In the game settings menu, there's an option for "Shooting Type". You can choose from one of two options. The first is "User Timing" and the other choice is "Real Player %". I've noticed there's some confusion on how I think these two settings work and which one is better for you to use.
Option #1 - User Timing
The default option is user timing. Each player in the league has his own shooting release. Paul George will have a different release than CJ Watson who will have a different release than David West. Because of this, you'll have to know each player's release (and how much space they need) in order to be effective with them. Some releases are easier to learn than others.
Each release can either be very early, early, excellent, late or very late. You goal is to get an excellent release on every shot you take. But even if you do get an excellent release, it doesn't mean that it's guaranteed to go in. It also doesn't mean that a shot release that wasn't excellent won't go in either. Those can go in even if not perfectly timed.
How likely that is will depend on the difficulty level and sliders you are using and whether it was a good shot, who was guarding you, whether your player has the ability to hit shots from there, the game situation and the defensive scheme employed at the time.
Option #2 - Real Player %
The other option is real player percentage. What this does is remove shooting releases from the equation. Because of that you can shoot the same with each player. You just shoot, release and not worry about timing. Each player's unique release point is no longer a factor, it's up to the percentages.
The other things are still important and still effect the shot. The difficulty, sliders used, the defense, shot selection and who is guarding you all come into play.
Which Shooting Type Should I Use?
The first problem I see with these two choices is how they are named. Because they named one shooting type by putting the word "real" in it, it gives the impression that it will provide more realistic shooting percentages and therefore must be better and even more challenging. Guys that stake their claim to sim basketball often feel it's more sim to use real player percentage because of that.
One of the other reasons that guys gravitate to that option is because they have played guys in quick match and have been torched. They've assumed that this is because his opponent knows the releases and all there is to it is getting an excellent release and the shots go in. While it's true to some degree, it's not the only factor.
The biggest factor is taking good shots. No matter what option you choose, good shots go in. What a good shot is - is debatable. Players often equate open shots as good shots and they aren't always good shots even though they can be.
But of the two options, user timing requires more skill and knowledge of your team. With user timing you have to not only take a good shot for that player, you also have to shoot right with him. So to me the difference between the two options is that one requires knowing shot releases and one does not.
Of the two options, I feel user timing is harder not easier and that's why I recommend it. Also, if you play users online, the only option is user timing. It makes sense to make your skills portable from mode to mode.
To me, I think using user timing also makes the game more sim because I have to shoot different with each player instead of just hitting a button and not worrying about it. It also makes the game more interesting if I know I've got 12 unique players to learn how to shoot with.
Keep The Focus On Taking Good Shots
I've shot a high percentage (over 70% on 12 minute quarters, hall of fame difficulty and simulation sliders) in games using user timing and also in games where I have used real player percentage. To me the over riding factor is taking good shots. If you do that, you will do well.
What's a good shot? Well that's going to depend. Only time spent playing with your team in tons of situations will tell you what a good shot is for each player on your team. You have to recognize each players unique abilities and apply that to the game at hand based on the defense being played, who is on the floor and the game situation.
Which Do You Use?
How do you feel about these two choices and which do you use? Let me know in the comments.