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NLSC Podcast – Episode #254

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Episode #254 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the cover leak for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19, the situation with NBA Playgrounds 2, and our plans for this year’s games. Our Week in Basketball Gaming also returns, along with some other fun topics.

On this week’s show…

  • It seems the NBA 2K19 Standard Edition cover has been leaked, with Giannis Antetokoumpo being the featured player. We discuss the choice, and the situation with the Early Tip-Off Weekend being exclusive to the 20th Anniversary Edition.
  • NBA Playgrounds 2 was indefinitely postponed a month ago, and we still haven’t heard anything further. Is there any big announcement that could feasibly make up for the lack of hype?
  • What are our plans for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 when they’re released in September?
  • HAWK23 has made a welcome return to the community, and is currently looking at fixing up the links for the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K14 PC.
  • We reflect once again on our own history with modding, and why we don’t mod as much as we used to. We’re not shutting the door on the idea, though.
  • If an NBL 2K or NBL Live game were ever to be released, what would it be like? We have some fun with the idea.
  • We wrap up Episode #254 of the NLSC Podcast with a short discussion of the NBA Draft, and the (latest) Dwight Howard trade.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Reasons Not to Ragequit

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five reasons why you shouldn’t ragequit when playing NBA Live or NBA 2K.

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the CPU not playing fair, or an embarrassing deficit to an online opponent, we suddenly find ourselves wanting to ragequit a basketball video game. While it’s almost universally considered poor form to ragequit an online game you’re losing, it can be a healthy decision when you’re playing offline. It’s much better than breaking a controller (or anything else in the vicinity), and if you’re really not having any fun, you’re better off taking a break and trying again later. Generally speaking, it’s best not to try forcing yourself to endure unenjoyable experiences.

However, there are times when you should try to persevere. Beyond showing good sportsmanship in online play, there are incentives to gut out a game that isn’t going your way. You may be missing out on a potentially rewarding experience, as well as a few valuable lessons that may help you to improve your play on the virtual hardwood. No one likes to lose, and losing badly is a bitter pill to swallow, but strength in the face of adversity builds character; so does good sportsmanship, for that matter. Before you let your frustration get the better of you, here are five reasons not to ragequit when playing basketball video games.

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Monday Tip-Off: Two Comebacks in Ultimate Team

Mitch Richmond in Ultimate Team (NBA Live 18)

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. This week, I’m tipping things off with clips from two recent comeback victories I earned in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.

As I’ve discussed in a previous article, and on several episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Ultimate Team has been my mode of choice in NBA Live 18. I’ve put together a team of 90s All-Stars that are quite fun to play with, and have generally allowed me to have a lot of success in the mode. However, some of the recent challenges have been…well, quite challenging, albeit mostly due to some cheap play by the AI. It’s resulted in few frustrating losses, though also some very rewarding victories. Over the past week, I managed to earn a couple of comeback wins that felt very satisfying.

After fighting back to pick up the victory in dramatic fashion in both games, I knew I had to keep the footage of the final minutes for posterity…and for an NLSC feature. Here for your enjoyment are the final moments of my two games against the Central Division Legends and this week’s Team of the Year Challenges. Catch it here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video.

Even though blowout victories are fun in their own right, it’s very gratifying to be able to pull off wins like that in basketball games, especially when the CPU hasn’t been playing fair. Even though there were several moments of frustration throughout – and I do believe the tougher difficulty levels will need to be better balanced in NBA Live 19 – the furious rallies and final result made them two of my favourite games that I’ve played this year. Have you had any exciting wins in NBA Live 18 or NBA 2K18? Have you been playing Ultimate Team or MyTEAM? Let me know in the comments below, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #251

