NBA

The Friday Five: 5 NBA-Related Criticisms I Disagree With

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

I do want to go back to talking about basketball video games more often in the Friday Five – that’s kind of what the NLSC is about, after all – but I have had this week’s topic on my mind for a while now. As such, I wanted to get it out of the way before new topics relating to NBA Live 16, NBA 2K16, and the 2015 NBA offseason present themselves in the coming weeks.

It’s safe to say that most of us around these parts are enthusiastic NBA fans, myself included. However, just because the NBA is where amazing happens, doesn’t mean that we love everything about the league. While I do agree with many of the common criticisms that are made of the NBA, there are a few prominent issues on which I have a different opinion. Without any further ado, here are five NBA-related criticisms that I disagree with.

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The Friday Five: The 5 Stages of Discovering Advanced Stats

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

With the 2015 NBA Draft in the books, it would probably make sense to write about it in this week’s Friday Five. However, I didn’t follow this year’s Class very closely, so to be honest, there’s not much I can say. D’Angelo Russell was a bit of a surprise at number two, the 76ers probably aren’t as worried about Joel Embiid now, and I’m optimistic about the Bulls picking up Bobby Portis. With not a whole lot else to say – certainly not enough to fill a whole column – I’ve decided on a more light-hearted topic this week: The 5 Stage of Discovering Advanced Stats.

Advanced stats (or if you prefer, analytics) have definitely become more prominent and popular with NBA teams, analysts, and fans alike. They certainly are interesting and useful, though not everyone is a fan. Notably, Charles Barkley is on record as suggesting that proponents of advanced stats are dateless nerds. While I don’t agree with The Round Mound of the Rebound on that one, there are some people who perhaps get a little too wrapped up in them. For your entertainment, I present The 5 Stage of Discovering Advanced Stats; any resemblance to the Kübler-Ross model is purely…well, intentional, if I’m to be completely honest. Let’s get started.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #121

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With the conclusion of the 2015 NBA Finals, and some exciting developments coming out of E3, Arcane and I have plenty to talk about in Episode #121 of the NLSC Podcast. Tune in now!

  • EA Sports went all out with their NBA Live 16 demonstration at E3 2015, giving us a lot of juicy details about the game. We break down all the developments, and give our thoughts on what we know so far.
  • We also got a decent look at the gameplay in NBA Live 16, as it stands today. Were we impressed?
  • On the whole, we’d have to say that the development team seems very confident about NBA Live 16. That would appear to bode well for the game’s future.
  • Were we surprised that we didn’t get any NBA 2K16 news or previews during E3? When do we think more NBA 2K16 news will be on the way?
  • The Golden State Warriors are the 2015 NBA Champions! We react to Dub Nation’s first title in 40 years.
  • Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers have unveiled their new uniforms and jerseys. Are we fans of the new look?
  • The Clippers have also just traded for Lance Stephenson. We consider whether or not he’ll be a good fit.
  • Outside of the NBA Live 16 news, E3 2015 had plenty of other previews and announcements that got us excited. We talk about some of the other big news coming out of the show, and games we’re looking forward to.
  • We close Episode #121 of the NLSC Podcast with a Tweet from SneakerNews.com.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #120

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In the middle of the 2015 NBA Finals, and just a few days before E3, it’s Episode #120 of the NLSC Podcast! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the NBA Live 16 cover announcement, everything we know so far about NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, the on-going clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2015 NBA Championship, and more.

  • We didn’t have to wait long to find out that Russell Westbrook is gracing the NBA Live 16 cover. What do we think of that choice?
  • With the release of a screenshot and a preliminary features list, we note that there’s more optimism surrounding NBA Live 16 compared to recent years, especially with the game’s presence at E3.
  • After breaking down this week’s NBA Live 16 news, we get up to speed with some NBA 2K16 information, including clarification on a couple of matters that we’re glad to see.
  • We comment on three areas where NBA Live 16 needs to show improvement: off-ball movement, animations, and the addition of a shot meter.
  • Kotaku recently published an article describing a lengthy Association experience using skoadam’s URB roster for NBA 2K13. Unfortunately, it got our name wrong.
  • We answer some mailbag questions about community spirit and Forum participation…and possibly get a little sentimental in thanking the people who support us in doing what we do.
  • It’s been an interesting NBA Finals so far: scrappy, and at times ugly, but not boring. What do we think will happen next?
  • If LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to the title, what does it mean for his standing amongst the greats? We discuss some recent proclamations about The King, and address the issue of “haters”. (Caution: Rant Warning)
  • Two Nike fanboys are quite pleased to hear about the company’s new deal with the NBA, beginning in 2017. Yes, that would be us.
  • We end with a Tweet by Brandon Jennings, which suggests that he’s not a fan of NBA Live.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 NBA Finals Fun Facts

