Sunday, July 26, 2015

List of NBA2K Play Types

NBA2K gives you several play types that you can assign to your players. To help you make sense of these play type options, I compiled a list of each of the different play types available. I also included a short description of what those type of plays do and in some of the play types included a video example of a play so you can see what one looks like in action.

In all of the videos, the play is ran against the cpu or versus a user on hall of fame difficulty, simulation sliders.

  • Isolation An isolation play is where you give the ball to one player and everyone gets out of the way to play his man one on one. There are no passes and no screens. In the video, I call an isolation play for David West which turns into an easy bucket for George. Not your typical isolation play but a good result from that playbook.

  • Pick and roll The pick and roll is one of the most common plays in basketball. An off ball player comes up and sets a screen on the ball handler's defender. The ball hander runs his man off the screen and the screener rolls to the basket to receive the pass. Here's a good example of me running a pick and roll play with George Hill passing to Roy Hibbert for an easy layup.

  • Pick and fade mid The pick and fade mid is set up just like the pick and roll with one difference, the roll man fades to an open midrange spot to take an easy jumper. In this video, I run a pick and fade to David West for a jumper. He wasn't as open as he could have been but he knocked down the shot nonetheless.

  • Pick and fade 3 point The pick and fade 3 pointer is where the screening man has three point range. After he sets the screen, he fades out all the way to the three point line instead of the mid range area. Ideally, you'd use a big like Chris Bosh, Kevin Love or Dirk Nowitzki to fade out to the three point line. Bigs like those guys are hard covers for bigs like Roy Hibbert and they really stretch the defense.

  • Pick and roll option The fourth pick and roll play type is the pick and roll option. Instead of the pick and roll being set in the play, the play will respond to how the defense is playing and choose either roll, or fade.

  • Post up low Post up low play types are great for bigs with the ability to do moves that start with their back to the basket down on the low block. If you've got a big with good post moves, you'll want to feed the post and let him dominate inside. Here's a nice low post play I ran for Roy Hibbert that took a little while to develop but got him a nice shot.

  • Post up high If you've got a big who can shoot the 15 to 20 foot jump shot and who's a good passer, then you've got an opportunity to work out of the high post. The high post is the area up by the free throw line. One of my favorite players who worked the high post was David West. He was pretty much money from 15 to 17 feet. Here is a play I used to get Scola open in the high post for an easy jumper.

  • Guard post up There's a special set of play types exclusively for guards who like to post up like bigs. Typically, these are stronger guards that have a size mismatch and decide to take their guy down in the low post. One of my favorite guard post up players was Mark Jackson. In fact, because of him (and Charles Barkley) they added the five second back down rule. But another good guard post up player was Andre Miller.

  • Cutter Cutter plays are an under utilized set of plays in the playbook. The idea behind a cutter play is to get a guy cutting to the basket behind the defense. Often cutter plays end up with the player the cutter play was called for ending up right underneath that basket for a high quality shot. Here's an example of a cutter play that got me a great dunk with Paul George.

  • Mid range Mid range plays get your players shots outside the paint but inside the three point area. You'll often have guys that can shoot good from mid range but aren't so great from three. Those guys are prime candidates for mid range plays. Here's a simple play I ran for Paul George to get him an easy 15 footer.

  • 3 point 3 point plays get your guys an open look from the three point line. They are just like the mid range plays, except they are designed to get your shooters open from behind three point arc. In this video, I use a simple play to get Orlando Johnson a wide open look from behind the 3 point line which he knocks down.

That's a summary of the NBA2K play types you can choose from in the game. If you decide to work on getting your players better looks with plays, assigning them the proper play types is the first step.

The next step is take a closer look at all of the plays within that play type which I'll focus on in a different article.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NBA2K Good Game Finder

As many of my readers already know, I'm from Indiana and if you face me in NBA2K, I'm bringing one team and one team only - the Indiana Pacers. It doesn't matter whether the team is good or bad or whether I win or lose. I'm suiting up for a 12 minute, hall of fame, simulation slider game against all challengers for a full 48 minutes.
In search of hometown users and true fans of NBA2K teams: Do you use the team from where you are from or are a diehard fan of in NBA2K regardless of the roster? If so, you need to read on and get your name on my list below.

For the last three years, I've been on mission to find guys just like me, for each of the 30 teams in the NBA. It's just a lot more fun to play guys that care about their squad than to play the guys who use the super team of that particular year.

I eventually kind of gave up on that personal quest. I resigned myself to the truth that I'm probably never going to find my counter part playing NBA2K in Utah, in Denver or in Phoenix to name a few NBA cities even though I know they might be out there playing the CPU instead of users.

While my search did lead me to some great players (and now great friends) for about half of the NBA teams, I have since passed that mantle on and entrusted the search I started to PSN Alabamarob. He is from Atlanta, uses his Atlanta Hawks and shares my original goal.

So what this post is all about is finding people just like me, just like Alabamarob and just like other guys I've met, suiting up with the same team year in and year out to help connect them with like minded people to make themselves available to play games among true fans of their respective NBA2k squads.
You don't have to be in a league to be on the list. If you'll suit up versus users using your squad and want to be included that's perfectly fine. Not everyone can play full time in a league and that's ok. But play often enough that you know your team well.

Below is a list of each NBA team and underneath it, I want to start keeping track of guys who indicate an allegiance to one NBA squad. You'll want me to put your name on this list IF:

  • You live in or near that NBA city I'm just outside of Indianapolis. I know guys in DC, in Milwaukee, in New Orleans and more. Are you using the team from the NBA city where you live?

  • Are a die hard fan You are a die hard fan of the team. You watch the games. Heck, you might even be a season ticket holder as I once was.

  • A user of that team every year You'll use your team year and year out in the game.

  • You play NBA2K versus users If you don't play the game versus people, it's just doesn't provide the same experience. If you won't ever play people, then you might want to move on.

  • You'll play complete games win or lose and on the right settings The game plays best in a 12 minute, hall of fame, simulation slider game. And it also is best if you finish what you start so no quitting is allowed even if you are getting killed (as I have many times).

  • A regular roster user You spend time working on learning how to make the best of the squad your team has got in real life and don't want to rebuild the team or find guys for the team that suit your play style. You'll work with what you've got.

  • Care about the game you put on the floor more than winning or losing You care about your play style. You want to know how to improve it and will work over time to do just that even if it means losing more than your share of games.

  • Have a good internet connection You got to have a good internet connection in order to match up and provide a good game experience.

If you are still reading this lengthy post, now comes the good part. I'm going to list each of the NBA teams below and as guys identify with their NBA teams, I'm going to add them below.


