NBA 2K13: Creating a Formula for Rating Incoming NBA Draft Prospects

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 3, 2013

NBA 2K13: Creating a Formula for Rating Incoming NBA Draft Prospects

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    The only thing more important than appropriate ratings in a sports video game is the gameplay. Some may debate that the graphics also trump the ratings, but any hardcore sports gamers can at least agree that the ratings are pretty vital.

    With the advent of create-a-players and draft classes in sports video games, developers have left the ratings of players not included in the game up to the gamers.

    This can cause some indecision, or absolutely ludicrous ratings. 

    The NBA 2K series not only offers gamers the ability to create players and create draft classes, but it also offers its community the ability to share their creations.

    EA Sports and other developers also offer this feature—or something like it—in other sports series.

    With these options, gamers can hone in on the draft classes that appear most accurate, and it delivers some level of widespread authenticity.

    Obviously, player creators have to be pretty decent with the facial recreation tool (which could use an upgrade by the way). It helps to have a good attention to detail for things like wristbands and arm sleeves, but how about those ratings?

    It kind of defeats the purpose to have a near spot-on re-creation of Ben McLemore if your cyber Ben plays more like Jeff Withey.

    Obviously that's an extreme example, but I've seen some ratings that were pretty far off. In light of this, I've created a formula to rate players in every category.

    Yes, every single category.

    Is this perfect? No, it isn't—I'm not sure that truly exists.

    There will always be some areas up for debate, and without the use of expensive resources like Synergy Sports software, it'll be difficult to get on that level.

    The following guide is for the hardcore sports gamer who is simply armed with his or her strong passion for sports, video games and an internet connection.

    Even if you don't have the time to actually create your own draft classes or players, but you still want to download good ones, perhaps this can serve as the reference point to confirm some level of uniformity.

    Keep in mind, this ratings formula is made for the college-to-pro translation. Rating NBA players or legends not included in the game would require a different formula.

    Check it out.

The Look

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    This can be challenging depending on how good you are with the player face creation tool. Though it's not the worst suite of its kind, there's some definite room for improvement in this area.

    Maybe we'll see this get a tune up in NBA 2K14.

    At any rate, work it as best as you can, and as you can see from the image above, some players come out fairly decent.

    Although the facial likenesses, accessories and such are important for authenticity, the most important part of the physical re-creation is the height and weight.

    You can use either, ESPN or Draft Express for your height and weight references, but it is wise to use the same source for all players.

    This also brings me to another point and possible enhancement for the series.

    I'd love to see wing span incorporated into the player models and the overall gameplay. With physics engines having improved so much, it could be amazing for gameplay.

    But anyway, back to what's actually included in the game.


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    Now we're getting down to the meat and potatoes of the ratings process. Who doesn't love to shoot the ball?

    Using the following formulas will ensure your rookies shoot the rock in a way that is consistent with their collegiate performance.


    Shot Inside (Underneath the Basket): Based on Two-Point Field-Goal Percentage and Size:

    (Adjusted on 4/16/2013 to reflect more realistic ratings)

    Players' field-goal percentage on two-point attempts are available at sites like To get this rating, I take the two-point field-goal percentage and use the following scale:

    Guards and Small Forwards

    40 percent and below-60 rating

    41-45 percent-65 rating

    46-50 percent-70 rating

    51-55 percent-75 rating

    56-60 percent-80 rating

    61-65 percent-85 rating

    66-70 percent-90 rating


    Power Forwards and Centers

    40 percent and below-60 rating

    41-45 percent-65 rating

    46-50 percent-70 rating

    51-53 percent-75 rating

    54-57 percent-80 rating

    58-61 percent-85 rating

    62 and up-90 rating


    Shot Close (Close Range: 5 to 13 Feet): Based on Two-Point Field-Goal Percentage and Size

    (Adjusted on 4/16/2013 to reflect more realistic ratings)

    This functions much like the shot inside rating. The only difference is the subtraction of points is a little different. It breaks down like this:

    Guards and Small Forwards

    40 percent and below-50 rating

    41-45 percent-55 rating

    46-50 percent-60 rating

    51-55 percent-65 rating

    56-60 percent-70 rating

    61-65 percent-75 rating

    66-70 percent-80 rating


    Power Forwards and Centers

    40 percent and below-50 rating

    41-45 percent-55 rating

    46-50 percent-60 rating

    51-53 percent-65 rating

    54-57 percent-70 rating

    58-61 percent-75 rating

    62 and up-80 rating



    Three-Point Shot: Based on the College Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage

    You would take the college three-point percentage and multiply it by two. You would then subtract 5 from that number if the player averaged two or more three-point attempts per game.

