Tag Archives: LeBron James

NBA 2K14 – Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers

Who knows what will happen between now and the start of next season? Many of the free-agency signings and deals are still being worked out. One thing we know for sure is that with 5 top 5 picks/3 #1 picks in 5 years (including the pick of this year’s draft, Andrew Wiggins), along with the addition of Lebron James (back) to the Cavs squad, we’ll be seeing a lot more people playing as the Cavs in NBA 2K15! (At the time of writing rumour has it the Cavs are trying to put together a deal for Kevin Love, so who knows what the end product will look like?).

You can get a preview of what the NBA 2K15 rosters (Cavs, and the rest) might look like now, the Ultimate Base Roster has already been updated, with Lebron at the Cavs. Have Fun!

Edit: The Cavs with Lebron on are catapulted into the elite level of teams who can sign free-agents on a “reduced salary to make a run at a championship” (Association Mode). This release (V17) is mid-free agency, so if you’re a Cavs fan, or someone who’s always felt sorry for Cleveland’s never ending sporting misery, you might have some fun with this release as you have the option to add the likes of Wade/Anthony/Gasol/Stephenson/Ariza, etc to your squad and “only” pay them a couple of million dollars per year!

Edit to the Edit: (Having played a few games I couldn’t leave without posting a few screenshots. This release looks incredible!).

LBJ1

Lebron James – Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers

Charlotte Hornets Full Court

Hornets Full Court (new redesign).

UBS Hornets v Cavs

Hornets v Cavs NBA 2K14. Ultimate Base Roster

Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers

Lebron James back in Cleveland

Lebron James

Lebron James Close Up Cyberface Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lebron - Hornets Court

Lebron – Charlotte Hornets Court

NBA2K14 and Player Potential: Why it is now so important!

Potential! I think this part of the game deserves a full post on this blog because it is perhaps one of the biggest changes moving from NBA2K13 into NBA2K14 (for the better, although you may not agree!). The change in potential has certainly changed how you should view the value of certain stats in Association Mode; for young players it is now THE most important stat!

If you read the “What team should I be? (part 1)” post, you’ll know I talked a lot about potential, without going into too much detail at the time (I didn’t fully understand the changes which had occurred between releases at the time, for example I stated Anthony Davis was sure to hit 99; I’ve since realised that isn’t true! At least; not without some training!).

In previous NBA 2K titles potential wasn’t a fixed figure, it shifted as a player improved. I’m going to stick with Anthony Davis as he is a perfect example (and one I’ve used already). I went back to NBA2K13 (which I hadn’t uninstalled. Luckily!) and quickly sim’d through 3 seasons as the Hornjazzicans (Pelicans, AKA; Hornets) so I could take the following screenshots of Davis.

2012-2013 Season

Anthony Davis 2012-2013: Potential

Anthony Davis 2012-2013: Potential

2013-2014 Season

Anthony Davis 2013-2014: Potential

Anthony Davis 2013-2014: Potential

2014-2015 Season

Anthony Davis 2014-2015: Potential

Anthony Davis 2014-2015: Potential

You can clearly see all of his stats rising year on year, including his potential going from 93 in the first shot, to 95 in the second and jumping to 96 in the third year (in NBA2K13 this would have continued to grow as his other stats grew and by his fifth or sixth season he would be a 99 overall rated player!).

NBA2K13 – Potential

When taking the screenshots above I whizzed through the seasons and didn’t use the training camp to improve his potential. As you can clearly see, as Davis’ stats climbed his potential was rising too. Whether this was intended or a bug is unknown, but this did cause a widely reported problem in NBA2K13 that only players who played deep into Association Mode (I.E. more than a few seasons) would encounter; tons of superstar players spread across all teams (and even lots of big superstar names available after free-agency if you stuck with the game long enough!).

The longer you played association mode, the more unrealistic the game became (also not helped by the high potential on many rookies. Some draft sets were created specifically to address this problem for NBA2K13). This had the effect of eventually making all teams 90+ rated, with very little difference between the best and worst squads (again; if you played through for long enough. This became more noticeable the more years you played into an association mode game).

NBA2K14 – Potential

In NBA2K14 potential is fixed. This means that the potential of a player never changes (except through end of season training camps), players already in the game have a fixed potential (you can see the potential of any player, on any team by using “Edit Player”). Rookies that are generated come with a potential rating that is revealed by scouting them twice and then you get back a rough guide (C-, B or ideally A+!). Better scouts give you a more accurate potential reading, as does scouting them more. If you are on track for a high pick make sure you scout the player(s) you desperately want a few times. Aim for young (ideally 19 or 20 years old) players with A+ potential, know that if you go lower than that you might be required to spend skill points to increase their potential to allow them to fully realise their potential. Needless to say; upgrading your youth scouts should be one of the first things you do if you intend to build through the draft!

The potential of every player in NBA2K14 never improves without your intervention; the only way to increase potential (without cheating!) is to put a player through training camp, and it will cost you a whopping 75 Reward Points to increase a player’s potential by 10 (however, as we’ll see, this has now become perhaps the most important skill to increase, especially on young rookie players who are loyal and you intend to keep). If you only have 75 points, and you have a squad full of young players who you don’t intend to trade, you should spend those points on untapped potential!