Atlantic Division

  • Philadelphia 76ers PSN everydayis2K

  • Boston Celtics PSN csofva

  • New York Knicks PSN qX_Prince_Xp, PSN Gotbeats

  • Brooklyn Nets

  • Toronto Raptors PSN Superman5190

Central Division

  • Milwaukee Bucks PSN obamasllama

  • Chicago Bulls PSN VJosDad

  • Cleveland Cavaliers GT Nba2kMadden4Lif

  • Indiana Pacers PSN www-coach2k-com

  • Detroit Pistons

Southeast Division

  • Atlanta Hawks PSN alabamarob

  • Miami Heat PSN alwaysglobal

  • Charlotte Hornets GT jaypthree44, PSN tadeus8423

  • Orlando Magic

  • Washington Wizards PSN DC_Biggavelli


Northwest Division

  • Utah Jazz

  • Denver Nuggets

  • Oklahoma City Thunder PSN skipper_the_flip

  • Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Portland Trailblazers

Pacific Division

  • LA Clippers

  • Sacramento Kings

  • LA Lakers GT kiyenb

  • Phoenix Suns

  • Golden State Warriors PSN fluffycat2000

Southwest Division

  • Memphis Grizzlies PSN jpboy89

  • Dallas Mavericks PSN Ray2Kay, PSN TrentenTV, GT dontjumpmove

  • New Orleans Pelicans PSN redstickgamer

  • Houston Rockets

  • San Antonio Spurs

Alright, so let's start making a list of guys that rep certain squads all in one place that people can refer to. Put your information in the comments, include:

  • Your team

  • Your system

  • Your PSN or XBoxOne Gamer tag

Also as you match up with people report back with some of your results.

So share this post and help me get the word out!

Coach2K Pacers Battle RedStickGamer Pelicans!

The C2K Pacers continued their C2K Summer League schedule with a highly anticipated game versus the RedStickGamer Pelicans. The Pelicans won their second straight regular season league championship this year and Coach2K hadn't played the Pelicans in quite a while.

Both teams ran with an adjusted free agent summer league roster without rookies courtesy of our league commish PSN Alabamarob. Because of that, C2K felt his squad would be overmatched going into the game.

Even though this was a summer league game, it still ended up being a classic. I want to thank Sam Pham for putting together a stellar recap of the game.

I think you'll enjoy this recap alot and so you won't want to miss it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

On the Court with Coach2K Podcast


It's time to get off the bench and On the Court with Coach2K. Tune in as the coach talks about the NBA, NBA2K and of course, his C2K Indiana Pacers.

As an NBA2K veteran and hall of fame level player, Coach2K and his guests share everything they know about the game, their thoughts about the different NBA2K game modes like MyCareer, MyGM, MyLeague and MyTeam as well as their opinions on the NBA news of the day.

You can subscribe via iTunes by clicking the link below:

Subscribe via iTunes

If you have a chance, please leave an honest rating and review of On the Court with Coach2K on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes immensely! I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!

You'll find a link to the latest episodes in the right sidebar.

Follow Coach2K on Twitter for the latest updates.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

C2K NBA2K15 Summer League Begins

Commissioner PSN AlabamaRob announced today that the 2015 C2K Summer League is about to begin. Sixteen C2K League team owners have decided to participate in this year's summer league.

This year's summer league will be in a "world cup" format. Teams were seeded based on how they did in the C2K playoffs and then were divided into four pools. The top four seeded teams headline each pool and the remaining seeds filled out the pools in order of seeding.

The New Orleans Pelicans owned by PSN redstickgamer won the C2K League championship this past season and received the top seed.

The C2K Summer league will feature the PSN embracethapace updated NBA2K league rosters.

Complete coverage of games will be on each player's team page and twitch channel, SamPham and Coach2K YouTube channels and on Coach2K's Twitter feed. For information on joining the C2K League contact PSN alabamarob.

Below are the teams in each of the pools and the rules of this year's summer league.

Pool One

  • New Orleans Pelicans PSN redstickgamer

  • Cleveland Cavaliers PSN tdot2ny

  • Milwaukee Bucks PSN obamasllama

  • Portland Trailblazers PSN icthyroll07

Pool Two

  • Houston Rockets PSN dramaman728

  • Washington Wizards PSN dc_biggavelli

  • Sacramento Kings PSN loso_34

  • Phoenix Suns PSN manzy77

Pool Three

  • Atlanta Hawks PSN alabamarob

  • Oklahoma City Thunder PSN monsterfred79

  • Indiana Pacers PSN www-coach2k-com

  • Charlotte Hornets PSN tadeus8423

Pool Four

  • Golden State Warriors PSN roger168

  • Toronto Raptors PSN superman5190

  • Detroit Pistons PSN oswegomustang

  • Orlando Magic PSN jonxjonx251

Rules of the summer league:

The summer league rules are as follows:

  • Rosters: EmbraceThaPace updated NBA roster

  • Game settings 12 minute quarters, hall of fame difficulty, simulation sliders.

  • Controller settings Defensive and box out assist strength set to 0. Manual shot contest.

  • Coach settings Manual

  • Other settings Shot meter and shot feedback turned off, no pausing except during timouts or end of quarters, no skipping free throw routines

  • Verified settings Screen shots or broadcasts of settings must be presented.

  • Streaming One team must broadcast game usually the home team.

  • Completed games only Games only qualify in standings with a completed game box score.

  • Pool play Each team will play each of the other three teams in their pool two twice - home and away. Ties between two teams with same record in pool will be based first on head to head record then if tied by margin of victory

  • Knockout rounds Top two teams in each pool will be reseeded one through eight and participate in a best of three series.

  • Championship round The championship will be one game.

Be sure and follow all of the action. Follow C2K on Twitter for updated information as it comes out.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Best NBA2K Audio Settings

I'll admit it. I'm probably going a little bit overboard with this post but since I'm 48 years old and don't actually go play competitive basketball anymore, I do what I can to make a game of NBA2K feel like a real experience.

So today, I thought I'd walk you through the steps I took to get a better in game experience.

  • Turned off each song in the soundtrack In general I like the soundtracks but whenever I record videos I get the stupid copyright warning on my videos so one of the first things I did was uncheck every song in 2K beats.

  • Turned off 2K beats and 2K beats overlays Wasn't sure if they would still pop up so I shut off the 2K beats overlays.

  • Turned the PA volume to zero I noticed that even though I had unselected the soundtrack selections, songs still played in the timeouts. So, I moved the PA volume to zero. Problem solved.

  • Increased the sound effects, crowd noise and player chatter I increased each of these settings to 100 to get the full effect of of the game sounds.

  • Left the commentary volume at default Since I don't talk during my streams, I left the commentary volume at 85 so people watching will have something to listen to.