    You subtract 10 if they averaged one-to-two attempts per game, or 20 if they average less than one per game. 

    I did this to account for players who are shooting insanely high from three-point range with very few attempts.

    Zero percent or no three-point attempts should render a 25 three-point rating.


    Free Throw: Face Value

    The free-throw line is one of the universal things in basketball. You can literally take the percentage the player shot in college and make that the rating here.


    Medium Shot (14 Feet to Three-Point Line): Based on Three-Point and Free-Throw Rating

    Mid-range ratings are an average of the player's free-throw rating and three-point rating.

    You could make it easier by coming up with the ratings for both of those categories and then just taking the average.


    Layup: Based on Shot Inside Rating and Athleticism

    Here is an instance where you have to use your own judgment—unless you have access to advance stats. 

    I group players into two athletic categories: Average and above-average. 

    Players with average athleticism would have a Layup rating two points higher than their Shot Inside rating. Above-average athletes would have a Layup rating of five points higher.

    This can also be impacted by signature skills, which I'll get into later.



    I suggest having some fun browsing YouTube for clips of guys throwing down jams. If you go nuts, your gameplay won't be realistic.

    You'll have a guy like Jordan Hulls doing windmill jams from the free-throw line.

    Remember, a player like Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers has a dunk rating of 93 in the game. The Houston Rockets' Aaron Brooks' dunk rating is 31.

    Use that as a ceiling and floor.


    Standing Dunk

    This is the player's ability to dunk from a vertical standing position, generally after an offensive rebound.

    Typically guards will be lower in this instance. I'd suggest subtracting five points from the dunk rating from players 6'7" and over, and 20 points for players 6'6" and under.


    Shoot in Traffic

    This rating should be an average of all the ratings from the various ranges (inside, close, medium and three-point).

    Don't factor in three-point rating if the player has attempted five or less for the season. It will only drag the rating down unfairly.

    Once you have the average, subtract 10 points. The subtraction accounts for the defensive pressure.


    Post Fadeaway: Average of Mid-Range and Close-Range Ratings with Video Reference

    The average of the mid-range and close-range ratings would be adjusted based on actual tendencies.

    Basically, players who you've seen use the fadeaway successfully would have this number subtracted by 10 points; those you haven't would see a 20-point subtraction.


    Post Hook: Average of Inside and Close-Range Ratings with Video Reference

    This is the exact same method as the fadeaway rating, but the subtraction would be 25 points for prominent hook-shot shooters and 35 points for players who don't use the old-school maneuver.

Speed, Ball-Handling and Passing

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    This can only be judged by looking at video, but for a frame of reference, Louisville's Russ Smith would be a 95 and Alex Kirk of New Mexico would be a 40.


    Ball-Handling: Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Scale and Speed Rating

    (Adjusted on 4/14/2013 to reflect more realistic ratings)

    This rating is based on assist-to-turnover ratio and the player's speed rating. This should account for the player's ball-handling abilities. The scale below dictates the rating you should add and average in with the speed rating. 

    The A/T ratio on the left should generate the rating on the right. Add that with the speed rating you give the player and divide it by two for the ball-handling rating.


    For players 6'8" and shorter

    4.0 or higher—95 rating

    3.5-3.9—90 rating

    3.4-2.9—85 rating

    2.8-2.3—80 rating

    2.2-1.7—75 rating 

    1.6-1.1—70 rating

    1.0-0.5—65 rating

    0.4 and below—60 rating


    For players 6'9" and taller

    4.0 or higher—95 rating

    3.5-3.9—85 rating

    3.4-2.9—75 rating

    2.8-2.3—65 rating

    2.2-1.7—55 rating 

    1.6-1.1—45 rating

    1.0-0.5—35 rating

    0.4 and below—25 rating


    Shoot Off the Dribble: Average of Ball-Handling and Overall Shooting Numbers

    In an effort to account for player's ability to dribble and shoot, I combine the Ball-Handling rating with the average of the shooting ratings, sans dunks and layups.


    Off-Hand Dribbling: Subtract 5 From Ball-Handling

    Let's keep this pretty simple, just subtract five from the Ball-Handling rating.