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Episode #251 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we follow up on some more snippets about NBA Live’s future, and discuss a couple of topics suggested by listeners. We also catch up on what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, and talk about the 2018 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • A recent Polygon article has gone into a little more detail about the future of NBA Live, with additional quotes from Seann Graddy. We discuss what he might have meant when talking about the goal of appealing to a “new, younger demographic”.
  • What are our expectations in terms of demos for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19? Are they likely to be any different to recent demos and The Prelude DLC?
  • Is it likely that we’ll ever see a Free-to-Play basketball game, similar to Fortnite?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a couple of tough but satisfying victories in Ultimate Team, as well as success in LIVE Events. We also spent time with The One, checked out the community uploads in MyLEAGUE, and played with the All-Time Teams.
  • We wrap up Episode #251 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick recap of the Conference Finals, and our thoughts on the 2018 NBA Finals so far.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #250

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Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for another milestone episode, in which we have quite a few news stories to cover (and it’s not even the preview season yet!). We also have a few tales from our past week in basketball gaming, and thoughts on the Conference Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • A teaser for EA Play has confirmed NBA Live 19 – just in case there was any doubt – and tipped off the speculation as to who will be appearing on the cover this year.
  • Game Informer has posted an article providing us with some hints at the direction of NBA Live. While it’s not much to go on, it is still promising to hear.
  • A Memphis-based ESPN station took a few shots at NBA Live 18. A little awkward, given ESPN’s exclusive deal with EA Sports.
  • The latest Game of Zones episode made fun of NBA 2K18 and Ronnie 2K. Their response was admirable, but gamers weren’t letting them off that easy.
  • From Virtual Coppers to Virtual Currency, 2K’s promotion of the latest VC sale was a little on the nose.
  • It seems Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done some mo-cap work for NBA 2K19. We discuss what that might mean for this year’s game.
  • PlayStation 4 users have received refunds for NBA Playgrounds 2. While it might just be a mandatory show of goodwill, it’s not a great look for the delayed title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a return to 2K Pro-Am, followed by an abrupt return to 2v2 on MyCOURT. The 90s All-Stars collection also continues to expand in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on the latest results from the 2018 NBA Conference Finals, and make a couple of predictions.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #247

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Episode #247 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss DLC ideas for future NBA Live games, the tip-off of the NBA 2K League, NBA Street Vol. 2, and other news and events from the past week in both basketball gaming and the real NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • FIFA 18 will be receiving free downloadable content for the World Cup, which gives us ideas for future NBA Live games. In fact, there’s quite a few things NBA Live could borrow from its EA Sports brethren.
  • Play has begun in the NBA 2K League, with the inaugural tip-off tournament now complete. We offer up a few impressions of what we’ve seen so far.
  • In order to make the Wall of Fame in NBA 2K19, you’ll need to reach 99 Overall by May 31st. For some of us, that’s simply going to be too much grinding.
  • A recent GQ article took a look back at NBA Street Vol. 2, calling it the last truly great basketball game. Do we agree with that assessment?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included more games of Ultimate Team, and a foray into MyTEAM.
  • We wrap up Episode #247 of the NLSC Podcast with a few NBA topics, including the latest action from the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and a head coaching opportunity for Becky Hammon.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #246

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Episode #246 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we talk about content updates for NBA Live 18, NBA 2K developers soliciting feedback on Twitter, questions regarding NBA Playgrounds 2’s release date, and more, including another week in basketball gaming and the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • A new roster has come through for NBA Live 18, and while it’s welcome, it also highlights how the official updates need to improve. Some of the new content in Ultimate Team has also sparked controversy among NBA Live gamers, though it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Beluba has been soliciting feedback for NBA 2K19 through Twitter polls. We’re pleased to see those efforts, though the voting has been a little surprising so far.
  • Pre-order information for NBA Playgrounds 2 mentions a May release. As we note, that isn’t Summer anywhere on Earth.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has centred on NBA Live 18, as we take a momentary break from NBA 2K18. Instead of MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am, it’s all about The One and Ultimate Team for us right now.
  • We wrap up Episode #246 of the NLSC Podcast with our usual chat about real basketball, including the ongoing 2018 NBA Playoffs and LeBron James’ future.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #245

