The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Top 5 NBA All-Star Snubs – 2016 Edition

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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 last week’s announcement of the starters and this week’s unveiling of the reserves, we now know the 24 players who will be competing in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played in Toronto on February 14th. Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, there’ll be a lot of deserving talent putting on a show at the NBA’s 65th midseason classic. Of course, should a few of them have to withdraw, there are a handful of players who have a case to take their place. And that’s where the topic of All-Star snubs comes in.

I have to admit that it was a bit difficult to put together a top five list of All-Star snubs this season. Outside of a couple of noteworthy names, almost all of the standout performers have either been voted in by the fans, or selected by the coaches. Additionally, there are only a couple of selections that you could really argue against, and even then, they’ve got a case to be there. Still, there’s no reason to avoid a topic just because the choice is difficult, so without any further ado, here are my picks for this year’s top five NBA All-Star snubs.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Gameplay Improvements I Want To See in NBA Live

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Since we’re getting into Wishlist season, last week’s edition of The Friday Five covered five features that I’d like to see return in NBA Live. I’m continuing with that theme this week as I count down the top five gameplay improvements that I’d like to see, preferably beginning with NBA Live 17. While I really want to see the game modes get deeper and some more bells and whistles added, NBA Live’s gameplay still needs some polish and enhancement, as it’s obviously an important aspect of the core experience.

That’s not to say it needs a complete overhaul, or that the current tech isn’t capable of doing the job. I’ve seen some good things from the IGNITE engine, and there’s been a noticeable improvement over the past three years. However, there are definitely some much needed improvements and additions that need to be made to NBA Live’s gameplay, to get it to the level it really needs to be at. So, without any further ado, here are the top five gameplay improvements that I want to see in NBA Live, beginning with number five.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 NBA Live Features I Want To See Return

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

In recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Arcane and I have been discussing the future of NBA Live, particularly how it’s a case of “now or never” when it comes to certain features and improvements. Likewise, back in October of last year, I engaged in a little early Wishlist talk in The Friday Five, with a piece titled 5 Things NBA Live 17 Absolutely Has To Do. Suffice to say, we have some strong feelings about what we feel the series has to achieve with this year’s iteration, as do other members of the basketball gaming community.

Since it is just about time to start creating our official Wishlist threads, I thought I’d use this week’s Five to revisit the topic of what needs to be done with NBA Live. There’s obviously going to be some overlap with the previous discussions, as I haven’t changed my mind about what I believe are the most important areas that Live needs to improve in. That said, on this occasion, I’m focusing on five features that I’d like to see return, and prioritising them in the form of a Top 5 countdown. Without any further ado, let’s tip things off with number five.

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The Friday Five: 5 Times Joey Crawford Was a Terrible Referee

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

In case you weren’t aware, long-time NBA referee Joey Crawford will be hanging up his whistle at the end of the season. Crawford, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, told the Delaware County Times that he hopes to return to the court in March, but will be calling it a day once the season is done. In the article I’ve linked to there, it’s noted that Joey Crawford is held in high regard by the NBA family, mentioning that he even received the Golden Whistle Award. I have to admit, that really, really puzzles me.

That’s not to say that Joey Crawford has never done his job properly. We tend to focus on the negatives; the one time out of ten that there’s controversy, instead of the other nine times that were unremarkable. Still, to simply acknowledge that Joey Crawford is “controversial” and “colourful” is putting things very mildly, to say the least. From incorrect and downright strange calls, to diva-like and attention-seeking behaviour, to needlessly interfering with the play and even losing his temper, some of Crawford’s worst antics have sullied the sport. So, for this week’s Five, I’m listing the best of his worst, namely five times that Joey Crawford was a terrible referee.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things I Want To Do with The NLSC in 2016

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.

2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.

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The Friday Five: Christmas Day Game Predictions

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings, everyone! Christmas Day is almost over here in Australia, but if you’re on the other side of the world, you might just be waking up to a day that’s hopefully filled with lots of good food, thoughtful gifts, and good times with family and friends. There are also five games on the NBA schedule today, so for the final Friday Five of 2015, I’m posting an abbreviated column with my predictions for this year’s Christmas Day games.