    Ball Security: Scale Based on Turnover Percentage

    (Updated on 4/16/2013 for accuracy)

    I based this entirely on the player's turnover percentage, which is simply the percentage of time a player has the ball and gives it away to the other team.

    Obviously, the lower the percentage, the higher the rating. Here is the scale:

    For  Point Guards

    15 percent or lower—90 rating

    15.1-to-17 percent—85 rating

    17.1-to-19.1 percent—80 rating

    19.2-to-21.2 percent—75 rating

    21.3-to-23.3 percent—70 rating

    23.4-to-25.4 percent—65 rating

    25.5-to-27.5 percent—60 rating

    27.6-to-29.6 percent—65 rating

    29.7-to-31.7 percent—60 rating

    31.8-to-33.8 percent—55 rating

    33.9-to-35.9 percent—50 rating

    36 percent or lower is a 40 rating


    For Shooting Guards and Small Forwards

    15 percent or lower-80 rating

    15.1-to-17 percent-75 rating

    17.1-to-19.1 percent-70 rating

    19.2-to-21.2 percent-65 rating

    21.3-to-23.3 percent-60 rating

    23.4-to-25.4 percent-55 rating

    25.5-to-27.5 percent-50 rating

    27.6-to-29.6 percent-45 rating

    29.7 or higher-40 rating


    Power Forwards and Centers

    15 percent or lower-70 rating

    15.1-to-17 percent-65 rating

    17.1-to-19.1 percent-60 rating

    19.2-to-21.2 percent-55 rating

    21.3-to-23.3 percent-50 rating

    23.4-to-25.4 percent-45 rating

    25.5 percent or higher-40 rating


    Pass Rating: Based on Assists Per Game

    This is a somewhat simple scale based on assists-per-game average. I added the positional differences to give some love to better passing big men.

    For guards and small forwards:

    8.1-to-7.1 assists per game—90 rating

    7.0-to-6.5—85 rating

    6.4-to-5.9—80 rating

    5.8-to-5.3—75 rating

    5.2-to-4.7—70 rating

    4.6-to-4.1—65 rating

    4.0-to-3.5—60 rating

    3.4-to-2.9—55 rating

    (guards have a floor of 50 and small forwards have a floor of 45)


    For power forwards and centers:

    8.1-to-7.1 assists per game—90

    7.0-to-6.5—87 rating

    6.4-to-5.9—84 rating

    5.8-to-5.3—81 rating

    5.2-to-4.7—78 rating

    4.6-to-4.1—75 rating

    4.0-to-3.5—72 rating

    3.4-to-2.9—69 rating

    2.8-to-2.3—66 rating

    2.2-to-1.9—63 rating

    1.8 and below is a 40 rating

Defense and Rebounding

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    Block: Scale Based on Blocked Shots Per Game

    This is also a very simple scale with players like Nerlens Noel setting the bar. Noel blocked 4.4 shots per game this season before he was injured. Check out the scale:


    5.0-to-4.5 blocked shots per game—90 rating

    4.4-to-3.9—85 rating

    3.8-to-3.3—80 rating

    3.2-to-2.7—75 rating

    2.6-to-2.1—70 rating

    2.0-to-1.5—65 rating

    1.4-to-0.9—60 rating

    0.8-to-0.6—55 rating

    0.5-to-0.3—50 rating

    0.2 and below is a 40 rating


    Steals: Scale Based on Steals Per Game

    This is almost identical to the block rating, but it is based on the numbers of the nation's best thieves—on the basketball court of course.


    3.5-to-3.1 steals per game—90 rating

    3.0-to-2.7—85 rating

    2.6-to-2.2—80 rating

    2.1-to-1.8—75 rating

    1.7-to-1.3—70 rating

    1.2-to-0.9—65 rating

    0.8-to-0.5—60 rating

    0.4 and below is 50 rating


    Quickness: Average of Speed, Steal and Ball-Handling Rating

    Quickness is different than speed. It accounts for the first step with the ball, jumping the passing lanes or reaching in for the steal.

    That's why I combine the aforementioned ratings to get this one.