  • I bought a decent set of headphones To block out the noise around me and to get the audio right in my ears, I picked up a set of decent headphones so I can hear and get into the chants of DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE or cringe if I hear MVP! MVP! if I in someone else's arena. Every now and then you can pick up fans in the game calling your players horrible or things you might not have noticed. I play late at night so this helps keep my house quiet.

  • I adjusted the headset volume the PS4 settings I adjust the PS4 headphone settings to the max. It's louder but not so loud it's harmful.

It's a lot more fun playing games this way. Occasionally though, some players mics send a lot of static through and I found out that if I play team up I can't hear the players in the party because the arena is too loud. So you'd have to adjust before you go into a party.

What kind of things do you do to immerse yourself more in the game? Let me know in the comments.

To get the latest C2K Pacers news be sure and follow me on Twitter.

How To Play Sim Defense in NBA2K

After dealing with tons of users managing my C2K League and playing tons more, I've developed a pretty strong opinion on what is and is not considered cheese.
My Definition of Sim: Work first to play in a way that reduces what your opponent can complain about, next to play like real basketball and finally work to play basketball like your real team would.
Contrary to what most people might think, more cheese happens in NBA2K on defense than it does on offense. Probably the number one reason people quit league play was not because of things people did on offense but more because of tactics that were used against them on defense.

What I've found even more interesting is that guys that wouldn't even consider cheesing you on offense, won't think twice about doing it on defense. I remember one guy constantly complained about all of the things people did on offense as he sat in his 1-3-1 defense on every possession.

So what I'm going to do today, is lay out three things:

  1. What I think is cheese on defense

  2. My philosophy on how you should play defense

  3. Why you should consider playing defense the way I recommend

Let's talk first about some of what I think is the most common cheese on defense.

  • Pressing full court all game No NBA team does this. And while I along with everyone else with a little bit of skill can navigate through it, it's just annoying.

  • Attempting to take charges everywhere This tactic was so abused that it forced 2K to modify the game so people would just fall down in alot of situations so it would just be a no call.

  • Constantly spamming of the steal button Usually used in conjunction with pressing and charge taking is the constantly hitting the steal button with high rated stealers all of the time.

  • Excessive fouling Some guys just hack all of the time out of frustration.

  • Zone defense NBA teams don't play zone very often. Sure some pull a zone out or use zone principles but while it is used in real life, there are five guys actually controlling the defenders. In NBA2K, the zone just breaks the offense and in my mind cheats most users. In past years, the 1-3-1 zone was the cheese zone of choice. Now, the most common zone employed is the 3-2 zone because it looks like man when you are coming down court. Defensive settings used in conjunction with zones is worse in my opinion. And using zones with the best man to man defensive teams in the league shouldn't even be considered an option.

  • Heavy use of CPU double teams Far and away the most abused defensive control behind the steal button is the double team button. Certain teams trap alot on defense in real life but not ALL game long. They pick their spots.

  • Trapping all over the court It's natural to trap in the corners but not in the middle of the court or on the sideline.

  • Abuse of the defensive settings The defensive settings have a place but usually they just allow users to play every one tight, or smother everyone - something not normally possible in real life. It just doesn't make any sense to me that you can make your point of emphasis "protect paint" and then still play everyone tight. If you want to play everyone tight, the game should just make protect paint unavailable. I can see playing one guy tight and protecting paint. That makes more sense.

  • Use of different controller settings than your opponent Using always for contesting shots or maxing out your defensive and box out assist while your opponent works off harder settings of zero and manually contesting shots isn't fair play. Both users should operate off the same controller settings.

  • Spending all of your time off ball on defense While I'm perfectly fine for someone to start playing the game playing off ball defense, most guys play off ball defense roaming while the using CPU double teams. Straight up off ball defense without the use of L1 where you are actually trying to guard your off ball defender or manually taking time to adjust a defender is fine in my mind.

OK. So those are some of the things I consider cheese that people do. Let's talk about what I like to see people do on defense and why. I'm calling this sim defense not because it simulates a certain team but because it forces YOU to play the defense and just doesn't allow you let the computer play defense for you.

  • Run a good offense A good offense getting good shots is the best defense. It drives how well your defense plays. It makes others have to play against all five of your guys on defense and also keeps guys in better position if they miss a well selected shot. A mostly CPU controlled defense hides flaws in your offense that you need to fix. A manually controlled defense kicks its intensity up when you are playing well on offense.

  • Use only man to man defense I think every user should only play man to man defense and never use zone.

  • Contain your defense within the three point area Many users are constantly outside of the three point area. I think that for the most part, all five of your guys should be in there. I'd play shooters a step outside of it, ok shooters on the line and poor shooters a step or more inside the line.

  • Your sole focus should be on staying in front of your defender You want to focus on one thing on defense and that's staying on the invisible line between your man and the basket. That's the single most important thing on defense. Second is contesting shots and third is blocking out.

  • Use only sticks on defense Lay off the buttons and only use sticks on defense. You'll foul less and keep your opponent off the line.

  • I'm favor of manual defense I think that you should play on ball defense the majority of the time (85-90 percent of the time).

  • Set the POE's to the strength of your lineup on the floor at the time Set POE's to what your team is good at depending on who is on the floor or the identity of the team.

  • Leave defensive settings on auto Instead of adjusting the defensive settings leave them on auto and go off ball to manually bring help when needed or to play a shooter tight.

  • Never use CPU double teams If you want to double the ball, I think you should bring the player doubling manually. The CPU doubler will always double harder than you will, manually creating an animation that's unwarranted giving the defense and unfair advantage.

  • Manually control hedging options In pick and roll situations, I think you should switch to the screener and elect on the spot whether you want to hedge or not and be able to do it manually not by setting.

  • Stopping your opponent one out of two times is all you need to worry about If you take this approach you'll stop your opponent enough times to be in every game. Your opponent will stop himself the additional times you need.

I've talked about what I think is cheese and my basic defensive principles. Now I want to talk about why I feel the way I do.

  • You don't need to do all that on defense to win It surprising that the basic defense I mapped out in section two above often creates more turnovers than someone working like crazy on defense and tweaking every last setting. Playing solid keeps you in nearly every game.

  • Not every team in the league plays lockdown defense In NBA2K, with the use of the settings, you can make every team play above their head and play the same as every other team.

  • It creates less complaints If you got to ask if what you are doing is cheesing, it probably is. If people feel cheesed what they are really saying is I felt cheated. When you get done with a game, you want people to feel they got outplayed, not cheated. People who feel cheated out of wins never play you again and you lose out on a good opportunity to build your group of guys to play.

  • It creates a better gaming experience Playing manual defense and not CPU defense creates a better opportunity for a users players to play like they are supposed to and not do whacked out stuff they do when a defense is cheesed up.

