What’s good folks?
Now, I’m not going to beat around the bush with you guys. Going back to last year, I think NBA 2K’s Pro-Am separates the men from the boys. In order to be successful, one has to at least have an elementary grasp of the concept of basketball. Add in the quick thinking already required to man the sticks on any game, and you really have an opportunity to make your homies put their proverbial money where their mouth is.
I figured I’d start this three-part series with everyone’s favorite side of the floor: offense.
You really have to take pride in your offense in this edition of the NBA 2K series or you will be embarrassed. From catching nothing but air on an open three to finding no rim on a layup attempt, I’m pretty sure I’ve just about seen it all.
The 2K team has introduced the ability to totally control your MyCareer in this online mode. You can change the offensive focus and even run sets with your squad. What truly works best, in my experience, is really playing to the strengths of your team makeup. I happen to have the pleasure of playing NBA 2K17 with the same guys I finished ranked in the top 50 with on NBA 2K16. We’re a bunch of basketball junkies who salivated at the chance to incorporate an offense and it’s paying dividends with the changes 2K has made: putting a premium on things such as spacing, ball/player movement and player ability.
Spacing: More than ever before, you really have to pay attention to the details with this aspect of the game. The days of big men congesting the paint until they find a layup angle are done. The pick and roll cheese is no more. You really have to have a feel for the game to be successful this year. Being able to make shots from the perimeter has been the focus of quite a bit of conversation since release and rightfully so. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t practice your shot until you have the release down cold.
And with the inception of the layup meter, I’ve also found that it’s a lot easier to finish at the rim after nailing a couple jumpers. After all, when your man has to guard you tighter, that will lead to open shots at the rim. Sounds eerily similar to reality right?
Ball/Player Movement: Being somebody who has primarily played point guard throughout my basketball career, I’ve always maintained that I would rather dish out 35 assists than score 100 points. Now, if we’re talking about sinking 15 shots from beyond the arc, you might be able to change my mind, but that’s neither here nor there.
On top of that, I listen to most basketball games on mute these days. In part, it’s because I don’t need the commentary to get me excited. Flex screens, ball fakes and backdoor cuts get my adrenaline pumping. 2K sports is rewarding that concept this year. To be frank, you’re not going to have much success with this game by standing around watching. My team and I have come across the occasional cheese kings where a particular player is overly familiar with their jumper and can save a broken play with a moderately contested shot. But with proper defensive adjustments, 30-point wins usually follow. Hence the importance of moving bodies and ball. That’s the name of the game.
Player Ability: I mentioned the cheese kings above in a facetious manner but the reality is, if you know how to play the video game, you’re typically going to be rewarded. The biggest factor in offensive success this season is familiarity with your player’s abilities and skills. The player archetypes innovation has caused uproars, good and bad, but at the end of the day, you determine your success. If you play with a sharpshooter, you need to get looks in order for you to impact your team’s scoring. Slashers need to use that quickness to create mismatches and open lanes across the floor.
So if you have a post scorer on your team and a capable player on the sticks, use that man! The focus on improving big-man interaction has been one of the best things the team could have done and it’s primarily evident on the offensive end. I’m partial to the center who’s the owner of my Pro-Am team because if I’m honest, 60 percent of my threes come off mismatches he creates by being dominant in the paint every night.
My final advice? If you really want the opportunity to stand out and have a good experience while playing 2K Pro-Am, you’ll want to learn at least a little bit more than you already know about this beautiful sport called basketball. Not everyone is motivated by the opportunity to look LD2K in the eyes and tell him I’m the best point guard in Pro-Am, but this guy is.
So whether it’s watching 2KTV, completing 2KU or taking to YouTube to watch Coach K tips, it’s worth the time spent.