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NBA 2K17 Pro-Am Primer: Defense

NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Pro-Am Primer: Defense

Ready for round two?

Let’s get it.

This side of the floor seems to really give folks trouble. Part of that is because the offense in this year’s game is overpowering, but the other portion consists of a factor you’ve probably seen me mention already: player ability. More than ever before, you really have to be in-tune with your MyPlayer and his capabilities. For instance, I play with a 6-foot-7 point guard, which allows me the ability to help and scramble defensively without completely deserting my man for a wide open look. Staying within the realm of of your player’s strengths is going to be key in deciding whether you get the stop or you don’t. Improving your “stick skills” is pretty obvious, but three key factors could help take your Pro-Am squad from average to elite: communication, synchronicity and IQ.

Communication: Just like in reality, a quiet basketball team is usually a bad one — with a bit of a caveat of course. My team and I have been together a little under a year now and most of our parties are quiet because it’s already understood what needs to happen. Very rarely do we have to speak anything to one another because we’ve put in the time to get there. This is both a blessing and a curse because sometimes things that would be better addressed than not, go unsaid.

That’s where I, the point guard, come in. The defensive quarterback typically comes from the post spot as he is usually the last line of defense. But for video game purposes, my eyes are always all over the floor anyway, so I do the calling out from the point guard spot. I talk my guys through possessions to allow them to focus on the things they need to do and do well.

Synchronicity: From the first moment I put a whistle around my neck and answered to “coach,” I’ve always maintained one key point about defense: playing great defense does NOT equate to getting steals/blocks every possession. It’s human nature, primarily in sports, to be a bit greedy and to “get mine.” However, in reality, solid defense can be completely nullified due to just one gamble for a steal or a half-hearted defensive rotation.

In hoop lingo, we call it flying around the court, but a great defensive team is five players operating as one complete unit. Guys helping each other and recovering back. Switching screens. Whatever may be necessary based on the matchup in front of you. The most important thing is you need to be there for the man you’re playing with, or you’ll be saddled with as many losses as your ego can carry.

IQ: Plain and simple, nothing I type here will ever compensate for simply knowing the game. I’m extremely disruptive as a defensive point guard in NBA 2K17 because I’ve been around this beautiful game of basketball since I could walk. Being able to read screens and maintain proper footwork actually matters this year as you, the gamer, have been put fully in control.

If I’m guarding your shot creator, obviously I’m not going to kill myself trying to get over the screen. The logical thing to do would be to step under the screen and recover to cut off the dribble. At least until that guy steps behind the screen and nails a 30-foot triple. Then you have to adjust from there. That’s where the IQ comes in. So even if it’s just in passing while you make a sandwich, take a peek at some of the basketball breakdown videos that come a dime a dozen these days. You never know what seemingly minute piece of information stands between you and a chance at $250K.

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