NBA2K14 Anthony Davis 2013-14 season.

NBA2K14 Anthony Davis 2013-14 season.

NBA2K14 Anthony Davis 2015-16 season.

NBA2K14 Anthony Davis 2015-16 season.

As you can see in these screengrabs (one taken at the start of the game in 2013, and one taken at the start of the 2015 season), all of Davis’ attributes have increased apart from his potential, which has remained at 93 (contrast with NBA2K13, above!).

What is potential? What does it do? Why is it important?

John Elliott (generated rookie). Second year: 88 rating.

John Elliott (generated rookie). Second year: 88 rating.

Potential is, in the simplest of terms, the maximum level a player can reach (it is a little more complicated than that, I’ll come to that later). I incorrectly stated that Davis reached a 99 rating in the Jazz article. This was because I roughly knew what potential he started NBA2K13 with, had played through tons of seasons of Association Mode in that game (where Davis always became a “99” player) and saw his potential in NBA2K14 was the same. I hadn’t realised at the time 2K have stopped potential from growing along with the other stats. As we can see in the screengrabs above, his potential is 93, so the maximum level he can reach without training is 93. Once he reaches 93 overall rating, the game will stop increasing his stats (at the end of the season when all players’ attributes are increased or decreased). This is a massive change to how things were previously, instead of potential being a guide to how much a player will grow by, it is now, in effect, a player level cap! The game will just stop levelling your player when your overall = your potential.

Cory Hubbard - 82 rating, second year (+2 team chemistry).

Cory Hubbard – 82 rating, second year!

I noticed this while playing an Association Mode game and trying to improve a squad by using only generated drafted players (for one of the parts of the ongoing “What team should I be?” feature). I got really lucky in a draft and got a couple of high picks, one of which I used on a 6’11” SF, who had a rating of 82 and A+ potential (see picture above; this was taken in his second season and so his stats have risen). The other player I got was also 82, and was a PG with B potential (picture to the side – again, second season!), you’ll notice this player is still 82 (he has +2 due to team chemistry being turned on). When the season ended the SF’s stats increased along with the rest of my team (who are all young (<25)). I was shocked when my rookie point guard’s stats didn’t increase, especially as he was a year younger than the small forward. He was the only player in my entire squad who’s stats hadn’t increased (he has a really smooth shot on him too! I was slightly gutted!).

Hubbard; potential = 82!

Hubbard; potential = 82!

I initially thought this was a bug (perhaps his stats had increased but they weren’t being shown on team page?), which lead me to going into his “edit” (to view the stats, not edit them), and I noticed his potential was stuck at 82. The 82 rated player who I had drafted was 82 when I drafted him and will remain (more or less) stuck at that level forever unless I spend 75 points on upgrading his potential in the next training camp; but even if I upgrade him now he’s lost the massive stat upgrade first year players receive at the end of their rookie year. As you can see; Mr SF jumped up 6 points to 88! His potential is 93 btw. I really would like a 99 overall, 6 foot 11, “small” forward! Miami can keep their “small ball”, I like “tall ball”. So I shall be sending my SF to untapped potential at the end of the season! Then I just need a 7’4″+ C with A+ potential to be generated. 🙂

I have noticed you can push a player slightly past his potential rating by training him (I increased Hubbard’s Perimeter shooting in training camp and he went from being “stuck” at 82 to being an 83 rated player), but still; the game wouldn’t increase his stats any further at the end of the next season while the rest of your squad improved (hence why I said it was a little more complicated than potential being the maximum level your player can reach; you can push a player slightly beyond his potential, but not by far, and he’ll soon drop down again as he ages!). These are only small steps, you wouldn’t be able to massively increase your (young) players’ stats by just using drills and camps. For sure it will round off a few rough edges but you won’t get the big increases which you do with having high potential (and young age; potential stops being a factor in the mid-late 20s and players generally start to decline each year instead of improving).

Hubbard 92

Untapped Potential. Hubbard 82 > 92. Note: the “84” rating includes +2 team chemistry.

This change has helped improve Association Mode for long term players, because there is a set limit on how far any one player can grow (outside of your control) before he stops improving. Potential should certainly be your first consideration when drafting generated players, but also keep an eye on the young players you already have in your squad. It really is worth spending the 75 points on improving a (e.g.,) 20 year old’s potential, it could be the difference between having a player maxed out at 89 or the 99 beast of a player (and no1 in his position and perhaps the entire NBA) that all NBA2K players want to have on their association mode team.

Potential is now more important than it has ever been in an NBA2K title, and if you’re building with youth and intend to keep players throughout their career then you may have to reconsider what you use training camps for (perhaps even exclusively using points to improve potential!).

Exercise some caution, use Untapped Potential (the camp which increases potential, incase the name didn’t give it away!) wisely on players. Age, loyalty and whether you can afford to keep the player (salary wise; if you are pushing up towards the hard cap) should all factor into the decision, otherwise you won’t just be wasting 75 reward points, you could also be sending a 99 potential player (a Lebron or a Jordan!) to a rival (a far worse fate than losing a few reward points!).