    Offensive Rebound: Based on Offensive Rebounds Per Game

    Yet another rating based on the applicable per game average. These are the easiest ratings-types to follow. Here is the scale:


    4.0-to-3.7 offensive rebounds per game—90 rating

    3.6-to-3.3—85 rating

    3.2-to-2.9—80 rating

    2.8-to-2.5—75 rating

    2.4-to-2.1—70 rating

    2.0-to-1.7—65 rating

    1.6-to-1.3—60 rating

    1.2-to-0.9—55 rating

    0.8-to-0.5—50 rating

    0.4 and below is a 40 rating


    Defensive Rebound: Based on Offensive Rebounds Per Game

    The defensive side is the same and it also has a cap of 90 for first-year players.


    9.0-to-8.5 defensive rebounds per game—90 rating

    8.4-to-7.9—85 rating

    7.8-to-7.3—80 rating

    7.2-to-6.7—75 rating

    6.6-to-6.1—70 rating

    6.0-to-5.5—65 rating

    5.4-to-4.9—60 rating

    4.8-to-4.3—55 rating

    4.2-to-3.7—50 rating

    3.6-to-3.1—45 rating

    3.0 and lower gets a 40 rating


    Hands: An Average of Steals, Blocks and Ball Security and Rebounding Ratings

    (Adjusted on 4/9/2013 to reflect more realistic ratings)

    It's hard to gauge this, but I thought the most accurate way to assess this quality was to take an average of the ratings associated with having good hands.

    The average of the Steals, Blocks and Rebounding ratings for power forwards and centers should give you the Hands rating. An average of steals and ball security works for the guards and small forwards.


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    Offense Awareness: An Average of Offensive Ratings

    This is a difficult category to rate because it is the epitome of an intangible.

    But it seemed to me the best way was to take an average of the ball-handling, ball-security, pass, fadeaway, hook-shot, off-the-dribble and shot-in-traffic ratings.

    This collection of ratings best represents total Offensive Awareness. I also gave players who went to major conferences (Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big East) and stayed more than one year a boost in offensive and defensive awareness.

    An additional five points was given to players that played in major conferences, an additional two points was given to players who played at least two years in college.


    Defense Awareness: An Average of Defensive Rebounds, Blocks and Steal Ratings

    Defensive Awareness is a little bit easier. I take an average of the Defensive Rebounds, Blocks and Steals ratings. This is an accurate amalgamation of defensive qualities.


    Consistency: Average Number of Games Player Was at or Above His Per-Game Scoring Average

    The consistency rating on NBA 2K13 only relates to scoring. It dictates how well a player can sustain a hot streak and how easily he can shake a cold streak.

    I take a look at the player's field-goal percentage and I look at what percentage of his games he was at or above that total. The percentage becomes the Consistency rating.

    For example, McLemore shot 49 percent from the field during the 2012-13 season. He played in 37 games and shot at least 49 percent in 20 of them.

    That is 54 percent of his games, and thus he would have a Consistency rating of 54.

Strength, Stamina, Leaping, Hustle and Low-Post Ratings

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    Stamina: Scale Based on Minutes Per Game

    For Stamina, I created a scale based on the minutes each player played in his last year in school. I capped it at 90 to account for the rookie wall.


    32 minutes per game or more—90 rating

    31.9-to-30.0—85 rating

    29.9-to-27—80 rating

    26.9-to-24—75 rating

    23.9-to-22—70 rating

    21.9-to-20—65 rating

    19.9-to-18—60 rating

    17.9-to-15—55 rating

    14.9-to-12—50 rating

    11.9-to-10—45 rating

    Under 10 minutes is a 40 rating


    On-Ball Defense: An Average of Steals, Blocks, Speed and Quickness Ratings

    Taking an average of the two primary defensive ratings as well as speed and quickness was the best way to gauge a players ability to play on-ball defense.


    Strength: Height/Weight Range

    I put players in different categories based on their heights. With the scale below I take into consideration height as it relates to the player's weight to keep Strength ratings in the proper perspective.


    Players 6'2" and under have a strength-rating cap of 50.

    200-to-195 pounds—50 rating

    194-to-189—45 rating

    188 pounds and less—40 rating


    Players ranging from 6'3" to 6'6" have a strength-rating cap of 60.

    240-to-230 pounds—60 rating

    229-to-220—55 rating

    219-to-210—50 rating

    209-to-200—45 rating

    Under 200 pounds is a 40 rating.


    Players ranging from 6'7" to 6'9" don't have a strength-rating cap.

    250 pounds and up—80 rating

    240-to-249 pounds—75 rating

    230-to-239 pounds—70 rating

    220-to-229 pounds—65 rating

    210-to-219 pounds—60 rating

    200-to-209 pounds—55 rating

    Under 200 pounds is a 50.


