Monday Tip-Off: Basketball Gaming in the Offseason

LeBron James dribbles the basketball in NBA 2K16

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.

The 2016 NBA season is in the books, as the Cleveland Cavaliers made history by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors, putting a damper on the Warriors’ own historical campaign. For basketball fans – or at least, those of us who are mostly interested in the NBA – so begins the wait until next season, with the Draft, Summer League, and potential offseason movement breaking up the monotony along the way. With the Olympic Games being held this year, we’ll also get to watch another international basketball tournament.

For those of us who are also basketball gamers, we have a few things to look forward to as well. It will be some time before we hear anything about NBA Live 17, and we likely won’t hear much about NBA 2K17 for at least a couple of months yet, but nevertheless, we have a new game coming out in September. Until then, we obviously have several years’ worth of games at our disposal, which can help us get our basketball fix while we wait for the new releases, and the 2017 NBA season.

So, what does the offseason look like when it comes to basketball gaming, and what are some of my own plans?

Well, we are a modding community, so there is plenty that we can do with basketball video games while we wait for a new season to begin. We can update rosters, add the new rookies, and get a head start on playing with this year’s Draft class and new-look lineups. We can also create Olympic mods to in order to play with the teams that will be competing at Rio de Janeiro come August, as well as the usual bevy of historical rosters, Summer League mods, and other such projects. We certainly know how to extend the experience of basketball video games around these parts.

Kemba Walker dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 16

The offseason also affords us a chance to strive for “100% completion” in the basketball games we play. Whether it’s collecting all the trophies or achievements, completing our card collections in Ultimate Team or MyTEAM, or finally playing a mode that we wish we’d spent a bit more time with, there are definitely ways of keeping ourselves occupied during the offseason. We can even dust off some of our old favourites, picking up where we left off in old seasons, completing things that we never finished, and of course, just seeing whether a certain game still holds up.

I’ve obviously got a fair bit to keep me occupied in terms of creating content for the NLSC, but I also find myself making some basketball gaming plans for the offseason. First of all, I’d like to get a little bit more involved in modding again. I’ve been able to create some updates for NBA Live this year, and I’d like to make a few more, but I’d also like to try my hand at doing a few things for NBA 2K as well. While I’ve certainly played a fair bit of NBA 2K in recent years, and maintained our Downloads section, I haven’t really done any 2K modding. I’d like to look into that a little more.

As long as the guys are up for it, I expect that I’ll be playing quite a few more games of 2K Pro-Am, as well. I talked about how much I’ve been enjoying the mode in last week’s Monday Tip-Off, and NLSC Greatness had a couple more good games over the weekend, though the virtual coin toss didn’t give us many games at the Joel Anthony Arena. I finally completed the story in MyCAREER – I’ll post some final thoughts on that sometime soon – and have slowly upgraded my player to an 81 Overall. As such, it’s getting a little easier to keep pace with opponents, and be more assertive offensively.

I expect I’ll also spend a little time with Ultimate Team and MyTEAM in NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 respectively. Unfortunately, Ultimate Team hasn’t received much in the way of new content since the Playoffs began, so I’ll pretty much be playing through some of the season games in order to attain one of the game’s trophies. MyTEAM is offering a bit more in the way of content at the moment, as I haven’t really touched it this year, and have only now started playing Domination. My squad isn’t anything special at the moment, but I do have a decent backcourt, with DeMar DeRozan, and the rookie Michael Jordan card I received as a pre-order bonus.

Ben Gordon dunks in NBA Live 06's Dynasty Mode

I’d still like to get into a Dynasty and/or MyLEAGUE game this year, having recently set up new games in both modes using the Charlotte Hornets. If I can get into either mode this year, I expect that I’ll simulate a lot of games. I prefer to play twelve minute quarters if I can, and it would be nice to get through a season or two before the real 2017 season tips off, and NBA 2K17 is released. Speaking of Dynasty games, I’m also considering dusting off my NBA Live 06 Dynasty with the Chicago Bulls. I might even sim a few games with it, though if I do, I’ll definitely keep a backup of the point I’m at before I start simulating.

Another old save game that I’m considering spending a little bit of time with is my NBA 2K13 MyCAREER. I played a few games of it a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about the difficulty starting a new MyCAREER game each year, and while there are certain elements that I found frustrating – 2K has made more than a couple of improvements since then – I’d kind of like to see what else I can do with one of my all-time favourite basketball gaming experiences. I’m more than halfway through my second season, and it’d be nice to make a little more progress towards fulfilling all the requirements to reach the Hall of Fame.

The way that the year is flying by, the 2017 NBA season will probably be tipping off before we know it, and it’ll only feel like yesterday that we were watching the epic conclusion of the 2016 NBA Finals. All the same, it doesn’t hurt to make a few plans for the virtual hardwood, while we wait for the NBA to resume play in October, and the new video games to drop. In the meantime, what are some of your offseason basketball gaming plans? If you’ve got any fun ideas, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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June 21, 2016 6:04 am

I will still play Live Ultimate Team (Master challenges are really tight 🙁 ) and Live Pro-AM (my rating is 82 only yet) only 🙂
I hope, Andrew, you will make all that planned too. 😉