  • Playbooks can be used more effectively Defensive cheesing makes players have to freelance their way to wins instead of running offenses. Manual defense allow players to freelance AND run plays. Guys that can at least run an offense against you enjoy the game more.

Those are my ideas on defense. I know that for many of, you'll have your arguments for and against many of these ideas. That's OK.

I still play everybody regardless of playstyle and say feel free to play how you want. But if you want to know my opinion. Then there you have it.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to follow me on Twitter to get the latest on my C2K Pacers.

How to Practice in NBA2K

If you want to improve your game to a hall of fame level, you really need a practice routine to supplement your actual game play time. While there are many good tutorials out there, I'm not sure I've seen a specific guide put together for the sole purpose of practice.

So today, we talking about practice!

Now from the looks of NBA2K's barebones approach to putting practice options in the game, it appears they are taking the Allen Iverson approach to practice and not giving us many ways to do that.

But regardless of the tools they give us to use, unless you are one of those gifted gamers who can pick up a controller and instantly be a master - which I am not - practice and study is essential to improving our games.

I'm always amazed when I see forum posts about NBA2K, that many people think they are good enough and shocked at the mere suggestion that maybe they could get better still. What they are saying is that more practice will not make them better. Don't let this be you.

I always feel there are ways for me to get better through input from others suggestions and through practice and study of the game.

There are two basic approaches to practicing in NBA2K.

  1. Practicing in modes specifically designed for practice There are currently two practice modes in the game. One is freestyle practice mode where you can work on individual skills like shooting and dribbling and scrimmage mode where you can work on team skills like running plays without the shot clock running.

  2. Practicing by playing in games Practicing in actual game situations using the quick game, MyLeague and My Career options versus the CPU and others versus users like quick match or play with friends.

While I am one of those guys who would practice free throws for an hour back when we could do that, my guess is that most NBA2K users don't take that kind of time to practice simple skills.

They probably use freestyle practice mode to see what releases their players have, take a few shots to get the timing down and then spend the rest of their time learning through the experience of actually playing games.

Very few people probably use freestyle practice mode or scrimmage mode for any length of time mainly because many find that type of practice boring and would rather learn by doing.

So what I'm going to do here is go through the process I use to get better. Now I'm by no means the greatest player in the world but I do get better and stronger throughout the year.

I've beaten some of the most skilled NBA2K players at least once if I get a chance to play them multiple times and I've knocked off the hall of fame cpu on many occasions as well - once by scoring all of my points with only one player which was crazy.
My philosophy on practice is simple. Work with one player at a time to master one thing at a time. Eventually, you'll master the whole team.

Here is the process that I go through to get better with an individual player. My goal, learn to use any player at the times he might be needed.

  • Pick a team I can't stress enough the importance I place on picking one team. Once you are an NBA2K veteran, it's a lot easier to roam from team to team. A lot of players pick a team that matches their skills. The best players spend time working on being an expert user of one team even if it doesn't match their skills and learning how to play as that team would and not how they want it to play.

  • Pick a player on that team Start with one player on that team that you will focus on. Your job will be to learn everything you can about that player. I find it's easiest to start with the point guard.

  • Analyze that players strength's and weaknesses Each player has a unique set of skills. What you'll need to do is go into that players attributes, tendencies, signature skills and personality badges that make that player tick. Your goal will be to figure out how to put that player in positions that he is comfortable with.

  • Set your settings properly Always practice at the hardest level. Set your settings to hall of fame, sim sliders. Then if you play on easier level, the game will be easier.

  • Use the same camera angle Set up the camera angle in practice to match the one you'll use in the game so you have the same perspective across all modes.

  • Use freestyle practice mode Take that player into freestyle practice mode. Identify where that player likes to shoot from the most. Work on that players shooting release and unique set of individual skills. If they are three point shooter, work on three points shots. Post players work on post shots. If they are a dribbler work on mastering their dribbling. Work on those things the player would actually do in the game. I tend to work on one move at a time and then go into quick games to do them in games. Then I come back to practice mode and work on another move to repeat the process. I keep my practices basic though and work primarily on the basic fundamentals like set shots and layups. You won't see me spending a lot of time practicing iso moves, step backs and so on. The reason I don't is because my goal is to show you can win games without a ton of "stick skills" and still play an acceptable game style.

  • Use scrimmage mode I personally don't like scrimmage mode because I want to recreate game situations that incorporate the shot clock, the game situation, the crowd. All these factors come into play during a game that affect play. I know players that spend a lot of time in scrimmage mode and you can learn just as much in scrimmage. It's just my preference. The good thing is that you can take your time in scrimmage mode.

  • Begin playing quick games vs the HOF CPU I start playing quick games to begin learning my players. Sometimes, I'll use good teams and other times I'll just pick a team I want to eventually beat or one that I might be playing versus a user soon after. The key is getting your player on the court and playing. When playing these games, I don't worry about the score. All I worry about is practicing what I'm working on.

  • Start working on that players plays In quick games vs the HOF CPU, I begin by calling plays each time down for the player. I often focus on one play specifically for awhile just like I do with individual skills. Although it's not always the greatest playbook. I use my team's default playbook almost exclusively. Over time, I learn a players playbook and how to quickly cycle to them by heart. This helps me in my real game situations.

  • Give yourself a license to cheese When I am working on one player, my goal is to totally dominate with that player until I have learned as much as I can about them as I can. This means I might do unusual things like score a 100 points or focus on getting a ton of assists. What tends to happen when you do this is that you really learn that players strengths and weaknesses. I remember when I was learning Gerald Green, he would always miss a shot on the left elbow in late game situations. Always. For some reason that was his tendency. Learning this helped me know not to shoot when I found Gerald Green on the left elbow in late game situations because he repeatedly failed to hit it. When a player does that, you can't blame the game if you know that is his weakness. You have to learn to stay clear.

  • Begin a MyLeague on player lock for that player After some initial work in quick games, set up a MyLeague season with chemistry, trades, injuries and stuff on so you can work with your team for a season. Set your controller to player lock and play at the position of your player. You'll have to play as your player and his backup also but thats OK.

  • After you play a game look for incremental improvement in the next game After you play a game, review that player's individual season stats. Focus on improving certain statistical categories in the next game. For example, if the player you focus on is a good three point shooter and you only hit .250 from three in that game, your goal in the next game is to shoot a higher percentage than that. What will happen if you do this is you'll start to improve your shot selection. Do the same with other categories as well like turnovers and assists.

  • If you struggle, it's OK to reduce the difficulty It's perfectly fine to start on a lower level. I learn some of my best skills on rookie level that I was able to translate to hall of fame.

  • Move on to the next player Once you are comfortable using that player, repeat that process for the next player and the next. Eventually you'll be pretty good with each player on your team.

After I've learned to play as well as I can with individual players, I then turn my attention to getting better as a team.