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

The 2015 NBA Finals are tied at two games apiece, after an interesting four games that have seen beastly performances by LeBron James, a couple of stinkers from Stephen Curry, and the first occurrence of Games 1 and 2 both going into overtime. There’s a lot to talk about: who will prevail, now that it’s essentially a best of three? Should LeBron get the Finals MVP award, even if the Cleveland Cavaliers ultimately lose? On the other hand, if he leads them to a title, is it more impressive than anything Michael Jordan ever did? Will the NBA Store be able to keep enough Matthew Dellavedova jerseys in stock?

All interesting questions – well, perhaps not the last one, so much – and I certainly invite you to discuss them. However, I’m going to refrain from making any more predictions for these NBA Finals in the Friday Five, and will reflect upon a couple of the other questions once the series is in the books and can be properly put into perspective. Instead, I’m going to offer up five pieces of trivia – five NBA Finals fun facts – that I hope you’ll enjoy while we all wait for the NBA Finals to resume in a couple of days. Let’s get started.

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The Friday Five: 5 Thoughts on NBA League Pass Broadband

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

The 2015 NBA Finals are underway, and if Game 1 is any indication, we could be in for a great finish to another action-packed season. This is the first season I’ve watched on NBA League Pass Broadband, and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed with my decision to subscribe. It made it a lot easier to catch Chicago Bulls games, and see a lot more of the action than I ever have before, either on Australian free-to-air television back in the day, or via a subscription to Foxtel in more recent years.

I’ll try not to sound too much like a commercial for the service here, and I promise that I’m not being paid to write anything about NBA League Pass Broadband, but as I offer up a few opinions after a season subscribing to it, it may be difficult not to gush a little. I really am very satisfied with League Pass – for the most part – and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get as much NBA coverage as possible. So, without any further ado, here are five thoughts on NBA League Pass Broadband!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #119

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With last week’s NBA 2K16 news, the 2015 NBA Finals ready to tip off, a few coaching changes, and some more topic suggestions from the community, Arcane and I have plenty to talk about in Episode #119 of the NLSC Podcast. Tune in now!

  • Last week’s episode of NBA 2KTV delivered the goods as far as NBA 2K16 tidbits are concerned. We give our thoughts on what we’ve learned so far.
  • We’ve gotten a second wind for binging on NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15, so we share a few of our recent basketball gaming experiences, including some thoughts on the value of Ultimate Team packs.
  • In some breaking news, we have new details on Spike Lee’s involvement with NBA 2K16’s MyCAREER mode. What do we make of it?
  • We give our thoughts on a topic Kenny discussed in his latest column: direct passing into the backcourt, and vision/awareness “cones”.
  • What are our experiences playing real basketball? We reminisce fondly.
  • E3 is quickly approaching, and should bring details on NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16. Oh yeah, and Fallout 4. One of us is rather excited about that.
  • It’s our last chance to change our 2015 NBA Finals predictions. Have we had a change of heart?
  • What do we think of the criteria for flagrant fouls?
  • The Chicago Bulls have fired Tom Thibodeau, and brought in Fred Hoiberg. We comment on the change, and other coaching hires around the league.
  • Is Dwyane Wade looking to move on from the Miami Heat?

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Thoughts Ahead of the 2015 NBA Finals

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

And then, there were two. After a rather uncompetitive Eastern Conference Finals, and a Western Conference Finals series that was only marginally more exciting and hard-fought, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals. The stage has been set for a fun and exciting championship series between an all-time great who has returned home, and a rising star who has led his team to their best season in decades.

