It happens every year. You boot up NBA 2K and head over to the Park hoping to get some good games in and you inevitably run into people that make terrible decisions that end up costing you games. The same holds true in the Park for NBA 2K19.
But, you will find the sins committed below are not done by only other players. Most of us have been guilty of previously making these blunders. The key is to avoid making the same mistakes so whether it’s something exploitable or just plain bad play, here are the 5 worst habits to avoid in the Park and what to do instead.
1. Abusing the steal button
This is easily the worst bad habit in the Park and perhaps the most widespread. You can’t go a game in the Park without that one player who relentlessly mashes the steal button. It’s readily apparent too since you’ll see multiple swipes at the ball in a row. Most of the time this puts the defender in a bad position, especially in the open court, but it is rewarded just often enough to encourage continued spamming. Even after Patch 4, which made reach in fouls more frequent in Park games, it is still absurdly prevalent.
Do this instead: Make calculated attempts at stealing the ball and use 2KU to learn the nuance of attempting steals using the right stick. Whereas spamming the button leaves you usually attempting a steal towards the current ball hand, using the right stick allows for more variety so you can time your steal attempt to coincide with dribble moves and their direction.
2. Over-committing to block shots
There’s nothing more terrifying than getting caught on a screen and having to try and close out a shooter. Even worse is jumping to block a shot only to have that shooter pump fake, casually take a step to the side, and bury a wide open three. Not only is the shooter probably going to knock down that shot, but you’ll probably see that same defender over-committing time after time and will quickly become the focal point of the other team until they’ve won the game or that player finally learns.
Do this instead: By all means close out on shooters. Better yet, it might be a good idea to switch on screens. If you have to be the one to guard the shooter, hold down the LT/L2 button to play tight D and press the right stick up for a grounded shot contest. You won’t be able to block the shot but contesting it without putting yourself at a disadvantage is strategically better.
3. Being a ball hog
Speaking of contested shots, time after time I see players just heaving up contested shots in an effort to grind MyPoints for their player. This habit is particularly nasty since MyCareer NBA games typically reward the player for playing hero ball. This can quickly put the team in a hole since this type of play rarely leads to any consistent scoring. It also is irksome for your teammates and can lead to frustration on their part. What happens next is that someone who hasn’t gotten the ball all game finally receives a pass and does the exact same thing because they just want to score too.
Do this instead: Play team ball. The best Park teams set up others for success. Whether through screens, or cutting properly, good ball movement and team play leads to wide open shots and easy buckets. Beyond that, being a good teammate will likely get you the ball more if you’re known for making good decisions.
4. Aggressive help defense
This is the habit that happens out of the best of intentions. Typically a teammate will get beaten off the dribble and in an effort to help out, you crash down on the player slashing to the hoop. The driving player then kicks it out to a wide open shooter who then hits a three. In NBA 2k19 it’s widely known that a wide open three is infinitely preferable to a contested shot at the basket but, in spite of that knowledge, players will still leave a sharpshooter to prevent a driving player from throwing one down.
Do this instead: Come part of the way down and play the passing lane. The driving player is more than likely looking to pass the ball out the minute you start to converge on him. The way around this is to make it look like you’re fully committed in the hopes that he will pass it out while you are still in a position to defend the pass.
5. Being a “Dribble God”
It’s supremely satisfying to break the ankles of a defender and watch them fall to the ground. Unfortunately, there are those that are less dribble god and more dribble fraud. They’ll be spamming dribble moves behind the half court line only to make a beeline for the basket at a certain point and inevitably dribble off of someone’s foot and lose the ball. Not only do they turn the ball over more than just about anyone else, they also miss wide open teammates because they are too busy trying to Shammgod their opponent. These players are also notorious for neglecting defense if they’re not given the ball enough. This is a habit most frustrating to teammates who have to endure it and players that dribble fraud like that should be avoided at all costs.
Do this instead: Be conservative with dribble moves and mainly use them for positioning. Momentum dribbling is a huge boon for those that can do it but it has to be done in the right situations, like making the direction you come off a screen more ambiguous or to create enough space to entice a double team so you can hit the open man. If you really want to learn dribbling, practicing different combos is MyCourt can help so that you aren’t just randomly throwing the right stick around in the hope of getting an ankle breaker.
No one is perfect in Park games. We’ve all made mistakes and fell victim to bad habits. The problem comes when they become something that is regularly a part of your game. Learning how to optimize play in critical situations and learning the “why” instead of being a loose cannon will help to break you of these bad habits and help to spot and avoid those habits in others.