2K Sports has built upon their ratings and skill dictated in-game icons concept for NBA 2K13. Previously gamers would see wings under the feet of high-flyers, or radars indicating players that were adept at shooting.
This year, the series is expanding that approach to cover far more areas of the game, and to further identify players that really stand out in the game of basketball.
I love the approach.
As I took a look at the skill-sets released for players like Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and even Michael Jordan, I imagine how these skills could be used to construct a team.
Like many gamers, I love doing fantasy drafts at the beginning of Association mode. It gives me an opportunity to play virtual GM.
The Signature Skills approach gives even a novice basketball fan useful information to build a balanced and lethal team.
Like in real basketball, a quality hoops simulation like NBA 2K requires a balanced team to be effective. NBA Teams generally need a post presence, a playmaker, solid defenders, shooters to spread the floor, good to great athletes and players that can get to the rim to score or get to the line.
Teams that have the most or all of those skills will be top contenders or NBA Champions.
If you're building your team from scratch on NBA 2K13, you can easily use the Signature Skills as a guide to fill those roles.
Here are the Signature Skills from 2K Sports Tumblr.
NBA 2K13 SIGNATURE SKILLS
Example Players: Blake Griffin, Josh Smith, Hakim Warrick
A player with this skill will often look to dunk on defenders when attempting a dunk in traffic. To get this skill to trigger there must be a defender in the vicinity. To force big-time contact dunks, his stamina must be above 80. Once the dunk completes, his teammates will be given a temporary energy boost.
Example Players: JaVale McGee, Gerald Green, Paul George
When looking to dunk, a player with this skill will look to perform the most spectacular dunk available amongst the dunks in his repertoire. In order for this skill to fire off, however, he must have a stamina level of 80 or higher. Once the dunk completes, his teammates will be given a temporary energy boost.
Example Players: Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook
This player is adept at finishing contact layups and dunks at a higher rate than others. There is a shot penalty that all offensive players receive when they make contact with defenders in the air. Finishers decrease this shot penalty by 30%. This skill combined with our existing Draw Foul Tendency lends itself well to creating and-one opportunities.
Example Players: Monta Ellis, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili
This is a player that can change his shot in the air without severely reducing his chance of making the shot. There is a shot penalty that all offensive players receive when they attempt to change their shot in the air. Acrobats decrease this shot penalty by 40%. Also, when attempting a hop, spin or euro layup, Acrobats are given a 15% boost to their shot chance.
Spot Up Shooter
Example Players: Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver, Steve Novak
This shooter is known for his ability to spot-up and knock down perimeter shots while shooting from a stand-still position. The penalty that users receive for bad shot timing (i.e. releasing the shot too early or too late) is decreased by 30%. This skill becomes available when the player is standing still, shooting 12 to 28 feet from the hoop and not posted up or dribbling.
Example players: Kobe Bryant, Kemba Walker, Dwyane Wade
A player with this skill can hit shots at a higher percentage than most if he creates space for his shot. For this skill to fire off there are a number of rules that must pass:
- The shooter must break his defender down to create space, either with iso-moves, triple threat moves or drives into special shots (i.e. step backs, drifters, hop shots, spin jumpers, etc). The space he creates when he starts his shot must be more than the space he had when he started to break his defender down.
- The Shot Creator must be closer to his matchup (within 7 feet) when he starts to break him down.
- The shot must be taken within 2 seconds of the initial break down.
- The shot must be taken in a half-court context (i.e. not in transition and not on a fast break) and must come from 33 feet to the basket or closer.
- The shooter must not be smothered by the defender at both the break down and the release of the shot.
If the shooter passes all of these rules, then the shot penalty enforced by the defender on the release of the shot is reduced up to 100%.
Example Players: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson
Late arriving defenders have less impact on this type of shooter than most. When we determine the final outcome of a shot, part of the calculation comes from how well a shooter is defended at both the start and release of the shot. When a Deadeye shoots and the defender is more heavily guarding the Deadeye when he releases the shot than when he started it, we reduce the impact of the release up to 100% depending on how heavily guarded he is at the beginning (the more heavily guarded, the more we reduce). A couple more things to keep in mind:
- In order to ensure that closing out on a Deadeye matters, there must be some sort of defense applied at the start of the shot.
- The shooter must not be smothered by the defender at both the start and release of the shot or the skill will not trigger.
