When it comes to NBA Live Pro-Am, I’m not the greatest. I shoot just over 30% from beyond the arc and I’m pretty bad at defending the perimeter. However, I take pride in the fact that I’m a low maintenance teammate. On offence, I always look for good shots and generally pass the ball when they’re not there for me, and I always run back on defence and contest shots to the best of my ability. I might not be the most skilled, but I like to think my general awareness of my surroundings makes up for that. The same cannot be said about some of the people I’ve had to share a team with.
Teammates in Pro-Am can make or break a game. Sometimes you can get a good mix of people who are both skilled and are willing to play the game in the right spirit. Then you get those who may be one, but not necessarily the other. In light of this, I’ve decided to come up with a few suggestions on how to be a better teammate in NBA Live Pro-Am.
Please note that while I’m having a rant against people who are generally bad teammates, I’m by no means perfect. I’ve been guilty of all these annoyances at least once, and it’s okay to slip up every now and then. These suggestions are directed to those who are repeat offenders.
Tip #1: You don’t always need the ball in your hands
If you’re one of those people who spams the pass button as soon as the CPU gets the ball – please stop. So many turnovers get committed because some impatient person wants the ball so badly that the CPU throws a speculating pass in order for it to happen.
Sometimes it’s best to wait. If you’re always getting the ball, the defensive strategy for the opposition becomes pretty easy. However, if you set screens, run your defender around the court and spot up, you will be able to get more open shots.
Tip #2: Take the three if it’s there
I understand that everyone wants to be Steph Curry – the guy is the reigning MVP, NBA champion, and one of the best players on the planet – but that doesn’t mean you should spam the three point line. It doesn’t matter how great your rating is, if you’re well guarded, pass the ball. Remember, Steph Curry does that from time to time as well. In fact, it’s considered one of the underrated parts of his game.
I cannot stress enough how important this is. Over the weekend, I saw so many people throw up a three when the situation just didn’t call for it. Furthermore, when my team was down by just 5 points, I heard someone say “okay, we need a three.” I wanted to respond with “no, we need to play good defence and take when they give us on offence.” If you’re down 19-14, I can understand the need, but we were only down 15-10 – we still had time to get back in the game with smart offence.
Tip #3: Learn what the three second rule is
Okay, so most knowledgeable NBA fans know this rule… at least, I once assumed that. After playing NBA Live Pro-Am over the weekend, I’m not so sure now. Above just about every other technical rule – such as over and back, out of bounds, etc – the three second rule is the one that tends to happen the most. And it’s so easy to avoid.
If you’re unsure of how it works, maybe you should only go in the paint when you can score an easy basket, or if you’re going for a rebound. Actually, maybe you should just camp beyond the arc. That might just stop the confusion all together.
Tip #4: Utilise the CPU players (if you have them)
It’s pretty cool having guy like Ray Allen on your team, isn’t it? But guess what? If he’s not allowed to even touch the ball, you may as well not have him on your team. Hell, even Michael Jordan couldn’t help you. I know it’s tempting to emulate Kobe and throw up a bunch of contested shots, but let’s be honest, you’re not even J.R. Smith at this point.
It’s not just the shooters you can use to great effect. Some of the most fun I’ve had has been playing PnR with the likes of Kenneth Faried and Kelly Olynyk (shoutout to JaoSming), whether it’s been coming off their screens for dunks or throwing up alley oops to them.
Tip #5: Defence: Not just steals and blocks
See that line? It’s pointing you towards the person you’re supposed to be guarding. When you slack off your defensive assignment, someone else has to pick up the slack. And if the other person doesn’t react in time, the opposition has that nice open shot that they’ll barely miss.
I know, playing good defence doesn’t always get those stats that you love. It’s far more exciting to register a number in those steals and blocks categories. But you know what’s even more fun? Winning… and defence goes a lot way to achieving that result.
Steals and blocks are like threes: you should only go for them at the right time. Every now and then, the gamble will pay off, but most of the time, you’re just hindering your team’s defence.
While there are other things that could help you become a better teammate, I figured that these were the essentials. If you take on board these suggestions, you will automatically be a better teammate… at least in my eyes.
Have you got any suggestions for the bad teammates out there? What really annoys you in online basketball experiences like NBA Live Pro-Am?