For basketball fans counting the days, hours and minutes until the 2013-14 NBA season tips off on Oct. 29, 2K Sports' NBA 2K14 offers a bit of solace.
But let's face it: Dominating with the usual suspects like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant can get old after a while.
Here, I'll highlight a trio of overlooked NBA talents who users will take full advantage of in this year's game.
*Information according to 2K Sports via OperationSports.com.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, PG
After watching him dominate as a rookie in 2012-13, the creators of NBA 2K14 decided it was time to boost Portland point guard Damian Lillard's ratings, lifting him from an 82 to an 84 overall this year.
There's no arguing with that move, though. After all, Lillard averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists per game in 2012-13 en route to winning NBA Rookie of the Year honors. With 82 regular-season games under his belt, NBA fans can anticipate a more confident Lillard on the court in real life and an electric version of the floor general in the virtual world.
Whether you're looking to drive and dish or camp out behind the arc and knock down three after three, Lillard is a player anyone can rule with on the hardwood.
With excellent ball-handling skills and a deadly-accurate jump shot, there are multiple dimensions to Lillard's game that make him one of the most entertaining point guards in this year's edition.
O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks, SG
Believe it or not, O.J. Mayo nearly led the Dallas Mavericks in scoring a season ago, averaging 15.3 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Now, coming off his best season as a sharpshooter from distance, Mayo will sport an 82 overall rating in NBA 2K14, which puts him on the same level as Brooklyn Nets superstar Joe Johnson.
While Mayo's numbers in one season with Dallas may not have topped his rookie performance in Memphis five years ago, there's no doubt that the underrated shooting guard has become a more efficient player through the years.
And with no other star players on Milwaukee's roster to start the season, Bucks fans and other bold NBA 2K14 users are sure to gravitate toward the offensive-minded veteran.
Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, SF
There will be no shortage of gamers who will select the fun 'n' gun Golden State Warriors in NBA 2K14. Following a memorable playoff run last spring and the emergence of Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson, the Dubs will be the team everyone wants to play with.
But a player many users will be surprised to find themselves dominating with will be veteran Andre Iguodala, who moved to the team this past summer.
Like Mayo, Iguodala's overall rating improved from last year to this season, jumping up one to an 85.
Although you're better off jacking up triples with Curry or Thompson, Iguodala is a unique talent and one of the highest-flying players in the league today. He boasts a ridiculous 92 dunk rating in NBA 2K14 and therefore the former Sixer and Nugget will be a favorite for users in fast-break situations, where he'll be virtually unstoppable.
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