As it stands, we have a little under a week to speculate, make our predictions, and consider all of the questions surrounding the 2015 NBA Finals. Who will win? Will the Warriors run out of steam? How banged up are the Cavaliers? Can LeBron do it by himself? What are some of the other interesting subplots this year? Like every other NBA fan, I have a few thoughts on the matter, which I’m sharing with you in this week’s edition of The Friday Five. Without any further ado, here are five thoughts ahead of the 2015 NBA Finals.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #118

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Tune in to Episode #118 of the NLSC Podcast, hosted by Arcane and myself! The NBA Finals are upon us, the first real piece of NBA 2K16 news has come out, and we received some more great topic suggestions from the community, so we’ve got some fun stuff to talk about this week.

  • The release date and pre-order bonuses for NBA 2K16 have been revealed. What do we think?
  • We give our thoughts on a couple of suggested features for NBA Live 16.
  • With FIFA 16 adding female players, might we see WNBA players in NBA Live 16 or beyond?
  • We revisit the topic of what would be included in our ultimate NBA video game. Spoiler: lace physics alone are not enough.
  • Has the NBA 2K15 modding season been comparable to what happened when NBA 2K9 came out? We also make a few comparisons between modding tools for NBA Live and NBA 2K.
  • Were this year’s Conference Finals boring? What should we make of the Hawks, Rockets, and James Harden?
  • Because we do so well with predictions, we make our picks for the 2015 NBA Finals. Of course, on paper there’s a safe pick, but never underestimate our ability to jinx teams.
  • Putting all of our Australian bias aside…do we think Matthew Dellavedova is a dirty player, or just scrappy?
  • Should Paul Pierce hang it up? We discuss the possibility of a farewell tour with the Boston Celtics.
  • We end the show by recapping some outstanding trolling by the Nike Shop Twitter account.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: Revisiting My 2015 NBA Playoffs Predictions

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

So, here we are at the 2015 NBA Conference Finals. The Golden State Warriors have just gone up 2-0 on the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to go up 2-0 on the Atlanta Hawks today, and most people seem to be expecting to see the Warriors take on the Cavs in the NBA Finals. This year’s NBA Playoffs haven’t been without controversy or criticism – when are they ever? – but on the whole, I feel it’s been a fairly entertaining postseason.

Since we’re down to the final four and inching closer and closer to finding out who will be the 2015 NBA Champions, I thought I’d take a look back at the predictions I made in The Friday Five at the beginning of the Playoffs, and see how I fared. Getting predictions wrong has become something of a running gag for us on the NLSC Podcast, but did I do a better job in written format? Read on to join me in revisiting my 2015 NBA Playoffs predictions!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #117

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With no interruptions in sight this week, we’re sticking to our regular schedule with the release of Episode #117 of the NLSC Podcast! Join Arcane and I as we discuss a couple of recent issues in the world of NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15, the latest results from the 2015 NBA Playoffs, and open up our mailbag to talk about some more of your suggested topics.

  • In honour of David Letterman’s impending retirement, we present the Top 10 Things Every Basketball Gamer Does!
  • We cover some of the recent content updates for NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15, and revisit the issue of difficult jumpshots in NBA Live 15, post-patch.
  • No new retro games in Andrew’s collection this week, but a happy ending as far as getting the problematic copy of NBA Street Vol. 2 to work.
  • The Chicago Bulls have gone fishing. Has Tom Thibodeau’s tenure in the Windy City come to an end?
  • A spectacular collapse saw the Los Angeles Clippers give up a 3-1 series lead to the Houston Rockets. What’s next for them?
  • We catch up on the rest of the NBA Playoffs to date, give our predictions for both Conference Finals series, and discuss Game 1 of Warriors vs. Rockets.
  • After almost forgetting all about it, we talk about this year’s NBA Draft Lottery. We don’t buy into any conspiracy theories, but we do feel sorry for New York Knicks fans.
  • We chat about the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Story Threads section of the Forum, and Kevin Garnett.
  • Episode #117 closes with a Tweet from a less-than-impressed Kobe Bryant.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #116

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Arcane is feeling better, so we’re back with Episode #116 of the NLSC Podcast! This week we’ve got a fair amount of action to catch up on with the 2015 NBA Playoffs, as well as some noteworthy tidbits on NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 to discuss.