  • Use the ladder I rank the other NBA teams by level of difficulty and start playing against the HOF CPU's worst team controlling all five guys - no player lock.

  • Study the other teams roster I study the other teams abilities and see what their strengths and weaknesses are.

  • Play that team over and over I then play against that team over and over until I beat it. In the process, I might get beat quite a bit but I'll find out what players I need to stop, I learn what plays they like to run, where they like to shoot and also which guys do well on my team against them. After awhile I will beat that team and then move up the ladder

  • Use the method of incremental improvement I look at the box scores after the games to see who can improve and work on improving their stats to sharpen my decision making. Again, noticing things like when shots go down to avoid taking them.

  • Move up the ladder I then move up the ladder to face the next team on it until I get to the top team.

This, in general, is my practice strategy. It does take some time but it does work. Now I don't do it with every single player but I do focus on certain ones and in the process learn about the other players on the team either by watching what the HOF CPU can do with them or as a by product to my other practices.

Other important things you need to do:

  • Analyze film With the streaming capabilities we have, there's no reason not to stream your games and archive them on twitch to look at. Watching film after the fact can you help you recognize opportunities for improvement and things you might not see in the heat of the game.

  • Learn to read defenses and be a master of your playbook You'll want to pay close attention to how defenses play you and learn to counter those defenses with good offense. I often notice people play deny Paul George the ball and will call a play to set him on the weakside and he'lll make a back door cut for an easy dunk.

  • Watch your real life team and try and copy it What rotations does the coach use in real life? What offensive sets do they run? Who is taking shots? Ask yourself if you can copy what they are doing with your NBA2K team.

  • Control your game play Once you get fairly decent with your players, you can start to control the statistical results you get. While I could score 75 with Gerald Green that's not realistic. Work on that.

  • Clean up your game Once you go through this process, use any feedback you about your game to clean out what causes complaints or that might be considered an exploit.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff to write about the game today. But if you take this approach of incremental improvement of working on one player, one thing at a time, or a similar approach to it, you'll find vast improvement in your game.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to follow me on Twitter to get the latest on my C2K Pacers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to Play Sim Basketball in NBA2K

When I first started playing NBA2K, I played a whole season versus the CPU on pro difficulty winning a championship with a team I'd never use now - the LA Lakers. I don't know what I was thinking.

Anyway, it wasn't long after that, I found out that you could play games versus other human opponents. I liked that idea. I wanted to play against a person who could think and adjust.

It was also around this time I switched from the Lakers to the Pacers and began playing games with them in quick match.

Quick match was a whole different arena. Suddenly, I found myself playing the best teams in the game over and over, swarmed by full court defense, guys taking charges, traps everywhere and getting blown out. It was like a bunch NBA2K warriors fighting to the death.

I wanted to play a better game than that.

Back then, not as many people recorded games and I wanted to find users to play. So, I put an offer out there to record games of people who agreed to play me and in exchange I would then put that footage on YouTube whether I won or lost and some guys took me up on that offer.

One of the reasons I did that was because I wanted people to criticize my gameplay so I could learn how to put a better game on the court. I wanted to use the feedback I got to find out what I shouldn't do in the game.

What's cool is, if you have a PSN username like www-Coach2K-com - as opposed to one say like hellokitty23 - people are more than happy to say your game stinks here and here and here. And oh yeah, here too.

I also got feedback about the play of the users I played. They didn't all bring a clean game either. Many of them brought their quick match mentality to my games. So I learned what people liked and didn't like from my play and also from there's.

As I got that feedback, I slowly tried my best to get rid of what people didn't like with one goal in mind - to win or lose games against users in a way that people could feel like they got an enjoyable game.

And while I can't do that in every game every single time or make everybody I play a happy opponent, I can do it often enough now that I don't ever play quick match anymore and spend hours playing users that care more about their game.

Chances are if you have played other users, you've experienced a similar path as I have. Someone will eventually tell you that what you are doing is cheese and you aren't playing sim basketball.

So the purpose of this discussion today is to help you get started finding ways to put a cleaner more respectable game on the court.

This is not the complete guide to sim ball.

It's just a collection of simple things that you can start with that will serve as a foundation for putting a better basketball game on the NBA2K court.

  • Pick a team to master that not everyone uses I can't count the number of times I played the Heat during the Lebron James era. Surprisingly, I don't see those guys that were born and raised in Miami and always fans of the Heat anymore. It gets old playing the same top teams over and over. There are 30 teams in the league and it's a blast playing in every NBA arena as well as facing different players. More guys playing more teams is a good thing for NBA2K.

  • Spend time practicing with your team and learning what they can do There are a lot of skilled players in the NBA and with enough practice you can compete against the vast majority of players you meet with any other NBA team if you know it's strengths and weaknesses. While it's perfectly fine to try and dominate with your best player at first, there's a full roster of players that can kick it into gear for you. I once saw Rasual Butler go on an absolute murderous three point barage versus me - something I probably wouldn't see from anyone but a Wizards expert who knew his squad inside an out.

  • Use your team in all game modes Each of the game modes from MyCareer, MyLeague are opportunities to learn more about what your team can do. If you play MyCareer for example, you can watch the CPU use the other players on your team or if you play MyLeague you can play on player lock to learn certain positions. The more you can learn about your team the better and each of these modes has something to teach you about how you can use your team.

  • Play to learn first, win second I've lost way more games than I've won. I don't set out to win the day the game comes out. While I want to win just like everyone else, my main goal is to learn the whole team and get stronger as the year goes on.

  • Play 12 minute, hall of fame, simulation sliders The game plays great when you play on the right settings. If you want to play sim, it starts with a 12 minute game. After all, that's what they play in real life. Once you get used to playing the 12 minute game, you might not ever miss it. I feel cheated in a short game. There's more strategy involved in substitution patterns, foul trouble and fatigue that just doesn't happen in a short game.

  • Set your settings properly Set all of your coaching settings to manual and set cpu defensive and box out assistance to zero and shot contest to manual. If you are afraid to do it all at once, work your way towards that goal. You want to be completely in charge of all aspects of your team.

  • Play all challengers When good teams appear on the schedule, real life teams don't skip past them. Don't be a dodger. Play people you don't like to play to put your sim style on display and to the test against actual people.

  • Follow proper NBA2K gaming etiquettte I wrote at length about the things you can do in my NBA2K etiquette post to make the game more enjoyable. Most people probably won't even notice you do these things but will notice if you don't.

  • Play man to man defense all the time and nothing else Playing zone gives your opponent something to complain about. Most users won't say it, but they think zone is cheese and if they lose to it, it just gives them something to point to and say well, I would've have won that one if he didn't go zone. Players for some reason like to use zone with the strongest teams in the league and that's even worse in my mind. Others like to go zone periodically just to mix things up but that's basically saying, I cheese a little bit when I need to. You don't need to.