Example Players: Shane Battier, Courtney Lee, Danny Green
This is a skill reserved for players who are exceptional at knocking down three point shots from the corner where the sideline and the baseline meet. For this skill to fire off there are a number of rules that must pass:
- The shooter must be standing still.
- The shooter must be considered fairly open when he shoots the ball.
- The shooter must take his shot within a couple seconds of catching the pass.
When these rules are fulfilled, a 5% bonus is added to his shot percentage.
Example Players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Carl Landry
This is a player with supreme low post offensive skills. Defenders fall for his fakes up to 50% more often than for others, his post shots such as hooks and fades get a 5% shot chance increase and his post moves are more effective. A couple more things to keep in mind:
- The shot must be taken from 17 feet to the basket or less.
- The skill is still active for up to 0.5 seconds after exiting the post to allow shots and pump fakes to trigger the skill.
Example Players: Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Tyreke Evans
This player is apt to break the ankles of his defender when performing isolation dribble moves. This skill provides a 30% increase in the chances of forcing defenders into ankle-breaking defensive falls, stumbles and recoveries.
Example Players: Joakim Noah, Kevin Garnett, Greg Monroe
This is a player known for hitting open guys in a good position to score when passing the ball out of the post. This skill fires off when passing the ball from a post-up position to an open teammate. The pass will hit the receiver on point and will give him up to a 10% bonus on two-point shots and a 4% bonus on three-point shots, so long as the potential made shot by the shooter would result in an assist for the Post Playmaker.
Example Players: Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo
This skill is reserved for top-notch passers who are known for hitting open guys in the correct position to score. Dimer fires off when passing the ball (not from the post) to an open teammate. The pass will hit the receiver on point and will give him up to a 10% bonus on two-point shots and a 4% bonus on three-point shots, so long as the potential made shot by the shooter would result in an assist for the Dimer.
Example Players: Tim Duncan, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom
This player is known for initiating fast breaks with accurate outlet passes. For this skill to fire off, the player must be the defensive rebounder and the pass must be made within 3 seconds of the defensive rebound. The longer the outlet pass is in the game, the higher risk there is for throwing a bad pass. If the rebounder fulfills the two rules mentioned, the pass will have 50% less penalty than normal.
Example Players: Andre Miller, Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton
This is a player known for throwing accurate alley-oop passes. The Pass attribute of the passer plays a large role in the outcome of alley-oop finishes. An Alley-ooper gets a significant boost to his Pass attribute and receivers will be given a small catch chance bonus.
Example Players: Marc Gasol, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis
This player engulfs defenders with physical screens, making them more difficult to get through or around. Often times you’ll find defenders getting hit with such force that it causes them to stumble or fall to the ground.
Example Players: Andre Iguodala, Thabo Sefolosha, Tony Allen
A top-notch perimeter defender who automatically neutralizes most offensive Signature Skills of the player he’s actively guarding. It’s a fairly powerful skill that only elite defenders possess. The only offensive Signature Skills that a Lockdown Defender cannot neutralize are Brick Wall and Floor General.
Example Players: Udonis Haslem, Raja Bell, Kyle Lowry
This player specializes in the art of drawing charges. When attempting to take a charge, a player equipped with the Charge Card skill will have a 50% better chance of drawing the charge than others. His teammates will also receive a small energy boost if the Charge Card player receives the beneficial call.
Example Players: Trevor Ariza, Brandon Jennings, Rodrigue Beaubois
Getting pass lane steals is this player’s forte. When attempting to steal a pass that is in the air and in a pass lane within 9 feet of the Interceptor, he will get a boost to his Steal and Vertical attributes, thus allowing him a much better opportunity to pick the pass off.
Example Players: Jeremy Lin, Ricky Rubio, Mike Conley
An on-ball thief adept at stealing the ball from players attempting dribble moves. There are three perks to having this skill:
- Significant increase in strip probability when offensive player is in an iso-motion move.
- Minor increase in strip probability when offensive player has been in a standing dribble for a couple of seconds.
- Lowered foul chance when attempting an on-ball steal.
Example Players: Mario Chalmers, Ronnie Brewer, Kawhi Leonard
This player can more easily strip the ball from players attempting shots, layups and dunks. When the offensive player is in a shooting motion, an Active Hands player is twice as likely to strip the ball than a player without this skill.
Example Players: Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Serge Ibaka
A player with this skill is known for protecting the rim with emphatic, crowd pleasing blocks. When an Eraser swats a shot, he boosts the energy of his teammates and decreases the shooting attributes (up to six points) of the player he blocked for up to a minute and a half.