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Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we catch up on an eventful week of basketball gaming news, discuss what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, and give our thoughts on the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • EA’s chief design officer Patrick Söderlund recently spoke out about the company’s reputation, and their intent to rehabilitate their image in the wake of the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy. We discuss how continuing to adopt a consumer-friendly model with NBA Live will surely benefit the brand moving forward.
  • A deal has been struck to broadcast the NBA 2K League exclusively on Twitch, which certainly seems like a good fit. Once again, we consider the League’s potential impact on the rest of us as we look ahead to NBA 2K19.
  • Saber Interactive has announced NBA Playgrounds 2 for a Summer 2018 release. We’re excited and hopeful for the sequel, but there are some key areas where it must show improvement.
  • Namo Gamo has released Basketball Classics on Steam Early Access. This new retro-inspired basketball gaming experience has a lot of potential, and is already quite impressive.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included taking on more challenges in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team, and a return to NBA 2K17. NLSC GrindTime may have also played its last session of 2K Pro-Am, at least for a while.
  • We wrap up Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast with some discussion of real basketball, including Andrew Bogut heading home to play in the NBL, the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Ben Simmons’ Rookie of the Year credentials.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Improvements Both NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Need

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five improvements that are needed in both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19.

The NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists that we’ve submitted, in my opinion, comprehensively cover the most important suggestions for fixes, enhancements, and additions for both games. Each game has its own list of improvements that we’re hoping to see added in the next release; for NBA Live 19, I would suggest that it comes down to further polish to gameplay and more depth to modes. NBA 2K19, on the other hand, needs a slight course correction after some missteps in NBA 2K18. With that being said, while the games have their own issues, there are currently some that are common to both series, and areas in which they can both improve.

Please note that I’m not suggesting that these are necessarily the most important issues that must be addressed in both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. As I said, our Wishlists demonstrate that both games have a long laundry list of things that can be added or enhanced, and several are specific to one series or the other. Indeed, I’ve already discussed some of the specific things that NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 need to have in previous Friday Five columns. These are just areas where both games have some common problems and room for improvements, though the respective solutions may differ slightly. With that being said, let’s get to the first item on the list.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #244

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Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the submission of our Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19, a new event involving NBA Playgrounds, the beginning of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Our Week in Basketball Gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • As mentioned earlier in the week, our official Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 have been submitted to EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively. Since the topics are still open for discussion, we once again touch on what we’d like to see from the upcoming games in both series.
  • Saber Interactive are partnering with Jack Daniel’s for an NBA Playgrounds promotion. While it’s put the game back into the spotlight, it feels like Saber has missed a lot of opportunities with last year’s arcade hoops title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming saw some trial and error as we continued to incorporate some more structured playcalling into our gameplan during our most recent session of 2K Pro-Am. Meanwhile, new cards and challenges should hopefully keep the Ultimate Team experience fresh.
  • Whether you want to say that they’ve tipped off or kicked off, the 2018 NBA Playoffs are underway! We give our thoughts on the first four games of this year’s postseason, and offer up our predictions for the first round as a whole.
  • We wrap up Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast with the feel good story of the 2018 season, Andre Ingram.

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Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #243

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Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back after our break for Easter last week, ready to catch up on a fortnight worth of basketball gaming news, our own exploits on the virtual hardwood, and recent goings on in the real NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • We open Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with an amusing bit of trivia, as it seems we’re bigger fans of The Playground than Ronnie 2K!
  • March Modness has concluded, and the winner of the giveaway will be drawn soon. More mods are in the pipeline, of course.
  • The inaugural NBA 2K League Draft was held on April 4th. We discuss the Draft and the forthcoming League tip-off, and once again consider the future direction of the NBA 2K series.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming, we catch up on a fortnight of action on the virtual hardwood. Brighter days could be ahead for NLSC GrindTime, an Ultimate Team collection continues to expand, and a new squad forms in NBA Live 18.
  • We wrap up Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion. The 2018 Playoffs are looming and there are a lot of interesting subplots to consider, especially with several seeds yet to be determined. We also talk about MVP candidates, and some untimely injuries.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Building My 90s All-Stars Ultimate Team

Ultimate Team: Scottie Pippen 90s All-Stars (NBA Live 18)

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. This week, I’m tipping things off with an update on my efforts to build a team of 90s All-Stars in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team.

