NBA Live 2004 Strategies

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Whether you're new to the NBA Live series or an old dog seeking to learn new tricks, this collection of hints and tips from experienced Live players should help you raise some virtual championship banners in NBA Live 2004.

Hints and Tips from Volvic


  • Try not to attempt a contested shot unless the shot clock is running out. Swing the ball around and find the open man. Throw the ball inside, wait for the double team. Then pass the ball outside, shoot it or swing it to the weak side for an open shot, or throw the ball back in the post.
  • Know ratings for the individual players. If the player doesn't have three point range, don't shoot a three using that particular player.
  • Seems like a shot attempted after a pass is made is more likely to go in then a shot attempted after a couple of dribbles.
  • If you are dribbiling, you can create distance by bouncing the CPU defender off of you and then use the opening to shoot an open J.


  • Play aggressive defense. Don't rely on your CPU teammates to defend because they never play tight defense and the computer opponent will just hit jumper after jumper. Control a big man and roam around the court, clogging up the passing lanes and driving lanes so the CPU's perimeter players cannot drive. If the CPU posts up, let your CPU teammate defend the post guy and use your big man to try to go for the block on the weak side. If the computer is driving to the basket, get in between him and the basket and try to draw the charge. The CPU will sometimes put up an awkward layup that will miss.
  • If the CPU has a good outside shooting team, play man to man. If you want to get more steals, play Full Court Man to Man and *steal the ball off the inbound.

Hints and Tips from tempo

  • Height and Weight provide a great natural advantage. For example, LeBron James, Jalen Rose, Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant and other taller guards can shoot the one handed shot from down low. These players are either too quick or too tall for their defender to contain in the post.
  • Learn to Box Out on free throws!
  • Some players seem to prefer shooting off the dribble (Allen Iverson, Rip Hamilton) while others shoot better after getting their feet set (Glen Rice, Peja Stojakovic).
  • Pick and Roll is effective in allowing players to drive to the basket.
  • When using fakes, a move must be made instantly, as the CPU reacts very quickly on defense.
  • Don't run around aimlessly; use set plays.

Hints and Tips from arguy337

  • The "Give and Go" play can be deadly. To run a Give and Go, hold the pass button. Usually the best plan is to take your fastest player and stand close to your power forward on the perimeter. Then perform a Give and Go and use the power forward as a pick. When you get close to the basket, let go of the pass button and you will get the ball back for an easy dunk or layup. Remember, timing is everything.
  • If you have a team with a power forward who can shoot threes (Walter McCarty for example) use the offensive play "Zone Screens". Swing the ball around the perimeter, and you will usually get a nice open look at a three for your power forward.

Hints and Tips from MaD_hAND1e


  • When you pass the ball to a power forward or centre in the post and he gets double teamed, instead of passing it out for the open shot you can use the Off Ball control (press the right analog stick) and switch to the open man without the ball, then cut towards the basket and press pass to receive the ball for an easy layup. Practice this move, as it is very effective, especially when you don't want to settle for a long jumper. But the key is to be quick, otherwise the double team will steal the ball from your big man. When you want to pass for the open shot, try to move the man with the ball as far away from the open man as possible before you pass, so that the defender will take longer to reach the open man. If possible, use the post up button to back down on the defender helping on the double team.
  • Also, always use the direct passing button when you pass and be ready to pass at any time when you drive to the basket. The CPU will usually double team the driving player.
  • Don't stand too far behind the three point line when you shoot an open three. It is best to have the circle that is underneath the player just a little bit over the line.
  • Use a screen when you want an open three. Call the Pick and Roll play. The big man setting the pick usually holds the player defending the shooter while the defender of the big man switches to your guy. When the other defender is marking your player, move your player closer to the 3 point line. The big man screening for you should roll into the lane, at that time the big man marking you should switch back, while the defender that usually guards your player is out of position. This should give you an open look at a three.


  • Before the game, look at the shooting ratings of the players on the other team. Remember which ones have low ratings. Usually any player with a field goal rating under 75 won't hit an outside shot consistently, so when you defending him, give him space so that he will shoot. Jump to contest the shot. Usually I can hold a team to below 35% by forcing the bad shooters to shoot.
  • When you defend the players who like to drive, hold turbo and "push" the player with your defender. The player should "bounce" off and will be unable to perform any freestyle moves to get past you, forcing them to take a jumpshot.

Hints and Tips from trsba

Controlling CPU Fast Breaks

  • Obviously using the Sliders to slow the game down will decrease CPU fastbreaks. But if you get caught twice in a minute by a CPU fast break, use Intentional Foul and 9 out of 10 times it will foul them long before they get near the basket, enabling all your players to get back before they inbound the ball. I would probably do that 6 times a game, and it saves around 10 points.

Hints and Tips from ThieveryCorp4life

Developing Second Unit in Dynasty Mode

  • I've found that in Dynasty Mode when you select player using the fantasy draft, it's imperative that you develop or draft a good second unit. I have found that on All-Star Difficulty the CPU will compensate for early leads and blow-outs. I have also found that a good, or at least competitive second team will keep you in the game long enough to give your starters a decent rest.