  • Spend 90 percent of your time playing on ball defense While playing off ball is fine when you begin, at some point you need to make the transition to playing on ball defense. On ball man to man defense is respected in the community. Playing off ball is not. Yeah, you'll suck at first playing on ball but you have to learn some time. Might as well start today. It's ok to manually switch periodically to bring help or make an adjustment but move back as soon as you can to the ball.

  • Manually guard the pick and roll In pick and roll situations, manually use the screener's man to hedge if that's what you want to do defensively and then switch back to the ball.

  • Don't press full court Get back on defense and don't press full court. It's annoying to spend 48 minutes breaking a press, no one in the NBA presses full court all game and neither should you.

  • Don't extend your defense Keep your defense either a step outside the three point line or just inside the three point area. Your guy is not going to shoot from half court. No sense guarding him out there. If you see an opportunity to trap in a corner ok, but unless your team is aggressive in real life, keep your defense contained.

  • Lay off the steal button You've all seen the swipers with Chris Paul. Just because you have a guy with a high steal rating doesn't mean you should be out there swatting all of the time.

  • Don't use L1 to double team The use of L1 to double team is the most abused defensive button in the game. You don't have to use it. If you choose to double team, do it by manually bringing the doubler over. CPU double teams are more effective than manual ones. Stick to the manual ones.

  • Don't run around taking charges Another quick match habit that you need to get rid of. If a guy runs at the rim, feel free to position yourself in front of the restricted area. Don't attempt to take charges all over the court.

  • Don't inbound the ball from the baseline to half court Keep your point guard near the baseline and inbound the ball there. Don't run all the way to half court and throw a half court pass to inbound the ball unless there isn't much time on the clock.

  • Use timeouts A real game has timeouts. Use them to rest your players and make changes.

  • Layoff turbo and slow down Take your time on offense. Layoff the sprinting around everywhere.

  • Don't zig zag Don't move your guy back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until you get open. That's stupid.

  • Don't chuck threes all game Some guys shoot a huge number of threes. Work some ball movement into your offense and remember there are post players in the game and mid range shots. Use them.

  • Don't worry about money plays or exploits Don't search YouTube for exploits or money plays. Every game is different. Nothing will work all of the time against every opponent.

  • Don't try and score all of your points with your star player I have no problem with guys learning to use their players and maxing them out. Once you know what a guy can do, there's no need to score 70 or 80 points with him. Use him to create shots for other people and learn how to dominate with them to.

  • Start running plays from your playbook or freelance motions The game is built with 100s of plays and an elaborate freelance offensive system. Start utilizing it one play at a time. Start with auto plays if you have to then graduate to manual play calling.

  • Use the playbook the team is given You can't take custom playbooks online. Use the one your team is given. The coach is part of the team too just like your players. You should work with the coach you have in real life.

  • Use your bench players In a 48 minute game, start learning how to sub either manually or on auto and using your bench players. Often they provide a spark your starters need.

  • Don't call multiple timeouts so you can keep your starters in Some guys will call multiple timeouts so they can rest their starters. Don't do that.

  • Watch your real life team If you are a true fan of your team, you are probably watching the games anyway. Run the sets they run. Pay attention to the substitution patterns the coaches use. Try and play the way they play in real life. If your team runs in real life and you do it in 2K, you can point to the teams real life play style to support your play. If they pound it inside and you never drop the ball down low, you don't have that evidence behind you. If your team never runs trapping defenses, maybe you shouldn't either.

  • Finish every game you start The Pacers played almost their whole season without Paul George. Never once did they leave the court early. No team ever quits a game in real life because they are required to play. If you are getting killed, use that time to practice certain skills. If you are winning, work on your bench players. The game is deep and there is always something to learn.

  • Congratulate your opponent on a good game Good sportsmanship is a lost art in online gaming. Don't let that be you. Be a good sport.

There's a list of things you can do to improve the quality of the game you put on the court. I'm sure there are other things I could add, but that's a good start.

Remember, you don't have to become the player you want to be overnight. It's ok to do it in steps and improve your game over time.

If you have any tips you want to add let me know in the comments and follow me on Twitter for my latest games.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Be a Better Opponent in NBA2K

While you can't pause the game to replay yourself posterizing your opponent anymore (thank you 2K for removing that), there are still a lot of things that you might be doing that annoy your opponents.

Unfortunately even I'm that guy sometimes (just by writing this article people will label me like that), but nobody wants to be "that guy" if they really want to improve their game. So what I did here was put together a list of simple things that you can do to be a better opponent in NBA2K.

Now before I start, I do want to point out that this is not a list of how to play "sim" or to point out what I think is "cheese". These are things you can do that don't take a lot of effort on your part that can improve the gaming experience for both you and your opponent - most of which will go unnoticed if you put them into practice and that's the whole idea.

A lot of these things we've also adopted in league play, many at the suggestion of our C2K League commissioner PSN AlabamaRob. And so, I wanted to thank him for his input as well because I didn't even consider some of these things until he brought them up.

  1. Ditch quick match type games - As soon as you can find people to play the game the way you like to play, start moving away from quick match into a better game setting. Nothing teaches more poor game play habits than the quick match arena does.

  2. Have a solid internet connection - At the top of the list of things you need to be a better opponent is a good internet connection. Nobody likes to play a game with lag. While occasional lag is unavoidable for even the best connections, if you get constant complaints about lag in your games then it's probably you. Do something about it.

  3. Notify your opponent immediately if you have lag - If you have lag, let your opponent know in the beginning part of the game. Don't wait until near the end of the game and then start complaining about how the game has been lagging and you want to quit. Once the game is well under way, just deal with it and don't say anything. Really this rule applies for any problem you may have.

  4. Don't play during bad weather - During severe weather, there's a good chance the power might go out and with it your connection. Don't play during storms.

  5. Don't start a game you can't finish - It's surprising that sometimes guys will start games they don't have time to finish. Make sure you have time to finish what you start. There's nothing more annoying than getting ready to start the fourth quarter and get a message that says, I have to go out to dinner, I can't finish. One time, a guy paused and told me he was drunk and needed to stop which was hilarious but still annoying. Of course emergencies do happen and I've had those happen to me on the rare occasion. Just make sure you've got the time to play.

  6. Be prepared to play again if the connection gets lost - How reliable the connection is sometimes outside each players control. I go into every game knowing the connection might be lost and am always prepared to play again - even if I felt I had that game in the bag. It sucks but I don't count any game a win unless it's finished and so I will always play again to finish a game completely. My rule of thumb is I give it three tries and then agree to try later if it doesn't work out. When I was commissioner, I was always amazed at how many people felt they deserved a win after three quarters of play. Yeah it sucks, I know, but as far as I know, they don't count any game in real life that didn't finish. All I'm saying here is agree to run back any game if the connection is lost even if you were winning and felt the game was yours and if you lose in the run back - as often happens - be a good sport about it.