P.S. If you have a chance to land Davis in Association Mode, definitely send him to untapped potential!

NBA2K14: Which Team Should I Be? (Association Mode) – Intro

Lebron NBA2K14

Lebron NBA2K14 Which team should I be? (part 1)

Most people who play THE game (NBA2K14 – you know that already, I hope, or you’re reading the wrong blog!) will already know which team(s) they might want to land on in My Career. But, I’ll touch on the most obvious tips in the world:

  • Pick a team which is weak in the position you want to play at (otherwise you’ll be sat behind a star player waiting forever for that coveted starting role!).
  • If you want to land straight on a (real life) title chasing team you want to play badly in the the Rookie Showcase (getting fouled out by deliberately fouling is a shortcut through the process and a good way to get interviewed by the bottom 3 teams), although OKC have a pick at 12 if you’re a SG or C (their weaker positions), and don’t want to “tank” your way into a bad draft pick.
  • Personally I’d recommend getting picked by the 76ers just to hear the Santa quote!).

Of course, this post isn’t about My Career mode, it’s about Association Mode. So, with My Career out-of-the-way (something I will return to at a later date), this feature will lay out a few challenges for you to try in association mode. If you’re anything like me you’ll want to try a few different teams over the course of the year (until NBA2K15!), and just want to find a reason to play as any given team, hopefully this series of posts should give you some ideas (there will also be a summary at the end). This may be something I revisit later as the players and teams change over the year (both in the NBA and reflected in NBA2K).

So, who to pick? Some teams (Nets, Bulls, Heat, Thunder) are full of talent and easily capable of winning the title, they are top loaded with talent in the starting positions and well into Luxury Tax with very little (or none; in the case of the Nets) room for bringing in new players. Some are stuck with a lot of 1 star backup players, most of whom you’ll probably want to trade up (although many are worth keeping; there’s an idea for a future article!). There is an added “disadvantage” (if you can call playing as a title contending team a disadvantage!) in that your draft picks are practically worthless, adding little currency to package up with the bad player(s) in your squad. If you’ve only ever played as a top-tier team you’ll probably be amazed at some of the high-value talent you can acquire by packaging up some players and a 1st round pick.

NBA2K14 Start Screen

NBA2K14 Start Screen

The real fun is to be had in either teams “oozing” talent (to borrow an in-game phrase), taking over (or creating!) a rebuilding team, taking over a team with a lot of cap space (currently or in the next offseason), or taking over a team full of tradable assets so you can build YOUR dream team. I’m going to present a case for 5 teams, all presented for a different reason, and a challenge packaged with each. The challenges are all-non specific (they all involve eventually building a title-winning squad, with certain conditions attached, but no time frame is in place. This isn’t something you should rush into to “beat”; that’s easy! These will be challenges that will hopefully allow you to enjoy association mode over a period of time, at a pace you choose. You can play every game, or sim them all. You can set the sliders to your liking (although the more “realistic” you play the game the more fun you’ll have. Anyone can dial down to Pro and Casual mode and win the title with pretty much any team in the game. They say that the best way to win in chess is to play a better opponent, and that is how these should be approached. Dial up the difficulty/sliders until you are winning some and losing a realistic-ish amount for the level/grade of your team. It will improve your gameplay, and should make you better in online games).But those top teams are boring (although one or two may feature in a future post). Everybody plays as those teams! You go online and you can guarantee you’ll see the same 3 or 4 teams for the entire year. When you do finally match up with someone who isn’t playing as one of the top teams you almost feel guilty for bringing Miami Heat to a knife fight (to turn a phrase), although (returning to Association Mode) it should be said; there is a different type of difficulty in playing as a top team without any cap space. You might find winning the title is easy for a season or two, but maintaining that superiority, without cheating your way into the high lottery picks or making totally unrealistic trades every season whilst also trying to keep some control over spending is a challenge in itself! Especially if you have a team with aging stars (Nets, Spurs). It can actually be harder in the long-term than taking one of the lowest ranked teams and building through free-agency and trading up draftees.

I’m presuming you’ve already played through some Association Mode with your favourite team and made an impossible team featuring Rose, Harden, KD, Lebron, Howard (or some impossible concoction of players) already. If not, why not?. Get it out of your system! I’m going to be very presumptuous in these challenge sections and tell you how should be playing the game (and that doesn’t include playing the game engine! There is a fine line, but I think you’ll know the difference! Ask yourself, is this something that a real GM does? Is this a trade that would happen in the NBA? Is this team winning (roughly) the amount of games you’d expect them to win during the season? If the answer is no, you’re playing the against the game, instead of playing the game).

Association Mode is perhaps the greatest mode in any sports game, simply because of the depth and the variety of play. It will let you build your fantasy dream team in a couple of seasons (even without a fantasy draft or forced trades turned on) if you figure out the flaws in the game engine. What we are aiming for is something that resembles reality in these challenges. Realism (and fun!) is the aim. Try to approach these challenges differently than you would do with playing a normal game of Association Mode. Trust me, you’ll have more fun….