Over the past few weeks we have been getting many questions from various players. The main focus has been on stopping people from scoring. I guess everyone can score in 2k but the problem is if you go score for score it’s kind of a pointless game. As the old saying goes…the best offense is a great defense (yes I know the opposite of what Carl von Clausewitz said)! Given the overwhelming request the team has joined to all point out and discuss different variations in the improvements that can be made on defensive strategies in NBA 2k12. This firs post will focus on some of the basic tools that are available but rarely used.
Today’s NBA 2k12 strategy tip zones in on the On The Fly Coaching (OTFC for short) Defensive Sets strategy that 2ksports has introduced. OTF menus are accessed while the game is going (hence on the fly). In NBA 2k12 there are 8 OTFC menus (actually 4 for defense and 4 for offense) that are accessed by pressing different directions on the directional pad. The OTFC menu that were are concerned with today is Left on the directional pad (OTF Defensive strategy).
To access the OTFC Defensive set you want to hit left on the directional pad. Once you have done that, a menu then pops up similar to the one below: To access the menu displayed (image displays Xbox controllers) you want to hit left on the directional pad when on defense.
The defensive menu set displayed above is key to the beginning of adjusting your defense to the style of play for different opponents. While it isn’t the Holy Grail to stopping Lebron, it is the begging of the journey to the Holy Grail. Below we are going to break down what each defensive set does and the instances in which you want to use it.
Do you ever have that guy who plays with a team like the Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks and their entire objective is to kill you from the mid to three point range? They come down and for some reason Channing Frye is open at the corner of the arc and boom hits the jumper. You turn around on the next possession and boom he hits another open jumper with Jared Dudley and no matter how much you help the defense there always seems to be that open jumper or too much spacing on defensive coverage? Well in cases like the Suns, Mavericks and other pure shooting teams, pressuring shooter is what you want. What this does is basically as it says, it applies additional pressure to anyone that is “identified by NBA 2k12 AI (this is key because the flukes will get away)” as a shooting threat. What this does is it doesn’t completely shutdown someone identified as a shooter but it applies enough pressure that you don’t always have to take control of the defender to try and block and nor will the offense continue to rain down shots at a higher percentage. The immediate difference comes in the case of cpu AI defending shots more effectively and limiting some of that extra space that is given when default defense sets are used. One downside I have found with this particular defensive set is that it does result in a lot of contested shot fouls. While they aren’t necessarily dumb fouls they do get annoying when an opposing player notices it and starts to exploit the fouls.
Focus on Stars
This defensive set is possible the most ideal choices available in NBA 2k12 one when facing teams like Miami heat. The biggest problem with Miami or any other star dominant teams (NY, clippers, etc) is that you can’t lend help defense on all of them all the time. Because usually when you do you compromise your defense for exploitation by Dwayne Wade or Lebron James or some other star. What this defensive set does is actually adjust your defense on the fly to compensate for a star player’s dominance. By choosing focus on star you will notice several changes that will occur on defense. Player will start to make more attempts to intercept passes intended for star, player will pick up their man further out on the arc, plays will collapse on star like Lebron when they drive in the lane. The good thing about this defense is that in a nutshell it makes it much more difficult (more difficult, not impossible, not the difference) for your opponent to score with a star player. The biggest pit fall, of this defensive set is that it essentially classifies according to computer AI what a star player is. So those players like Mario Chalmers who aren’t classified as star players, reap the benefits of a looser defense and also being op for three when the defense collapses on the stars. Be careful of when you use this defensive set and who you use it on because just as strong of a weapon it is on defense it can quickly become that strong of a weakness when used incorrectly. I recommend running focus on star and then switching to a difference defensive set every now and again just to keep you opponent guessing. Also try to refrain from guarding the star in this defensive set, let the cpu do the dirty work, trust me they will be good at it.
Constant pressure is as it says. It combats that issue that people have been complaining about when it comes to cpu teammates giving an opponent too much room at the arc. Like I hate when am playing, and my opponent comes down with someone like Brandon Jennings and the cpu is like 2 feet back form him. I’m screaming, dude that’s Brandon Jennings and he is more likely to hit that shot than miss it if you give him that much room. But my shouts fall on deaf ear and what happens? Splash! Jennings for three! So what do I do next play? I take control of the player assigned to Jennings and… Let me interrupt here for one moment and be the first to say that this constant man to man guarding is over rated. All those who tell you only real player guard man to man are the same players who are like 14 and 67. But yet I digress, so I take control of the man guarding Jennings and sure enough I try lock on defense and I get rocked, shook, and not baked from 3 point but rather after being lost, help defense comes to him on the drive so he dishes to the man down low and… Boomshackalacka (yeah some ole NBA jam) goes the rim. So short of quitting what’s my solution? Constant pressure on Jennings and anyone else he wants to throw the ball to. Constant pressure make you plays play closer in your opponents grill and takes away that extra that give them too much room for triple threats moves, shooting and driving. Constant pressure makes them think and work to score. And just like all other defensive sets, this one has a downfall too, and as you can guess it’s the same as pressure shooters. You find that you tend to draw a lot more fouls than usual and that being because everyone is on that constant pressure, as opposed to earlier defense sets that focused on stars or just shooters.
Lock Down Paint
Before you read any further I have to say this is my least favorite defensive set. The concept is great especially for the guys who like to abuse down low with a player like Dwight Howard. However, employing such a defensive set allows for open shooters and basically gaping holes in your defense. The best way we have found to use this defensive set is more so to combat offensive rebounds. This defensive set has a two pronged purposed, as mentioned earlier its commonly used purpose it to lockdown offensive player who like to play down low in the paint. However, the other and possibly best application of this defensive set is to combat offensive rebounds. Choosing which teams to use this one is the tricky part that comes with practice. Essentially you want to you use this defensive set on a team who has 1 maybe 2 offensive 3 point threats outside of their big men. A prime example of this would be someone like Detroit or New Orleans (yeah I know, not many people play with these guys! But it’s just an example you will find more applications for this defensive set).
The above is just the basic introduction and different scenarios in which to use them, one thing we must mention is that no member of our team has ever found that there was a particular defensive set that worked for an entire game. So essentially what we are saying is learn to adjust! The minute that your player realizes that his shooter are gaining extra pressure and hitting shots becomes really difficult, believe you me, he will begin to looks elsewhere for offensive help, which will usually translate into hitting the men who aren’t being pressured as hard. You opponent will sure adjust his strategy so learn to adjust your accordingly. Check back in a few more days for defensive tips to come. Next article we will look at some more advance techniques.
Until later check out more NBA 2k12 tips here.