  7. Be the road team - I always choose to be the road team and let my opponent have home court. This is the automatic option if you invite, but you can always make the offer by moving over. While it's not always an advantage in their favor, some arenas are definitely more difficult to play in than others if their team gets it going.

  8. Have a team identity - I know when I step on the floor each game who I am going to be. I don't have to cycle through every team just to ultimately choose the powerhouse team of the year. Personally, I prefer playing people who use their hometown NBA team or at least one that they use full time. I know that isn't always possible since some people don't have an NBA team where they live and not everyone is like me in that regard. But have an identity of some type and be that person online. My identity is to suit up with the Pacers game in and game out and make the best of it - even if the roster doesn't suit my skill set. The game needs more people playing the teams that aren't superstar teams. Consider picking one and sticking with it every year.

  9. Show what jersey you are choosing - Sometimes I've chosen my team's alternate jersey against the Lakers and somehow we both came out in yellow. It's a good practice to show what jersey you want to suit up with and then I can pick the opposite and help me see my players better.

  10. Only have one guy stream the game - We stream all of our games in league play but have made a general rule that home team streams. This will usually be the guy who received the invitation. So whoever receives the invite would stream. If you have a good internet connection, then you are probably fine streaming. I stream all my games and only on occasion have lag. Sometimes lag will happen if we both stream.

  11. Be open to playing everyone multiple times - No one learns anything from a guy who won't put his skills on the floor against them. Put your game out there and let people learn from it or criticize it. Be open to playing people more than once so they can get to know your tendencies and learn how to stop them. I've played some guys 50 times. When you do that, you get so familiar with what the other guys does you start to take it away. That forces the other guy to learn how to do something new he didn't know how to do until he was forced to work on it.

  12. Don't expect your opponent to play the way you want them to play - Expect that during the game, your opponent will do things you don't like. I haven't played a game yet where I liked everything my opponent did. I remember playing in pick up games in real life where I absolutely hated how the other guys played. NBA2K is no different.

  13. Set all of your settings before the game tips off - Before the tip off, go in and set your controller settings, coaching settings, defensive settings, etc. If it happens that the game won't let you right before tip, do it on your first possession.

  14. Don't pause the game to make changes - Once the game has started, only make changes as you can during breaks in play and during timeouts. Don't pause the game to make settings changes or manually make substitutions. Call timeout and do it there. Nothing is more annoying than being in the middle of a possession and then the game pauses. If it's an accident that's one thing, but that's pretty rare but it has happened to me where my thumb flipped off the stick and onto the pause button by mistake. I usually apologize after the game if that happened.

  15. Don't skip the free throw routines - Let the free throw routines play out without advancing them. This allows people to make changes to lineups and POE's manually without burning timeouts.

  16. Don't pause the game to point out you didn't like something - When something happens on the court you don't like, don't pause the game to show your frustration.

  17. Don't pause the game to send messages about someone's gameplay - Once the game starts, play the game, don't waste your time telling your opponent how you want them to play.

  18. Don't pause the game to show off stats - Don't stop gameplay to show how great your stats are to your opponent.

  19. Don't quit - Once the game is underway, play the game out win or lose no matter what. Somewhere along the way, it became acceptable to quit and just give guys wins. I'm not sure why. Certainly if your opponent wants mercy, just let them have it but never ask for it and take your losses like your take wins.

  20. Don't do stupid stuff if you are losing just to make the other guy quit - Not throwing the ball in, not playing defense, shooting full court shots with the idea to get your opponent to quit so you don't have to is childish.

  21. Be a good sport if you are winning big or losing big - If you are winning big, there comes a time when you are just piling on seeking some sort of total annihilation. Slow the pace down, put your bench in and work on stuff to make your game better. If you are losing, start working on certain players or certain plays. Use that time to your advantage.

  22. Watch your mic - I remember when my son was younger listening to guys let the profanity fly with my child in the room. It was pretty annoying.  Trash talking is fine, just keep it clean. Some guys have tons of background noise and others mics are staticky. Check out your mic with a friend to see how well it works before you use it.

  23. Try and win in such a way that the other guy can't complain about - Do the best you can to take the negative feedback you do get about your game and get rid of it. You want to win without your opponent being able to point to it as the reason they lost. I once watch my son play a guy and both of them successfully alley-ooped on every possession. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.

  24. Play man to man defense exclusively - The NBA is a man to man game. While zone is employed in real life from time to time, zone doesn't work properly in the game and can turn the game into a freelance fest. To illustrate my point, in real life weaker teams use zone the most and in NBA2K, you often see guys using zone with the strongest defensive teams. This just gives your opponent something they can complain about if they lose. You can and should play man to man defense exclusively in every game especially when using the strongest teams in the league.

  25. Start working on an offense - Get into your playbook and actually start using it.

  26. Don't fight cheese with cheese - I often hear guys on YouTube use any excuse they can offer up to give them a license to play however they want on their side. Develop a game that's respectable and stick to it no matter how the other guy plays. Fight cheese with a good game plan even if you fail to win with it. Stick to your style and game plan. Do the best you can to play the right way as you understand it and be open to the fact that you can always play better.

  27. Don't send messages about gameplay at the end - At the end of the game, offer up a good game to your opponent even if you didn't feel that way. No need to duke it out via PSN message or some rant on a forum or Twitter or whatever. Let the game be over and move on without criticizing.

  28. Don't offer your opinion of how the other guy plays - Even if he asks for it, don't offer a critique of someone's game even if they ask for it.

  29. Create a post game recap - Get in the habit of posting all of your wins or losses. With the ability to connect your console to twitter, it's incredibly easy. I post nearly all of my results along with the box scores to give people something to follow. Often in league play, I write up a game summary. Other guys in the league have written some incredible game recaps and it's really cool to see.

  30. Share what you know about the game with others - I used to play my friend all of the time and he convinced me that being open about the "how" to do things benefited both of us because it made us each tougher if we had equal knowledge of the game.

  31. Don't adopt a win at all costs attitude - Growing up watching Bob Knight at Indiana University, he would sometimes throw games to teach his players what they needed to learn. That is because he knew that you learn more when you lose than when you win. Winning isn't the most important thing. Getting better is.

So there you have it. Those are my 31 tips to being a better opponent in NBA2K. Overall, the best think you can do is just be a good sport and do the best you can. Hopefully, these tips will help you out. Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions.

