Strategy Guide
Utilizing the Three Point Shot in NBA 2k8

Since the NBA’s adoption of the three-point line during the 1979-80 season, the trifecta has become a dangerous weapon when used properly and in moderation.

Using this weapon in NBA 2K8 can be a gamble but it can also become the proverbial “nail in the coffin” that puts your opponent away for good. Let’s take a look at some history behind the three-pointer and how to use it effectively in NBA 2K8.

If you’ve ever played basketball or if you’re any type of basketball junkie at all, you know how effective the three-point shot can be. A team that shoots the three well typically puts more points on the board than a team that does not shoot it well. For example, according to NBA.com, over the last 10 years there have only been three (how fitting) occasions where the NBA champion has shot a lower percentage from “downtown” than their opponents. However, in all three cases the difference was less than two percentage points. Those statistics alone should tell you a couple of things that are important for you, as a gamer, to know.

First, those stats give us a look at how NBA champions view the three-point shot. Yes, the last 10 champions shot the ball fairly well from beyond the arc, but the fact that they held their opponents to a lower shooting percentage from three-point land means those teams defended the shot well.

When playing against the computer, an online opponent or your next-door neighbor always remember to defend that line. Teams with shooters like Jason Kapono, Dirk Nowitzki, Ray Allen and Kyle Korver all become dangerous because of their ability to shoot the three well. Defend those players aggressively and make them put the ball on the floor and go to the basket because that takes away their advantage.

Second, none of the previous 10 championship teams led the league in three-point percentage or three-pointers taken. This tells us that even though the teams understand the importance of being able to make the shot, they also realize that you cannot solely depend on it. Moderation is the key.

Yes, you could potentially live by what I call the “Nick Van Exel” theory - shoot the three until you’re in the game or out of the game. However, successful players do not live or die by the three-pointer.

Again, looking at recent history, another key to using the three effectively is by playing the game “inside-out.” This means working the ball inside first and letting your shooters spot up for open jump shots on kick-outs. The Spurs, Heat, Pistons, Lakers and Bulls comprise the last 10 NBA champions. Of those teams, only the Bulls did not have a big man that could draw a double-team and kick out for open shots. Playing this way helps you shoot a better percentage by getting your shooters better looks at the basket.

One key to shooting the three effectively in NBA 2K8 is to rotate the ball to the other side of the floor looking for shooters spotting up. A quick rotation usually allows for a shooter to get some much needed breathing room to get his shot off without being hotly contested. You can also use the pick-and-roll with your three-point shooter to come off the screen and step back and hit a three. A perfect example of this would be watching any Reggie Miller highlight tape.

There are a few good plays that I personally like to use when playing NBA 2K8 that give my shooters a couple of decent looks at a three.

The first is in the Flex 2 set. Using the PG-PF Pick-and-Roll you can get two good looks for your shooting guard. The first look comes when your point guard gets the high screen from the power forward. Your shooting guard should be sliding toward the corner on the dribble-drive side of the floor. If you penetrate the lane with your point guard you can kick out to your shooting guard for a three. You can also wait for the back screen to be set by the center. This allows your shooting guard to run to the other side of the floor and quick ball reversal gets him another open shot.

A second option I like to use is out of the Flex 3, PG Wing ISO set. Isolate your point guard and then drive to the basket. Your shooting guard should be spotting up in the corner waiting for you to kick it out to him for an open three.

The last set I run is Motion 1, Screen Motion. This gives you two options if you put two shooters on the floor at the same time. Let’s use the Dallas Mavericks to illustrate the point. If you play Jason Kidd at point guard, Jason Terry at shooting guard and Dirk Nowitzki at small forward and run the screen motion you can get Terry coming off a screen for a three and then Dirk is the next option coming off a screen for an open shot as well.

The three-point shot is a tremendous asset to have in your arsenal. Use it wisely, making sure you have open looks before letting it fly. Work the inside-out game with your big man to get open shots.

Don’t forget your fundamentals either. The smallest things mean the most. With that being said, your three-point shot is going to be most effective when releasing the ball at the top of your player’s jump. This thought gets lost in the mix but is one of the most important aspects in using the three-pointer effectively in NBA 2K8.

Best of luck to you and let me know how you use the three!

NBA 2K8 Videos