With each successive release of the incredibly popular NBA2K franchise from 2K Sports comes fluctuations in player ratings, some of which spark debate as to whether the boost—or drop—for a given player is justified.
NBA2K13, set to be released on October 2, is no different; a number of players have seen their ratings make a lofty jump from last season.
Let’s take a look at those who are most deserving of their new status in the game.
Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics
Rondo, an 85 in NBA2K12, jumps up to 90 in this year’s game.
No point guard in the league dished more dimes per game than Rondo in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season, and while his steals per game dropped from 2.3 in 2010-11 to 1.7 last season, he still ranked fifth in the league.
Some will point to Rondo shooting below the league average in true shooting percentage as a reason why the jump isn’t justified, but he remains a viable threat to take it to the basket when he has the ball in his hands.
Simply put, you’d be hard-pressed to find another point guard in the league who is as solid on both sides of the ball and logs 40 minutes a game like Rondo does, and that pushes him into the group of elite players worthy of a rating of 90 or above.
Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
One of the premier forwards in the game, Kevin Love finds his rating jump from an 81 in NBA2K12 to 89 in this year’s version, and to be honest, that might be too low.
His 48 double-doubles—including 15 straight to start the season—led the NBA last season, and he trailed only Dwight Howard in total rebounds.
Offensively, Love raised his game by leaps and bounds, averaging a career-best 26 points per game, good enough for fourth in the NBA.
There isn’t a more complete power forward in the NBA today than Kevin Love.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Portland Trail Blazers
His jump isn’t quite as significant as those made by Rondo and Love, but LeMarcus Aldridge moves up from an 83 in NBA2K12 to an 86 this year, and rightfully so.
The unquestioned leader of the Trailblazers, Aldridge became a more efficient scorer, averaging 21.7 points on 51.2 percent shooting from the floor, numbers that put him in the Top 10 and Top 15 league-wide, respectively.
Couple that with the fact that Aldridge got his teammates involved more than ever before, averaging 2.4 assists per game, eighth among power forwards, and the continued development of his game becomes evident.
All three of these players are on the upswing of their careers—it wouldn't be surprising if we found ourselves having this same conversation next year as the trio moves into the upper echelon of stars in the game—both digitally and in reality.