As I’ve noted in previous articles and in episodes of the NLSC Podcast, my current mode of choice in NBA Live 18 is Ultimate Team. Unfortunately, Franchise mode just isn’t where it needs to be yet, and while I do like the concept of LIVE Events and LIVE Run, living in Australia, I’ve found online play to be very choppy so far in NBA Live 18. While I obviously hope NBA Live 19 will see an improvement in both of those areas, for the moment I am enjoying playing Ultimate Team. I was taken in by the mode when it debuted in NBA Live 14, so even if those other modes were more appealing to me right now, I know that I’d still be spending some time with LUT.

I spent a considerable amount of time with Ultimate Team back in NBA Live 15, and managed to put together a team comprised of 90s Legends. As Legends packs began to be released for NBA Live 18, I decided that I wanted to try that again, especially as it’s currently still the only way to play with Legends in NBA Live. After drawing Scottie Pippen a few weeks back, those efforts got off to a very promising start. After adding John Stockton and Karl Malone last week, I found myself with a formidable starting five that’s reminiscent of the old 90s All-Stars squad. While I’m quite satisfied with that lineup, I wanted to round out the bench with some more 90s players.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #242

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Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss a couple of issues regarding transparency and goodwill in NBA Live and NBA 2K, recap another eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on the latest NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • There’s continued debate over the presence of loot crates and similar mechanics in video games, and whether or not it’s a form of gambling. Should NBA Live and NBA 2K contain in-game warnings to that effect, and be more transparent about the odds of crates and card packs?
  • With yet another Locker Code prize gone in seconds, we discuss whether something needs to change in regards to NBA Live and NBA 2K providing more in the way of complimentary content and rewards.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming featured the regular session of 2K Pro-Am, the return of the baseline reverse (among other dunks), adventures in custom shoe creation, and plenty of nostalgia in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including injuries to Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry, and a strange situation with Kawhi Leonard.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #239

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Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the latest basketball gaming news, including NBA Live 18’s digital sales on PlayStation 4, a new branding opportunity for EA Sports, the aftermath of the NBA 2K League Combine, and our inaugural March Modness event. Also, the word “obviously” is overused. Obviously.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with the story behind our new design, specifically how it came to be launched earlier than expected.
  • Our inaugural March Modness event is underway! New mods will be coming throughout the month of March, and modders have a chance to win a copy of either NBA Live 19 or NBA 2K19, just by releasing new work.
  • NBA Live 18 is currently among the most popular titles in the PSN Store, indicating strong digital sales on PS4. Clearly, the discounts have been working as far as getting more people to try out the game.
  • EA Sports are also partnering with SportsCrate. We discuss the promising nature of the commercial partnerships in NBA Live 18, and what it means for the recovering strength of the brand.
  • And then there were 250! The top players from the NBA 2K League Combine have advanced to the next round, but will it have any affect on us casual 2K Pro-Am gamers?
  • We wrap up Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included another session of 2K Pro-Am where nothing was going right, and hitting The Streets with a brand new player in NBA Live 18.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #238

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Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane is back this week, joining me for a discussion of the frequent discounts on NBA Live 18, 15% off player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER, the 2018 All-Star Game, and some other topics related to basketball and basketball gaming from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • Before we get rolling on this week’s episode, we remind everyone to add their feedback to our NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists as soon as possible. Remember, suggestions left unsaid are guaranteed not to have an impact!
  • Are the constant sales for NBA Live 18 a bad sign and potentially harmful to future games, or a good move by EA Sports in their bid to win back the audience?
  • Player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER are 15% off through February 25th. It’s a nice gesture, but along with the Double XP promotions, we feel it leaves something to be desired.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included three 2K Pro-Am wins that should’ve been four, some great pulls in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team, and a continued inability to dunk in MyCAREER.
  • We wrap up Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast with some final reflections on the 2018 All-Star Weekend. We also catch up on some recent news, and look ahead to the looming postseason.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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