Over the past few weeks you’ve learned all about dribbling, bounceTek and how to control the handle in NBA LIVE 14. Today we’re going to show you how to put it all together and become a dominant offensive force, capable of stringing together sick moves that will keep your defender on his heels.
Of course, you’re not just playing as the NBA’s greatest ball-handlers, you’re going to be going up against them too. So with that in mind, we’re also going to show you how to defend against dribble moves, as well as getting yourself into position to cut off the offense or draw a charge.
In addition to all that you’ll also get a first look at all the coaching strategies and adjustments you can make on both during pre-game and while in the game itself. It’s the deepest suite of coaching options ever offered in a basketball game, and will give you all the tools you need to adapt and react on the fly in order to succeed.
THE RHYTHM OF THE BOUNCE
To kick things off, let’s take a look at the controller map and how to perform some of the basic dribble moves as well as the signature moves. The most important thing to note is that you can transition between moves anytime and easily chain from level 1 to level 2 to level 3.
In the Control the Handle blog we showed you the various levels of dribble moves and provided a little context on how they worked. Now it’s time to show you exactly how to perform these moves and how to string them together in order to be effective. Check out this video to get a sense of how these moves work, then we’ll dive a bit deeper.
The most important thing to keep in mind when stringing together moves and breaking down defenders is maintaining the rhythm of the dribble. Simply spamming flicks and holds on the right stick will be largely ineffective, and defenders will simply wait you out or, worse yet, poke the ball loose for a turnover. However, by waiting for each move to end before going into the next one, you’re able to more effectively confuse the defense and blow past for the bucket or the pass. It’s critical to pay attention to the speed at which your chosen player performs his crossovers, hesitations and other moves, as that will significantly affect the timing. Due to the strengths and weakness of the ball handler, you will want to attack the defense differently. Kyrie has an explosive, quick style which means his dribbles are going to be fast and furious. Carmelo’s style is more methodical, so you’ll be looking to lull a defender by working off his hesitation move. Since you have to respect his jumper, his hesitation move becomes even more devastating.
Each player’s style is unique, so it’s important to understand your chosen players speed, quickness and signature moves in order to utilize him effectively. Remember that this is a rhythm-based dribble system, and that you can branch into your next move, shot, or pass as soon as the ball is in your hands. For example, you could do the same signature move twice; though branching out of it at different times could give you two different first-step speeds. You can jump right in and play, but once you do it becomes a thing of beauty.
DEFENSIVE CONTROLS SECTION
Even though offensive fireworks may be the flashiest part of professional basketball, any fan will tell you that strong defense and fundamentals are critical to success. “DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS”. Name the last team that won a title but was poor on defense? ….
Just look at the recent success of the Indiana Pacers as an example, they’re able to slow down even the most high-octane teams with smothering defense that forces the opposition into taking contested shots.
We’ll get more into defensive tools and strategies momentarily, but let’s start with the basic diagrams of the controller and how things work when you don’t have the ball in your hands.
A few specific things to call out here, as they’ll help you maximize your defensive potential. Utilizing the slides on the right stick will allow you to quickly react to drives and changes in direction, letting you stay in front of him and force him away from the basket. The right stick also allows you to attempt a dig steal, contest, and take a charge. Also worth noting is the auto-charge feature, which lets you absorb contact and draw the foul without having to push a button. Simply set yourself in front of the ball-handler and if he bulldozes into you while you’ve got position you’ll likely get the whistle and take control of the ball. It’s important to stress that we have balanced this feature to insure that there is a proper ratio of blocks/flops/charges called.
In addition to on-court defensive controls NBA LIVE 14 offers the deepest coaching options in franchise history. For the first time you will be playing against team specific defenses. This is a feature I’m quite excited about because it adds even more depth to dynasty mode and online play. You may have success in the pick and roll versus New York but you may struggle the next night against Boston.
As a user you have the ability to change these at the team or individual level. For instance, if you like the Bulls scheme on the pick and roll but you would like to alter that when playing against Rondo you can. We have also let you adjust your gameplan on the fly.
Before each game you can set up you strategy in various areas from how strongly you pressure the ball to how your guys fight through screens. Knowing who you’re matched up against and the opponent’s tendencies will prove to be a critical element of coaching, as you can tailor your play style on both offensive and defense to nullify the other team’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
Of course, the best coaches in the NBA not only have a strong gameplan going into each matchup, but know how to make the adjustments during the game that will help their team succeed. Fans will have access to this same level of granular detail in-game, as you can make changes on the fly to react to the action on the court. The screen below shows all the adjustments you can make to individual players, allowing you to quickly and easily make tweaks when you need them.
Coaching strategies and adjustments take on a new level of importance when you think about how CourtQ affects the game. For instance, say the night before Kyrie was shaking defenders left and right and driving the lane for the majority of his points then that’s how he’s going to act in NBA LIVE 14 according to CourtQ. Thus, if you’re going up against him in-game you’ll want to go in with a gameplan of packing the paint and playing loose on-ball pressure in order to prevent him from getting past you. This will force him to adjust and shoot jumpers, taking him out of his comfort zone. If he starts raining shots from around the court then simply switch up your defense to put more pressure on the ball and make him the focus of your defensive efforts, forcing him reconfigure his game yet again. All of this can be done at any time with a few quick taps, letting you make the changes you need, when you need them.
This depth of strategy works both ways, as AI coaches and players are also aware of various situations and adjust their defense accordingly. For instance, the AI knows which player is setting a screen and will react accordingly. If you bring up a Stretch 4 don’t expect the defense to hang back and let him pop out and shoot threes. Instead, defenders will continue to cover him as he floats outside, denying him the ball and contesting the shot.
The intelligence extends into late-game scenarios; for instance, if you’re down by three in the last possession expect CPU defenders to pressure shooters and switch on pick and rolls. You’ll have to work the ball around and try to find the open man in a position to score, while the defense looks to deny the perimeter and force you into a contested look.
This just scratches the surface of our deep offensive and defense controls, we can’t wait to see how you will run your teams on Tuesday, November 19, for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. NBA LIVE 14 will also be available worldwide on November 22 for Xbox One, and November 29 for PS4.
If you have any more questions about the controls in NBA LIVE 14 – hit us up on Twitter @EASPORTSNBA.