I want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has dropped by Sim Citi to read or get involved in the discussion. The response has been tremendous and it is greatly appreciated.
Similar to the Matrix and Mr. Smith's infamous speech about it, hoop games on offense all suffer from some degree of inevitability. The vaunted memory and processing capacity ( yes I am joking) available in the current gen systems is no match for the supercomputer between your ears. So, eventually, users are bound to figure out how to stop a cpu attack.
In NBA 2K11 the AI and users were greatly hindered by the cpu's limitation of 4 plays per player. I mean even the lowliest of basketball IQ's are going to be able to figure out a play if it is ran repeatedly over the course of a 48 minute game. Even more so if this is a team you happen to play 4 times in a season; then meet them in the playoffs.
You already know from the play-calling insight about the living branches. I will take you through one play today to give you an better idea of how 2K's Living Branches aim to make the inevitable... a little bit less so. This is a medium difficulty play so if your new to the series please don't panic. There are plenty of simple plays you can run that will not be difficult or confusing to understand. To our advanced users there are definitely more advanced and complex plays in the game than what we look at today.
Let's travel to bean town to check out the Celtics 13 entry play. This is a variation the C's run on a floppy play. If you watch them a good deal I am certain you have seen them operate out of this play. Here is the base set for this play.
The play begins with a pass from the pg (1 Rondo) to the sf ( 3 Pierce). The red squiggly line represents a dribble entry option. So if Pierce is overplayed/ fronted, OR if you prefer the options on this dribble entry because of matchups you can dribble Pierce out.
We will proceed with the pass branch for now. On the pass the sg (2 Ray Allen) will dive into the paint and get his head under the basket. The 1 will follow his pass and curl around Pierce. ( If you have a jump shooter in for rondo or Ray at the 1, feel free to use this as a rub opportunity for a quick jumper)
In 2k11 come hell or high water the 2 would always come off the screens on the same side. So once you saw the initial action as a defender you knew with certainty where the play would terminate.
NBA 2K12 introduces dynamic floppy decisions. This means that the only person on the floor who knows which screens the 2 will come off of is the 2.
Let us continue as if the 2 decided to run off the single screen by the 1. As the 2 clears the screen by the pg (1). You can see the 1 will immediately run off a double screen set by the 5 and 4.
This actually happens as the same time the 1 comes off the single screen above, but I broke this out so as not to make the diagram too busy to understand. Consider this a slo-mo replay. As the 1 comes off the double screen we have the roll/ fade protect we talked about in the last blog. Only this time we have a double post.
If the sg is open off the screen you hit him for the open jumper.
If the defender guarding the 2 happens to smell out the screen play and deny it. You have a release option to the 1 on the opposite side of the floor.
Knowing this is the Celtics and with the authentic plays we knew there is a good chance that that is Rondo on the other side of the floor at the 1. Doc wouldn't want him chucking up that Jumper so we have a Pick and Fade assigned to finish that branch off should you need it.
Whew... now... what happens if the 2 decides to go off the double screen ?
and what about about that dribble branch option. Is the play the same or different if you dribble entry ?
Sounds like excellent fodder for part two of this blog.