Shot Control is a gameplay option first implemented in NBA Live 95 and is used to determine the level of control the user has over making jumpshots.
When Shot Control is set to User, the likelihood of a shot being made is determined not only by the ratings but the release of the shoot button. Timing is paramount as releasing the shoot button too early or too late will result in a poor release on the jumpshot. Depending on the player's ratings - and in recent games, the Poor Release gameplay slider - a player may be able to make a shot despite a bad release. User Shot Control is the preferred method for most NBA Live players as it gives the user more control over the shot, leading to a more challenging game and rewarding skilled players.
The alternative option for Shot Control is CPU, which places a greater emphasis on the player's ratings. Timing is less important as it is left up to the AI to automatically calculate the likelihood of a shot being made based on a player's field goal rating. This method is less popular as it doesn't reward skill and at times can seem quite random.
Absence in NBA Live 08 and Return
The option was removed in the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of NBA Live 08 with the animation of the poor release animation, in order to preserve the signature shooting forms. The decision was unpopular as it removed control from the player and made the success of jumpshots feel more random. The technique of holding down the shoot button and releasing it at the optimum moment was restored in NBA Live 09, while still preserving player shooting forms.