NBA 2K14 can be a bit overwhelming at first. Shiny graphics, players running around everywhere and the ball in your hands with the responsibility to make everything tick.
To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a few quick tips to get you started, including basic plays, positioning and when to take the shot. If you want to read guides for MyGM and MyCAREER modes, follow the links at the bottom of the page.
Give the ball to the point guard
The point guard is the equivalent of the quarter-back in the NFL, or a central midfield playmaker in football. He is responsible for distributing the ball to the rest of the players, bringing the ball up the court and starting plays. Make sure that when starting from your own half that the ball is in his hands – the point guard is usually the quickest and best passer, meaning he is the focal point.
If you try to score and the move breaks down, get the ball back to your point guard and start again. You will quickly realise that the 24 second shot clock is enough time for multiple attempts to find the right opportunity to shoot.
Pick and roll
This is the most basic offensive tactic, but it can be the most effective. As the ball-handler (ideally, the point guard, as he is the quickest and best passer), hold down the B/O button to bring one of the bigger players on the team to essentially block the defender (called a ‘screen’, or ‘pick’), allowing you to have a free run at the basket.
There are several things to be aware of: the first of which is that when you press B/O, depending on how long you hold it, the player setting the screen will behave differently. There are three different moves: ‘slip’, ‘fade’ and ‘roll’, each of which change the movement of the big man after the screen. Stay tuned for a video where we explore the pick and roll in more detail.
The second thing to be aware of is that you must wait for the player setting the pick to plant his feet before moving as the ball-handler to have him block the defender. If he blocks a man while moving, it will count as a foul against your team and you will lose possession.
The final thing to consider is learning to know when to attack the lane and finish with a lay-up and when to pass. As you attack the basket, sometimes defenders who are marking perimeter players (found on the sideline or edge of the three point line) will leave their assignments in an attempt to stop the ball-carrier from scoring. If this happens, it can be hard from you to scoring the lay-up, and passing to one of the now unmarked men is the better option. Practice makes perfect here, it is simply a case of improving reaction times to know when to pass and when to shoot. For a while, there will be times when you pass instead of shoot and vice-versa, but soon you’re racking up the points and assists.
Got a big man? Post-up!
Traditional big men are rare in modern basketball, which is why it’s important that if you choose a team, or end up with a team in your career that has a big man, that you use him often. The Pacers have Roy Hibbert, the Kings have DeMarcus Cousins and the Rockets have Dwight Howard, these are your prototypical big men. Feeding the ball to them ‘in the post’ is a great way the get your team back into a game, or extend your lead. The post is the area near or under the basket, where the big man receives the ball with his back to a defender, and forces the defender closer to the basket with his strength, allowing an easy shot.
L1/LB for Smart Plays
If you’re unsure about which play to use, press L1/LB when in the opponent’s half and the game will select the optimal play for your team. The system is limited, but is a good place to start for players unfamiliar with the best plays for particular teams, and how each play looks on the court. Smart Play can be used at any time, so if you’re unhappy with how things are looking, quickly press it to change strategy and see if it helps.
Use the D-Pad for quick plays
During a game, pressing left on the D-Pad will show your team’s offensive and defensive strategies, but pressing RT/R2 while in this sub-menu will bring up a list of four plays you can choose from. These usually involve your centre ‘posting up’, a good shooter getting open and the point guard working in isolation.