  • Are we due for some big NBA Live 16 news in the next month? A recent Tweet from a senior animator on the game has given us cause to speculate.
  • What are our expectations of NBA Live 16 at this point? Which of our most desired improvements are we most likely to see?
  • The latest episode of 2KTV dropped a couple of hints about improvements the development team are looking to make in NBA 2K16. It was brief, but we liked what we heard.
  • E3 2015 is just over a month away. Do we expect NBA Live 16 and/or NBA 2K16 to be there?
  • In this week’s retro basketball gaming discussion, Andrew lists his latest eBay pick-ups.
  • We recap the 2015 NBA Playoffs to date, and offer up a few more predictions. We haven’t done too badly so far…by our standards, at any rate.
  • Speaking of predictions, we make a couple of picks for the NBA Finals. As always, we take no responsibility for any jinxes!
  • Do we disagree with any of this year’s regular season award winners?
  • Monty Williams’ firing, new logos and jerseys, and the upcoming NBA Draft lottery round out this week’s NBA discussion.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #115

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I’m back in the 21st Century with a working broadband connection, so Arcane and I were able to record Episode #115 of the NLSC Podcast, which we’re presenting to you today. This week’s topics include the NBA Live 16 Wishlist, NBA 2K16 rumours, the latest action from the 2015 NBA Playoffs, and more.

  • We’re still collecting some great feedback for our NBA Live 16 Wishlist. A recent Tweet from the official NBA Live Twitter account also demonstrates that our ideas are not going unnoticed.
  • Have the NBA 2K16 cover players been leaked? Last week’s Polygon report has provided us with a few rumours to discuss.
  • The Playoffs are bringing new content for NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15, mostly for Ultimate Team and MyTEAM.
  • We recap some recent releases in the NBA Live and NBA 2K patching community.
  • Speaking of patching, we once again discuss the notion that 2K has done wrong by the modding community with NBA 2K15’s restrictions.
  • Retro Basketball Video Game Talk is seemingly becoming a weekly segment. In the spotlight this week: Total NBA ’96 for the original PlayStation.
  • Moving on to the 2015 NBA Playoffs, we recap and give our thoughts on all the action so far.
  • Rajon Rondo certainly doesn’t appear likely to return to the Mavericks next year. We discuss where he might end up.
  • The Houston Rockets fired their social media manager following a controversial Tweet. Fair or foul?
  • Billy Donovan is close to replacing Scott Brooks as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s coach.
  • We wrap up Episode #115 with promising news for Nike fanboys…which would include us.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Mailbag submissions and topic suggestions are also welcome, so feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for the 2015 NBA Playoffs

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

It’s that time of the year again! The 2015 regular season is in the books, and the NBA Playoffs are tipping off in just a couple of days. A few of the seeds weren’t decided until the very last day of the season, and with the West in particular being very competitive once again this year, we should be in for an exciting first round. Since I have NBA League Pass Broadband, I’m looking forward to catching as much of the action as I can.

Now, if you’re a regular listener of the NLSC Podcast, you’ll know that my NBA predictions don’t always turn out so well. However, perhaps I’ll have better luck with a few that I put out in written format, as opposed to audio. To avoid going down as the jinx – again – I will refrain from making any specific predictions about the Chicago Bulls, aside from the one I’ve already made in the Forum. However, I do have a few other predictions to throw out there, while we wait for the postseason to tip off.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #114

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Episode #114 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the latest NBA Live and NBA 2K news, a Top 10 Basketball Video Games list, the forthcoming 2015 NBA Playoffs, and much more.

  • Some vague tidbits about NBA Live 16 were posted in response to a question posed to the official NBA Live Twitter. Not much to go on, but we’re looking forward to more information.
  • A new beta version of the Ultimate Jordan Roster for NBA Live 08 PC is available for the community to try out. Help is wanted with some of the art updates, for anyone willing and able.
  • gregkwaste has released a new version of the NBA 2K15 Explorer, which is very welcome news for the 2K modding community.
  • We reflect on last week’s controversy following the NBA 2K14 server shutdown, and 2K’s subsequent new policy regarding online support.
  • Hypun.com posted an article naming the ten best basketball video games of all time. Do we agree with it?
  • Moving on to some real NBA discussion…is Stephen Curry the greatest three point shooter of all time?
  • Derek Fisher has made a bold prediction about the Knicks’ fortunes next season. We’re not so sure.
  • We touch upon the recent incidents involving Chris Copeland, Pero Antic, and Thabo Sefolosha.
  • Derrick Rose and Paul George are back in action, and contributing.
  • The looming postseason means a couple of Playoff predictions. Which teams are grabbing the eighth seeds in each conference?

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Mailbag submissions and topic suggestions are also welcome, so feel free to hit us up in this thread.