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NBA 2K9: Tips to Improve Your Offensive Game

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Last time, I gave you guys some defensive tips. However, in the game of basketball, it doesn’t matter how good your D is if you can’t put the ball in the hole. Here are a few tips to make sure your offensive game is top notch too.

Know Your Players

It is imperative to learn the rosters if you plan on having any type of success in this game. Those who watch the NBA on the regular should not need much time to adjust. If you are a casual NBA fan, well then, luckily the game has ratings and tendencies. And you need this knowledge, because if a casual NBA fan sees a "3" icon next to a player like Jason Kapono, he or she may shoot every type of 3-pointer with Kapono, which would not be good; the shoot off the dribble slider ensures that Kapono will not score like he is Kobe (unless your defense is EXTREMELY awful).

The point is, play to your player's strengths. If he cannot shoot, make sure you get to the basket. If he has no handles, don’t abuse the crossover dribbles because the ball will get ripped.


Control the Tempo

You also have to play to your team’s strengths. Athletic teams like to get out in the open floor and run. This type of offense works because the defense has to run back on defense, and it gets tired in the process. Also, when the defense does not have time to set up, it is easy to catch a squad off guard and exploit match-ups.

Methodical teams usually slow the pace down because they are older (less stamina) or bigger (more rebounding). Also, when a team sets up a good shot, it is much easier to set up the defense. 

The Mid-Range Shot Is Your Friend

Far too often, you will play against people who drive to the cup or shoot 3-pointers all game. As much as I hate this type of basketball, I do understand the logic behind it. Driving in for the layup or dunk is more or less a sure two points, while shooting 3-pointers will drive up the score in a hurry. However, when you solely shoot 3-pointers or drive to the basket, your offense becomes predictable. 

The in-between game works because it puts the defense in a predicament. If it sags off too much, you have an open shot. If the opposing defense is not playing tight D, then drive to the basket. Also, on a fast break, more often than not, the defender will look to guard the basket. By pulling up for the mid-range bucket, you are giving yourself an open shot.

Play Calling

This year, it is no longer necessary to call a play every time down the court; there is even a "run the play" tendency in the coaching sliders that is dependent on what each specific coach likes to do. A team like the Phoenix Suns does not run a lot of plays due to the number of veteran players who understand the nuances of basketball. Most young teams (and the Utah Jazz) tend to run plays a lot during half-court sets to make sure they aren’t wasting possessions. 

Now there are some gamers who like to call plays every trip down the court because it makes the game more "realistic" -- no it does not. In the real NBA, the players are so talented that a lot of times, they just play off of each other. It is similar to playing in a pick-up game, except the players are much more talented than you.

The reason coaches run plays is to get other players involved (thus making the defense work) and to set up easy baskets for players who are off to a cold start. If it is not necessary to run a play, do not run one.

Learn Isomotion

There is a tutorial mode in the game that helps you learn the Isomotion moves, but the tutorial moe does not tell you when it is an appropriate time to use Isomotion moves. Isomotion is simply a tool to throw off the defense and should not be abused. For example, if you have a defender shading you to your right, you should not do a spin move in the same direction. Conversely, spinning to the left could leave you in the clear.

There are a couple of moves that are not included in the tutorial:

Fake to the basket layup – While running towards the basket, pump fake and immediately after doing this, press the shot stick towards or away from the basket.

Fake to the basket jump shot – While running towards the basket, pump fake and immediately after this, press the shot stick left or right of the basket.

Step over jumper - Pump fake inside of the 3-point line and immediately after this, press the shot stick towards the basket.

Do Not Abuse the 3-Pointer

You may have a team of shooters, but not every 3-point shot is going down. The 3-point shot is a gift and a curse. It is a gift because obviously three points is more than two or one. However, it is a curse because it is easy to fall in love with the 3-point shot. Also, missed 3-pointers ignite fast breaks for the other team due to the long rebounds.

Establish an Inside Game

Jump shooting teams do not win, period. If you are unable to score on the inside, you have become a one-dimensional offense, thus making it easier for the defense. If you have guys on your team who can drive to the hole at will, use them. If the defense collapses, just kick it out to an open teammate. 

If you have a solid inside scorer, make sure you feed him the ball for the inside baskets. If he is scoring at will and forcing the defense to double, then you have set your offense up perfectly because now all of your shooters have open shots.

Stars Win Games

When your offense is not working, make sure you get the ball to one of your stars to create something. If he is an inside player, try to establish some low-post scoring. At the very least, force a double team.

If he is a perimeter player, try creating for yourself and teammates off the dribble. If you are in the zone and the defense is forced to double, it makes the game easier for your teammates. Lastly, if it’s a close game, make sure the ball is in your best player’s hand.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Force the defense to adjust to you. If you have a particular strategy that cannot be stopped, keep doing it. Only one of three things will happen:

1. Your player will no longer be on fire.
2. The defense will adjust.
3. You will have a big game.

Author: Nathan Marshall

Game files - NBA 2K9

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