Chase Down Artist
Example Players: LeBron James, Brandon Rush, Thaddeus Young
This skill is reserved for players that are adept at chasing players down on fastbreaks and swatting their layup and dunk attempts from behind. While on a fastbreak this player is given boosts to his Block, Vertical and Quickness attributes, which will give him a better chance of swatting the shot. A couple more things to keep in mind:
- This skill can fire off any time the defense is in transition
- The block must happen from behind the shooter while he is moving
Example Players: Anderson Varejao, DeMarcus Cousins, David West
The overall size, power and relentlessness of this player will drain energy from his match-up upon physical contact. When a Bruiser collides with his opponent during boxouts, post backdowns, off-ball bumps, off-ball rides and contact shots, he depletes more energy from his match-up than players without this skill. For comparison purposes, when contact occurs in one of these areas, bruisers cause their opponents to lose energy about half as much as when his opponent is running.
Example Players: Nikola Pekovic, David Lee, Andrew Bynum
This player is known for his ability to score following an offensive rebound. For three seconds after the rebound is pulled down, a Hustle Points player will be given a boost to his Shot Inside, Shot Close and Layup attributes.
Example Players: Chuck Hayes, Reggie Evans, Tyler Hansbrough
A hustle guy known for his ability to dive for loose balls, win boxout battles and strip rebounds from opponents. A small attribute boost is given to Speed and Quickness during loose ball dives to display the effort these players usually give. During boxout battles and moves, a Scrapper will be given up to a 50% increase in the boxout win chance. For rebounds, a Scrapper has a 50% increase in the chance of poking the ball loose from an opponent who has already grabbed a rebound.
Example Players: Luol Deng, Luis Scola, Zach Randolph
A player that rarely goes on a cold streak, even when missing several shots in a row. When a player starts to miss shots or turn the ball over, he’ll eventually get cold and his abilities will decrease for a period of time. However, it takes twice as many misses and turnovers for an Anti-Freeze player to get to that point. Basically, he’s a fairly steady player.
Example Players: Louis Williams, Eric Gordon, Nick Young
A player with this skill can heat up in a hurry. It takes fewer made shots and good plays for a Microwave to get hot than players without this skill. Once hot, various offensive and defensive attributes are given a boost for a period of time.
Example Players: Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams, Stephen Curry
Players with this skill retain their hot streaks through various game breaks, and they have the ability to maintain their hot streaks through bad plays longer than most players. Typically, when a timeout occurs or the end of a quarter hits, players that are hot will have automatic cool downs that bring them back to normal. Heat Retention players stay hot through these breaks and only bad plays such as missed shots and turnovers can bring this player back to normal. Even then, it takes twice as many missed shots and turnovers for a Heat Retention guy to return to normal.
Example Players: Derrick Rose, Jason Terry, Kobe Bryant
This player raises his game in clutch moments. For the last 40% of a fourth quarter and all overtimes, a Closer receives the following perks:
- Attribute boosts of up to 12 attribute points
- A widened “Excellent Release” free throw release window, thus making it easier to knock down clutch free throws
- Energy boosts during timeouts so that he retains more energy through breaks during clutch moments
- Shot chance percentage boost of up to 5% for “moving” shots, such as drifters and step back shots.
Example Players: Jason Kidd, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul
This skill identifies an offensive team leader that has the ability to raise the offensive game of his teammates while he is on the floor. While a Floor General’s team has possession of the ball, all teammates are given up to a six point attribute boost to their offensive abilities.
Example Players: Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Garnett
This skill identifies a defense team leader that has the ability to raise the defensive game of his teammates while he is on the floor. While a Defensive Anchor’s team is on defense, all teammates on the floor are given up to a six point attribute boost to their defensive abilities.
Take a look at the videos where Ronnie Singh of 2K Sports explains the Signature Skills for Rose, Griffin and Jordan:
Durant's Signature Skills are: Shot Creator, Microwave, Deadeye, Closer and Finisher. Here is a screenshot:
A gamer can effectively target players with all of the appropriate Signature Skills—almost in checklist format—until they've filled the necessary roles to build a balanced team. You could even use this as a guide to create a team with a similar makeup to one of your favorite teams.
It's a great way to individualize the game's most skilled players, and another reason NBA 2K13 is one of the more highly anticipated sports games this year.
The game releases for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Nintendo Wii on October 2.
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