EA Sports today released more on the controls for NBA Live 14, performing the signature style dribbling moves for various players, and the depth of coaching styles and strategies. It’s all very good information that is impressive in the depth it will provide users but without showing everything in context of an actual game, and continuing to hold back looks at extended unedited footage, will likely continue to ring hollow for most.
♦The most important thing to keep in mind when stringing together moves and breaking down defenders is maintaining the rhythm of the dribble. Simply spamming flicks and holds on the right stick will be largely ineffective, and defenders will simply wait you out or, worse yet, poke the ball loose for a turnover. However, by waiting for each move to end before going into the next one, you’re able to more effectively confuse the defense and blow past for the bucket or the pass. It’s critical to pay attention to the speed at which your chosen player performs his crossovers, hesitations and other moves, as that will significantly affect the timing. Due to the strengths and weakness of the ball handler, you will want to attack the defense differently. Kyrie has an explosive, quick style which means his dribbles are going to be fast and furious. Carmelo’s style is more methodical, so you’ll be looking to lull a defender by working off his hesitation move. Since you have to respect his jumper, his hesitation move becomes even more devastating.
♦Each player’s style is unique, so it’s important to understand your chosen players speed, quickness and signature moves in order to utilize him effectively. Remember that this is a rhythm-based dribble system, and that you can branch into your next move, shot, or pass as soon as the ball is in your hands. For example, you could do the same signature move twice; though branching out of it at different times could give you two different first-step speeds. You can jump right in and play, but once you do it becomes a thing of beauty.
♦A few specific things to call out here, as they’ll help you maximize your defensive potential. Utilizing the slides on the right stick will allow you to quickly react to drives and changes in direction, letting you stay in front of him and force him away from the basket. The right stick also allows you to attempt a dig steal, contest, and take a charge. Also worth noting is the auto-charge feature, which lets you absorb contact and draw the foul without having to push a button. Simply set yourself in front of the ball-handler and if he bulldozes into you while you’ve got position you’ll likely get the whistle and take control of the ball. It’s important to stress that we have balanced this feature to insure that there is a proper ratio of blocks/flops/charges called.
♦In addition to on-court defensive controls NBA Live 14 offers the deepest coaching options in franchise history. For the first time you will be playing against team specific defenses. You may have success in the pick and roll versus New York but you may struggle the next night against Boston. As a user you have the ability to change these at the team or individual level. For instance, if you like the Bulls scheme on the pick and roll but you would like to alter that when playing against Rondo you can. We have also let you adjust your gameplan on the fly.
♦Before each game you can set up you strategy in various areas from how strongly you pressure the ball to how your guys fight through screens. Knowing who you’re matched up against and the opponent’s tendencies will prove to be a critical element of coaching, as you can tailor your play style on both offensive and defense to nullify the other team’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
♦This depth of strategy works both ways, as AI coaches and players are also aware of various situations and adjust their defense accordingly. For instance, the AI knows which player is setting a screen and will react accordingly. If you bring up a Stretch 4 don’t expect the defense to hang back and let him pop out and shoot threes. Instead, defenders will continue to cover him as he floats outside, denying him the ball and contesting the shot.