Durant, the team's top scorer in the series at 23.4 points (on 55.4 percent shooting).
RECAP: Wolff's comeback from an 0-3 series deficit came to a stunning halt in Game 6. Michael Jordan shot only 9-of-37 from the field at home against a rotating cast of defenders that included Grant Hill, Michael Cooper and John Havlicek, a shocking display after his 14-of-26 showing in Game 5. Meanwhile, Wilt Chamberlain absorbed a pounding from the likes of David Robinson, Dave Cowens and Nate Thurmond and produced 28 points and 13 rebounds for a Posnanski team that led all the way. Wilt was at his best in Games 1 and 2, combining for 77 points and 31 rebounds in two home wins.
RECAP: Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell lived up to the billing when the top two regular-season teams met in the Finals. Chamberlain saved his best performance of the playoffs for Game 7, when he erupted for 45 points and 17 rebounds to rally Posnanski from a six-point deficit entering the fourth quarter. Russell had 10 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and six blocks in the decisive game, but Wilt prevailed thanks in part to some help from Havlicek (20 points), Julius Erving (18 points, eight assists) and Dolph Schayes (18 points). The Big Dipper averaged 28.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in the playoffs, making him the postseason MVP.