    Players 6'10" and taller don't have a strength-rating cap either.

    270 pounds and up—90 rating

    260-to-269 pounds—85 rating

    250-to-259 pounds—80 rating

    240-to-249 pounds—75 rating

    230-to-239 pounds—70 rating

    220-to-229 pounds—65 rating

    Under 220 pounds is a 50 rating


    Low Post Offense: Average of Shot Inside, Shot Close Rating and Strength Rating

    This rating encompass close-range shots and strength. Thus, I take an average of the Shot Inside, Shot Close and Strength ratings to get the Low Post Offense rating.


    Low Post Defense: An Average of Defensive Rebound, Strength and Blocked Shot Rating 

    The keys to defending in the low post are positioning, contesting the shot and clearing the rebound. Taking an average of Defensive Rebounds, Strength and Blocked-Shot rating is the best way to account for those skills.


    Vertical: Dunk-to-Height Balance

    Shorter dunkers should have higher vertical ratings, so I set up a scale to reflect that. This rating is based on the Dunk rating, but it gives more love to the little guys that can jam.

    For players 6'2" and under with a dunk rating of 85-to-90 would have a Vertical rating of 100. The others are as followed:


    79-to-84 dunk rating—95 vertical rating

    73-to-78 dunk rating—90

    67-to-72 dunk rating—85

    61-to-66 dunk rating—75

    55-to-60 dunk rating—70

    49-to-54 dunk rating—65

    Lower than 49 is a 60 rating


    From 6'3" to 6'6"

    85-to-90 dunk rating—95

    79-to-84 dunk rating—90

    73-to-78 dunk rating—85

    67-to-72 dunk rating—75

    61-to-66 dunk rating—70

    55-to-60 dunk rating—65

    49-to-54 dunk rating—60

    Lower than 49 is a 55 rating


    6'7" to 6'9"

    85-to-90 dunk rating—90

    79-to-84 dunk rating—85

    73-to-78 dunk rating—75

    67-to-72 dunk rating—70

    61-to-66 dunk rating—65

    55-to-60 dunk rating—60

    Lower than 55 is a 55 rating


    6'10" and taller

    85-to-90 dunk rating—85

    79-to-84 dunk rating—75

    73-to-78 dunk rating—70

    67-to-72 dunk rating—65

    61-to-66 dunk rating—60

    55-to-60 dunk rating—55

    Lower than 55 is a 50 rating.


    Hustle: Average of Steals and Offensive Rebound Ratings

    (Adjusted on 4/9/2013 to reflect more realistic ratings)

    This rating is the gauge for a player's ability to dive for loose balls. Steals and offensive rebounds are two of the stats that show up on hustle boards, so taking an average of those ratings seems like an accurate way to rate this category.


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    Durability: Percentage of College Games Played

    This is the only category that I would take a player's entire collegiate career into account. I believe you have to if you want to accurately assess his Durability rating.

    If a player's team played in 60 games over two seasons, and he only appeared in 30, his Durability would only be 50.

    I'm aware that this could be due to suspensions and other circumstances, so you could dig deeper to determine if the player missed games because of injury, if you want to be more specific.


    Potential: Average of Speed, Quickness, Vertical, Hands with a Boost for Height

    I take an average of all the qualities and ratings that are related to natural gifts rather than learned skills.

    These traits are generally what dictates how much potential a player has. I take all of those athletic ratings into account to get this rating with a boost for bigger players.

    Basketball is a big man's game, so taller players are genuinely viewed as having more upside.

    Therefore, players who are 6'4" and shorter won't get a height boost on potential. Here are the boosts for taller players:

    6'5"-to-6'8"—10-point boost

    6'9" and taller—20-point boost



    Who do you see screaming the most after big plays? Who has a quick fuse? This is another category based solely on visual references, and I don't think it really impacts the gameplay.

    Would be nice if guys got technical fouls based on this rating, though. I guess that's another suggestion for NBA 2K14.

Style and Tendencies

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    Signature Skills

    Signature skills allow players to be separated by unique skills that can augment the number ratings.

    Here is a list of the skills from 2K Sports, but I've replaced the NBA example players with collegiate players who would be worthy of each skill.




    Example Players:  Memphis - D.J. Stephens, Oklahoma State - Markel Brown

    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.