You can also follow me on Twitter for all of my game results.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Greatest Indiana Pacers of All Time

Since it's the offseason, I've been playing NBA2K with an Ultimate Legends roster created by Brian Mazique. One of the coolest things about the roster is that he created a Reggie Miller that I can use in the game.

Those of you who follow NBA2K know that Reggie is one of the two most wanted classic players that just aren't available in the game because of licensing issues. The other most requested player is Charles Barkley who he also created.

That's a real bummer for true fans of their teams who want to use their classic players.

Anyway, while he has done an excellent job with his roster - the Reggie he created is great by the way - I thought there were a couple of players he could have included on the Pacers legends team.  I'm hoping that when he does his next Ultimate Legends Roster he can refer to this as a resource for who I'd like to see on the Pacers legends roster.

Since I've been watching the Indiana Pacers since the 70's, watched nearly every game of Reggie Miller's career, was a season ticket holder for several years , went to the 2000 NBA Finals and am probably the most dedicated Indiana Pacers user in NBA2K history, I feel pretty qualified to at least create a list like this.

While keeping in mind a list like this is always a subjective exercise, especially considering I didn't see many of the guys from the ABA days, I still think it's a pretty good roster.

Currently, NBA rosters allow for 15 players and so that makes it real easy to create three teams and have my first team, second team and third team selections along with why I chose them.

First team

These are the guys I would pick to start on my greatest Pacers team.

  • PG - Mark Jackson - Mark Jackson is my choice for the best point guard in Pacers history.  I chose mark because of his close friendship with Reggie Miller, his ability to deliver the ball in the right spot at the right time and the fact that he was on the only Pacers team to reach the NBA Finals. Plus the NBA changed a rule because of his post play. When they change a rule because of you, that's impacting the game.

  • SG - Reggie Miller - Reggie gave Indiana fans some of the absolute best playoff memories in NBA history. Eight points in nine seconds, the great games in Madison Square Garden and the clutch shot to beat the Jordan led Bulls in the conference finals were just a few of those memories. Reggie is in the Hall of Fame, played his whole career for Indiana and has his number retired by the Pacers.

  • SF - Paul George - While he is young, Paul George is one of the most athletic small forwards to play for Indiana. He led the Pacers to two straight Eastern Conference finals and made two NBA All Star teams. Plus he's an absolute blast to use in NBA2K.

  • PF - Jermaine O'Neal - While Jermaine started in Portland, he got new life in Indiana. He's the Pacers career leader in blocks and had six straight All Star team selections.

  • C - Mel Daniels - Daniels is one of the few Pacers that I never saw play. He was on 3 ABA champions and was a 2 time ABA MVP. Daniels number is also retired in Indiana.

Second team

  • PG - Don Buse - While I don't remember much about the game, I actually saw Buse play in person. He was an ABA champ and an NBA season assist leader.

  • SG - Jalen Rose - Rose was a member of the Fab Five, was on the Pacers team that made it to the NBA Finals. My best memory of Jalen was when he and Reggie both scored 40 points apiece versus the Philadelphia 76ers in 2000.

  • SF - Roger Brown - Brown was another one of those ABA players who I didn't see play. To his credit, Brown was an ABA champion, a hall of famer and earned the right to have his number retired by Indiana.

  • PF - George McGinnis - McGinnis is from Indianapolis, played for Indiana University was ABA champion, ABA MVP and has his number retired in Indiana. I also saw McGinnis play but it was when he was closer to retirement.

  • C- Rik Smits - Smits was the second pick in the draft behind Patrick Ewing and on Pacer teams that went to the several conference finals and one NBA Finals. He had one All Star team selection. My favorite memory of Smits was when he hit the game winner versus Orlando in the playoffs. I actually got to meet Smits once. He was a super nice guy.

Third team

  • PG - Vern Fleming - While I could have given the third team spot to George Hill (two conference finals) or Travis Best (NBA Finals), I gave Fleming my third string nomination because of his longevity with the Pacers at the point guard spot.

  • SG - Billy Knight - While I saw Knight play, I put him on the third team because he was both an ABA and NBA All Star selection.

  • SF - Danny Granger - I put Granger on the third team because he was an NBA All Star, is the Pacers point per game leader and also because I absolutely loved using Granger in NBA2K. I even nicknamed my NBA2K arena the "Granger Zone".

  • PF - Dale Davis - Davis was one half of the Davis boys with the other half being Antonio Davis. Davis was an all star selection, spent nearly a decade with Indiana, was on numerous conference finals teams and had one NBA appearance.

  • C - Roy Hibbert - In spite of Hibbert's departure from the team, he was an All Star Selection and helped defend the rim effectively enough to help lead the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals and has been one of my favorite players to use in NBA2K.


I'm hoping that in future versions of NBA2K that we will have the opportunity to customize coaches in the game and this is my list of the best Indiana Pacers coaches in franchise history. I didn't include Jack Ramsay even though he was definitely a great coach as well as a hall of famer. He deserves to be a Portland Legend more than a Pacer one.

  • Bobby "Slick" Leonard - Leonard is probably the greatest Pacers personality and coined the phrase BOOM BABY! whenever Reggie hit threes. He led the Pacers to ABA Championships and I listened to him broadcast many of Indiana's games.

  • Larry Brown - Brown was the coach that got Indiana to it's first NBA Conference Finals back in 1994. One thing I loved about Brown was he had a special place in his heart for the old ABA teams in the NBA.

  • Larry Bird - How can you not like Bird. His playing was Legendary and he's the only coach to get Indiana to the NBA Finals.

  • Frank Vogel - I believe Frank might be the winningest NBA coach in Pacers history. While not the best x's and o's guy, his motivation and belief in his players got Indiana to two consecutive NBA conference finals.

Other guys I considered

There were other guys that I liked alot for Indiana. Guys like Chuck Person who served up some of my first favorite NBA playoff memories, David West and George Hill for their contributions, Travis Best as a backup to Mark Jackson, Derrick McKey because Larry Brown loved that guy so much, Detlef Schrempf and LaSalle Thompson for bringing a new attitude to Indiana and to Bob Netolicky from the ABA days. There were also players that came through Indiana that were great players but I didn't feel they were true Blue and Gold players.


  • Market Square Arena - If they ever give NBA2K the ability to have classic arenas, I'd love Market Square Arena to play in. That place was loud and the crowds were right on top of the floor. The best thing about the Market Square Arena days is that is where the Pacers first found playoff success. There is nothing like fans tasting playoff success for the first time - everybody in the arena is in to it. Today, our fans seem use to success and it's not as a big a deal as it was when the team first went through it.

So there you have it. Those are Coach2K's selections for the greatest Pacers players of all time. Thanks to Brian again for creating his Ultimate Legends roster. It's been a blast to play and I hope he does it again next year.

Who is your team and who would you put on the roster? Let me know in the comments below.