NBA 2K14 isn't just about scoring the most points you possibly can on a run. It's also about making sure that the defense doesn't score theirs, doing whatever it takes to keep them from going on a successful run or, worse yet, decimating you during the playoffs.
Yesterday, we posted some offensive tips when it comes to finding open scoring opportunities. Today, we work the flip side, providing you with defensive tips that will keep the other team at bay, so that you can add another notch to the "win" column. Heed these tips well, but remember that you'll need the skills to back them up.
Makes You Want to Jump, Jump
When it comes to playing defense, you'll want to be sure that you're controlling a player that has a considerable height. There's nothing wrong with the "little guys" on the courts, as they're quite capable of scoring down the run. When it comes to defense, however, taller players like Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard will be able to shoot over them with ease.
So, on defense, stick with a player with a moderate height. Not only will you be able to get in their face when they attempt to take a jump shot, but you’ll also stand a better chance of scoring a ball on the rebound. Once the ball comes bouncing off the rim, it's anyone's game when it comes to possession, so make sure you have a player that can rise above defenders and grab it.
One thing, though – when you do jump for possession, make sure it's not too soon. If you jump and intercept an incoming ball before it bounces off the rim, it's considered goal tending, and the opposing team will get the score anyway. Work on your timing when it comes to getting in the air, and you'll be snagging the ball with no problem.
Stealing Isn't a Felony, Though You May Get Punished
When it comes to possessing the ball, some players like to show off with their hustle, with fancy dribbles or handling that keeps it out of the hands of defenders. With these guys, nothing is more satisfying than coming up with the steal, knocking the ball loose and scoring off of a fast break. That said, the refs like to keep an eye open for fouling opportunities, as some folks try a little too hard with their steals.
So, when it comes to steals, watch out for players that don't know how to handle the ball too well. There may be those that pass it a little too often, or are unsure of a shot they want to take from the position they're standing. Watch out for fancy dribblers, too – they're just begging for a ball to be stolen. Find the right moment to swat at the ball, then strike.
If it helps, you can also adjust the sliders in NBA 2K14 to a better advantage when it comes to steals. Turning off these sliders completely enables you to get away with theft on more than one occasion, though the AI – or human opponents – are likely to do the same thing if you shut off their sliders as well. This is completely optional, though. If you want to keep it real, or at least make it a little more in your favor, you're welcome to do so.
Steals aren't just about striking at the ball. Sometimes it's a matter of getting between passers in a lane. Teams will like to pass to open men often, but there are times you'll see a gap where you can stick a player in and let him run away with the ball. It happens more often than you might think.
Watch out for gaps between players and look out for those that pass a little too often for their own good. If you see an open opportunity, go ahead and take it. This means another opportunity at a fast break, and easy points.
Defending, Not Fouling
Defense isn't just about trying for a steal or jumping around. It's about posting up and getting in someone's face, making sure they're covered when it comes to a shot opportunity. You'll want to have your defender get in close, and, if necessary, adjust the play on hand with the in-game sub-menu to make sure coverage is where it needs to be.
In some cases, you may have two men defending one of the players, depending on how well he's shooting in the game. While this may be a novel move at first – and a better possibility at getting the ball with a steal – keep in mind that it leaves another player open on the court. This could set up an easy scoring chance with an alley-oop or, even more humiliating, a wide-open basket for a teammate to sail in.
Try to keep the five-on-five balancing as much as you can, but don't be afraid to break loose from formation – if the basket is covered, that is – to keep someone from scoring an all-important three. Coverage is everything because, without it, you'll have a blowout on your hands. Just ask the Nets from previous years.
The Shot Clock
Finally, there's one more piece to the puzzle when it comes to playing defensively – the shot clock. Players have 24 seconds to get from one end of the court to the other to figure out their shot. To some, that's really all the time they need, looking for open gaps on the defense and opportunities to shoot from the outside.
With that, it's important to keep the pressure on. Keep your teammates covering the players so they don't have a chance to think about their next move. If they're standing around and seeing who's open, go for a steal. If they're getting close to the basket, prepare to jump in their face to block the shot. There are a number of things you can master, as long as you stall them for 24 seconds.
They'll either do one of two things. Most of the time, they'll take a shot in the closing seconds, and, unless they're in a good position, it'll miss and you'll have your chance for the rebound. The other thing is a shot-clock violation, which results in a turnover of the ball.
Pressure, it's everything when it comes to a good defense.
NBA 2K14 is available now for Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3. It'll release on November 15th for PlayStation 4, and November 22nd for Xbox One.