    Highlight Film

    Example Players:  Stephens, Brown, Colorado - Andre Roberson, San Diego State - Jamaal Franklin

    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:  Roberson, Brown, Minnesota - Rodney Williams

    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:  Syracuse - C.J. Fair, Texas - Myck Kabongo

    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:  Michigan - Tim Hardaway, Jr., Creighton - Doug McDermott

    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. 



    Shot Creator

    Example players:  UCLA - Shabazz Muhammad, Michigan - Trey Burke, Virginia Tech - Erick Green

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. The Shot Creator must be closer to his matchup (within 7 feet) when he starts to break him down.
    3. The shot must be taken within 2 seconds of the initial break down.
    4. 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.
    5. 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:  Kansas - Ben McLemore, McDermott

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. The shooter must not be smothered by the defender at both the start and release of the shot or the skill will not trigger.



    Corner Specialist

    Example Players:  No players would qualify, in my opinion.

    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:

    1. The shooter must be standing still.
    2. The shooter must be considered fairly open when he shoots the ball.
    3. 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.



    Post Proficiency

    Example Players:  Indiana - Cody Zeller, Gonzaga - Kelly Olynyk

    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:

    1. The shot must be taken from 17 feet to the basket or less.
    2. 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.



    Ankle Breaker

    Example Players:  Burke, Oklahoma State - Marcus Smart, Kabongo

    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.



    Post Playmaker

    Example Players:  No player would qualify, in my opinion.

    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:  Burke, Syracuse - Michael Carter-Williams, Saint Mary's - Matthew Dellavedova

    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. 



    Break Starter

    Example Players:  No player would qualify, in my opinion

    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:  Burke

    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.



    Brick Wall

    Example Players:  Florida - Patric Young, Kansas - Jeff Withey

    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.



    Lockdown Defender

    Example Players:  Indiana - Victor Oladipo, North Carolina - James Michael McAdoo

    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.



    Charge Card

    Example Players:  No player would qualify, in my opinion

    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:  Smart, Carter-Williams

    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.



    Pick Pocket

    Example Players:  Smart, Carter-Williams, Louisville - Peyton Siva, Louisville - Russ Smith

    An on-ball thief adept at stealing the ball from players attempting dribble moves.  There are three perks to having this skill:

    1. Significant increase in strip probability when offensive player is in an iso-motion move.
    2. Minor increase in strip probability when offensive player has been in a standing dribble for a couple of seconds.
    3. Lowered foul chance when attempting an on-ball steal.



    Active Hands

    Example Players:  Siva, Smith, Roberson, Smart

    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:  Noel, Withey, Louisville - Gorgui Dieng, Stephens, North Texas - Tony Mitchell

    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:  Stephens, Mitchell

    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:

    1. This skill can fire off any time the defense is in transition
    2. The block must happen from behind the shooter while he is moving 




    Example Players:  Young

    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. 



    Hustle Points

    Example Players:  Dieng

    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:  Roberson, Stephens

    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:  McDermott, South Dakota - Nate Wolters

    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:  Burke, Lehigh - C.J. McCollum

    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.



    Heat Retention

    Example Players:  McDermott, Green

    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:  Burke

    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:

    1. Attribute boosts of up to 12 attribute points 
    2. A widened “Excellent Release” free throw release window, thus making it easier to knock down clutch free throws
    3. Energy boosts during timeouts so that he retains more energy through breaks during clutch moments
    4. Shot chance percentage boost of up to 5% for “moving” shots, such as drifters and step back shots.



    Floor General

    Example Players:  Burke, Dellavadova

    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. 



    Defensive Anchor

    Example Players:  Noel, Withey, Dieng

    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.



    Tendencies, Hot Spots, Signature, Play Style 

    These rating relate to a player's favorite spots on the floor, his reactions to pick-and-roll situations, jump-shot forms, dunk packages and other things.

    Unless you have access to cyber metrics, you'll be working off memory for the situational tendency ratings.

    YouTube is the best source for these references.

The Results

9 of 9

    You've seen a few screenshots throughout the slideshow, but you can see each player I've created for this draft class.

    I have them listed with screenshots, and videos on my own personal outlet for all things sports video game related, At the time of this post only Ben McLemore is fully created, but I will be adding more very soon.

    You can also download my draft classes on Xbox 360 (sorry PS3 gamers), by searching gamertag: Franchiseplay in the 2K Share menu.


    Follow me and Franchiseplay, my sports video game alter ego.