We are on the verge of a gaming revolution, as NBA 2K13 hits shelves on Tuesday. It has been arguably the best sports video game on the market the last three years, with constant innovations and game play tweaks that keep the game feeling fresh.
The makers at 2K Sports deserve all the credit in the world for making necessary adjustments to turn the game into a must-own for any sports fan.
But before we can start diving right into all the game action, we need to take a closer look at some of the individual player rankings. Specifically, we want to know who is going to perform better than their rankings suggest.
Rajon Rondo: 90 Overall
Here is a ranking that, while I can wholly understand, find it to be rather low for the player widely regarded as one of the two or three best point guards in the NBA.
Given Rondo's inability to shoot the ball from the outside, I am not so deeply offended by the ranking that I need to go on a crusade against the creators.
However, I am going to take some umbrage with the ranking. Rondo does so many things at such a high level it seems strange that he is "only" a 90. He has more speed, quickness, lateral movement, passing and instincts should push him well-above that ranking.
Shooting is a key component of the game, obviously, but it doesn't have to be such a detriment to Rondo's ranking.
Kevin Love: 89 Overall
I don't think it would be a stretch to say that Love is the best power forward in the NBA. He is not as flashy as Blake Griffin (87 overall), or the shooter that Dirk Nowitzki is, but he combines all his gifts into a package that few can match.
Love has seen his point production increase in each of his first four seasons, to a career-best 26 points per game in 2012. His rebounds did drop slightly last season, from 15.2 in 2011 to 13.3, but still managed to lead all power forwards by a healthy margin.
A player with the complete package of offensive and defensive skills like Love being ranked less than 90 seems like an oversight to me. He is not an elite shooter, hitting just 45.7 of his shots in his four-year career, but other than that there really isn't a a lot to complain about.
Love will continue to move up the player ratings chain in 2013.
Jeremy Lin: 77 Overall
Lin is probably right where he belongs given where he is right now and the limited sample size that we have to judge him by.
That said, given his popularity, it would not have been a surprise to see the developers try something just to give him a little extra boost.
The hype machine tends to do crazy things, so credit 2K Sports for not pushing Lin too hard. I do think that 77 is too low, though. He is rated just ahead of rookie Harrison Barnes (75), which could end up looking bad either way in a year.
Since Lin is a point guard, he has to be judged based on what he can do at the position. I don't see him as a pure point guard. He is more comfortable in isolation and creating his own shot, rather than dishing to teammates and getting them open looks.
But because his shot is so smooth, a 77 seems light. He needs to work on actually defending and trying to become a better passer, but he has the tools to get there.