  • Miami Heat over New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans have struggled so far this season, while a healthier Heat team have bounced back from last season’s misfortunes. The Heat are at home for this one, and I expect they’ll take care of business.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder over Chicago Bulls. I’m going against Arcane’s prediction in Episode #139 of the NLSC Podcast. I’d love to see the Bulls win, but they’re struggling at the moment, and I think Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will be too much to overcome. That said, I’ll be happy to get this prediction wrong.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers over Golden State Warriors. This is one of my bold predictions in our latest episode of the Podcast. I’m picking the Cavaliers to hand the Warriors their first home loss, and second loss of the season, winning by five or more. In any event, this will definitely be the game to watch, in my opinion.
  • San Antonio Spurs over Houston Rockets. Unless Gregg Popovich decides to give all his stars Christmas Day off to thumb his nose at a nationally televised game – we’ve seen it happen before, after all – I think the Spurs will take down the struggling Rockets.
  • Los Angeles Clippers over Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant has been playing a bit better as of late, and his final Christmas Day game might see a throwback performance. The Clippers are the best team in LA at the moment though, and I think they’ll prevail by double digits.

Russell Westbrook wearing the Thunder's Christmas Jersey in NBA Live 16

I’ll be tuning in to those games throughout the day, and I’m sure that a lot of you will be, too. Hopefully, we’re in for some entertaining holiday hoops! If you’re watching the Christmas Day games, feel free to post your thoughts and predictions in the comments below, and join in the discussion in the NLSC Forum! Thanks for checking in on the Friday Five throughout 2015. I’ll have more lists, editorials, opinion pieces, and top fives to share with you all next year, so be sure to check in every Friday throughout 2016 for more Fives!

The Friday Five: 2015 Year In Review

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Since next Friday is Christmas Day, and then we’re out of Fridays for the year 2015, I thought I’d write my year in review column this week. Scary as it may be to think about, I’d say we’re close enough to the end of the year for a retrospective. It’s been another fun and successful year here at the NLSC, and I’m intending to do my best to ensure that trend continues into 2016. For now though, I’d like to take a look back at the year that was.

For this retrospective, I’ll be listing some of my favourite editions of The Friday Five and episodes of the NLSC Podcast from 2015, and reminiscing about some of the other big moments we’ve had here at the NLSC during the past 12 months. I hope you’ll find it an appropriate way to cap off the year – even if we do still have a little less than two weeks left of it – and that you’ll enjoy my editor’s picks as far as the Five and Podcast are concerned. With that said, here’s my 2015 Year In Review!

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The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes We Make in Basketball Video Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

In this community, we know basketball, and we know basketball video games. When it comes to virtual hoops, I think it’s fair to suggest that we have some people in our community who are pretty good on the sticks. Nevertheless, as much as we know about basketball – the real thing, and its virtual equivalent, be it NBA Live or NBA 2K – there are some mistakes that we’re prone to making. As those mistakes add up, so too do our losses, whether it’s to the CPU in one of the franchise modes, or to other users online.

So, in this week’s Friday Five, I thought I’d list some of the mistakes that we’re prone to making, and offer up some advice on how to avoid them. These are the things that I try to keep in mind when I’m playing NBA Live or NBA 2K; both the pitfalls I’d prefer to avoid, and the strategies I employ to try and do so. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that we make when we play basketball video games…and a few ways that we can avoid them.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Worst Trades & Signings I’ve Made in Basketball Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Last week, I counted down the top five best trades and signings that I’ve made in the franchise modes of basketball games. It was fun to reminisce about some of the deals that really made the games more fun for me, even if a few of them were correcting earlier mistakes. And speaking of mistakes, that’s what I’m taking a look at this week: the trades and signings that didn’t pan out nearly as well as I hoped they would.

Just as a great trade or signing can make a franchise game even more enjoyable, a bad move can greatly detract from the overall experience. A series of bad deals often leads to frustration and boredom, with a roster that’s too thin, too stacked, or just too strangely put together. To paraphrase a certain animated ski instructor, if you make a lot of questionable moves, you’re gonna have a bad time. In that spirit, I’m counting down what I feel are the top five worst trades and signings that I’ve made when playing through the franchise modes of basketball games. Let’s tip things off with number five…

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Best Trades & Signings I’ve Made in Basketball Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

By this point in the season, I’m guessing that a lot of basketball gamers have gotten stuck into one of the franchise modes in NBA Live 16, NBA 2K16, or perhaps even one of the older basketball games. I don’t have a Dynasty, MyLEAGUE, or MyGM game going at the moment, but hopefully I’ll get into one before the year is out. As I’ve mentioned many times before in the Friday Five, I’ve been a big fan of franchise modes for many years, and have a lot of fond memories of playing through seasons, messing around with my roster, and winning virtual championships.

