Monday, March 12, 2012

NBA 2K12 Defensive Game Plan Analyze Your Opponents Hot Zones


I recently started a challenge with my NBA 2K12 readers which I call Coach2K's  Best of Seven Series challenge. I started this challenge because when I was younger my friend and I would always play Tecmo football and we would always pick a team from opposite conferences, play a season and meet in the Superbowl. The NBA season is pretty long so we never did a complete NBA season but we would always play a best of seven series like it was the finals and whoever won had bragging rights.

I always found these series to be pretty intense and we always had to shoot like 80% to win. If you missed a few jumpers, it was so hard to come back.

To recreate that I started my challenge and this article represents my first in a series of articles about breaking down the game to figure out how to win against my opponent. The first breakdown is on analyzing your opponents hot zones and shot ratings.

The settings we are using are Hall of Fame, simulation mode and 12 minute quarters. Usually everybody plays 5 minute quarters in quick match, so the idea here is to create a more demanding game in which players might get in foul trouble and maybe get tired. Because of that, it might make it so that you have to rely on your bench in key moments of the game - something you don't have to do really on 5 minute quarters.

If you have read my stuff, you know that I will be playing the Indiana Pacers for all of my games. My first opponent is PSN ID sreckless. He is using the Boston Celtics. Since we are both Eastern Conference teams, the series format will mirror an Eastern Conference finals with two games in Indy, two in Boston and if necessary one in Indy, one in Boston and finally one in Indy.

Boston is going to be a very challenging matchup because the Celtics have a bunch of weapons both inside and out. It's going to be hard to stop everyone.

The first step for me when I break down and opponents game is to look at where each players hot zones are and who has the best shot ratings on the team.

My first few of these were pretty basic. I made a basic chart with some baskets on it. I'd go into freestyle practice mode, choose a team and choose each player and bring up their hot zones. I had some colored pencils and my assistant coach "The Kid" and I would go through and see where the hot zones were.

To the top is my first basic one of these. You can see it was pretty simple. This one was for the Clippers. The first one of these I created was for my Pacers. I used it to get use to where I wanted to shoot. Now, I pretty much have those spots memorized. When it comes to my opponent though, I don't necessarily know them by heart, so I make one I can look at during the game.

In my pursuit of learning to play better defense, the first step is to do my best to get people out of those zones.
For my matchup with Boston, I went in and recreated this idea and fancied it up a little bit with the actual pictures from the game. A snippet is to the right and you can view the full shot chart here.

NBA 2K12 Boston Celtics Hot Zones and Shot Ratings

In looking at Boston, I realized a few things that intuitively I knew but confirmed from my hot zone and shot ratings research.

Those things were:

  • Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are deadly from three.

  • Rondo is the worst shooter.

  • The bench could be a weakness if I could get the starters in foul trouble

  • Garnett is tough from mid range in

My goal in playing defense is to get my opponent to shoot with the worst shooter on the floor. That would be Rondo. And to challenge every shot that Allen, Pierce and Garnett take.

In my next article, I will talk about how I decided to set my defensive settings but in the meantime, here's a video where I discuss my thoughts about this first step.

Related Article


Coach2K: True Pacers fan from Indiana representing the NBA2K Pacers..


Awesome strategy commentary ! Id like to learn more about what you think are some positives to improve my jumper percentage in the game . Rated well just not gettin em to land as often as they should. I think ur on to something with the hot zone research. I'm going to do a little research I my own now. Looking forward to getting some more pointers from ya , coach

If you want to improve your shooting in NBA 2k12, you need to know your shot releases on hall of fame mode, your hot zones and have good shot selection. I talk about that in this article.

I routinely shoot well, because I follow the tips in that article.

Thanks for the comments. Hope to bring some more good stuff your way.

this's quite professional preperation for the game :-) I try to do same for my next association game and see if linking the deffensive setting to each individual player based on their hot zones/ shooting skills would give me W ;-) , Thanks Coach

Let me know how it goes. I wish you could set your settings based on whether they are in a midrange area or a three point area. The key is good basketball no matter what. Take good shots, take care of the ball and challenge all shots and you'll be in almost every game. Shot percentage to me is number one because that eliminates all the easy fast break points teams get.

Hey coach is there a way that you could get together every teams hot zones for me. and weather to double team and play them tight or not. I am in a Online Franchise. I am the boston celtics and im 0-8. i recently found this and i am gonna learn how to play. This would help me out so much. Thanks

What system are you and are you playing real people or are you playing the computer (if so what level)?

I am considering putting together a complete packet but the only thing is that it takes a while to put together each team. As far as the settings go, as much as I would like to tell you that one size fits all on defense, it doesn't.

If you are on the PS3, I'll have a look at your game in real time and let you know where to start improving. Let me know.

yes i am on ps3 that would be awesome if you could go over a few things with me. I am on ps3 almost everynight. except when i work. If you would like to get in contact with me please email me so i can get your email and psn id.

My next game is the warriors which i will proly play within this week. I should be able to pull of this win with the tips off that video. I have spent about 1 hour every night so far practicing.(about 15 minutes with each player).

I do play basketball, not for a league or team. but i understand the game. But i need help with my game,

Thanks Coach2K this would be amazing

Also we play on All Pro

Thanks for the comments. Yes I am on PS3. Keep in touch!

Yeah I have done it actually ok in my association, in most games played really well, I'm working now on quick fouling after loosing ball or when blocked so the opponent dont get easy dunk or layup

hehe are you not asking coach for too much lol Dont think knowledge of hot zones do help you a lot, it could be useful in play offs byt not during a season.

What would be the best defense against okc with 3 point weapons like durant, westbrook, and others

Well you can't stop everybody. I play everybody man with some 2-3 mixed in if I have a strong post player. I start a game by seeing what kind of player I am dealing with. Who does he like to use? Does he drive to the lane and try and get to the rim or drive and kick to a big man underneath or a three point shooter outside.

Once I see what his tendency is then I start trying to take away one thing at a time. Let's say he likes to use Durant. I would then deny him the ball, play him tight and double on the drive.

If he is driving and dishing when help arrives, I'll decrease my help defense.

A lot of these adjustments are on the fly but I try not to adjust to many things at one time. Think team defense first. Keep your guy in position whether you are playing on ball or off. That means man then you then the basket. Protect the basket. If you are getting out of position, keep in mind that your defensive settings will break down.

The toughest player to play is one who can use all of his guys in some fashion and can recognize how your defense is playing. If I see you bring help, I know I can dish it to Hibbert for a dunk for example.

Hope that helps.