Making a great trade or signing is something that can really help create a special franchise experience. It’s adding that final piece of the puzzle, or acquiring a new superstar that gives your team an entirely new look. It’s finding a bargain, or creatively wheeling and dealing to maximise the value that the CPU gives you in return. It’s a deal that makes you better, and increases the “fun factor”. With that in mind, I’m counting down the top five trades and signings that I’ve made in basketball games over the years. Let’s get started with number five…

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The Friday Five: 5 Things Every NBA Video Game Must Have

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Since NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 have been out for about a couple of months now, there’s been plenty of talk about the good and bad in each game, and what each series should look to do in the next release. While that’s a subject we can (and no doubt will) continue to discuss in great detail with lengthy Wishlists, there are some common themes in our feedback which can be summarised in a short list of must-haves. That’s what this week’s Five is all about: an overview of the things an NBA game must have, to be a great release. In my opinion, at any rate.

Before I begin, I should mention that I’m focusing more on core features than core mechanics, or presentation. Things such as life-like animations and player models, realistic performance and strategy, appealing presentation, good controls and so on…I’m taking that as read, because those are fundamental elements of a basketball video game’s foundation. These are the things that I believe NBA games must have on top of all that; I hope that explains where I’m coming from with my list. With that said, let’s tip things off with item number one…

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The Friday Five: 5 Unlucky Moments in Basketball Video Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Another Friday the 13th is upon us! For those of us who aren’t superstitious, it’s just a day like any other, perhaps even a day of good fortune since the weekend is right around the corner. For those who suffer paraskevidekatriaphobia, however, it’s a day of bad omens and misfortune, and we’ve had three of them in 2015. And yes, despite what my spell checker claims, that is in fact a real word that describes a fear of Friday the 13th. I Googled it.

In previous editions of the Five that have fallen on a Friday the 13th, I’ve discussed unlucky moments in NBA history, and some of my favourite players to have worn the number thirteen. This time, I’m going back to the theme of bad luck, as I examine some of the unluckiest things can happen to us when playing basketball video games. Of course, these things don’t require a supposedly cursed day to occur; unfortunately, they can strike at any time, on any given day.

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The Friday Five: 5 Questions after Week 1 of the 2016 NBA Season

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

While there’s still much to discuss on the NBA Live and NBA 2K front, I wanted to talk about some real basketball in this edition of The Friday Five, as we’re just over a week into the 2016 NBA season. There are some interesting stories developing through the first four to six games of the new season, and as a result, a few questions spring to mind. Since a few of them relate back to the predictions I made before the season tipped off, I thought I’d throw them out there, and perhaps make a few more predictions.

Now, it should be acknowledged that it’s still early days, with teams having between 76 and 78 games left to play in the regular season. What happens in November doesn’t always matter come April, or indeed, June. All the same, it’s interesting to take a look at the early trends and noteworthy statistics, and wonder about what’s going to happen next. As such, here are five questions I’d like to put out there after the first week (and a bit) of the 2016 NBA season.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA Live 17 Absolutely Has To Do

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Normally, this is the type of article that I would write after the most recent release has been out a little longer, but with NBA Live 16 selling a disappointing amount of copies, and NBA Live 17 really having to move the needle and make an impact, I figured I’d start early on some constructive feedback. While I do feel that NBA Live 16 is an improvement over NBA Live 15 and has some good elements and concepts, there is much that needs to be done with NBA Live 17, especially in terms of making it a deep and fully featured NBA sim.

Now, this is all stuff that I’ll be discussing in further detail in future editions of The Friday Five, as well as other articles and of course, the NLSC Podcast. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive Wishlist article, covering every point in-depth, and listing absolutely every improvement that needs to be made in NBA Live 17. Rather, it’s meant to highlight some of the key improvements and additions that I believe need to be made next year. With that said, let’s take a look at the five things that in my opinion, NBA Live 17 absolutely has to do.

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for the 2016 NBA Season

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five 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.

Have you grown impatient waiting for the 2016 NBA season to begin? Fortunately, the wait is almost over, as we’re less than a week away from opening night! The NBA’s 70th season tips off on October 27th, with the Chicago Bulls hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors taking on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Oracle Arena. Another year of exciting basketball, dazzling highlights, and intriguing stories all around the league; if you’re a hoops fan, chances are you’re feeling pretty pumped right now.

With the offseason behind us and the pre-season drawing to a close, the time has come to start making some predictions about what’s going to happen in the NBA this year. Earlier this week, the GMs of all 30 teams chimed in with some of their predictions for the season, along with their ratings and rankings. Since this is the last Friday before the new season tips off, I thought I’d use this week’s Five to join in the fun, and offer up five predictions for the 2016 NBA season.

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