I scouted a Throwdown compilation vs. SelfTaught at the end of the 2k18 cycle, but the two teams matched up on the new NBA 2K19. With a lot of big names, both league-established and league-hopeful, I wanted to scout the matchup again.
(Note: I’m pretty under the weather today, so you’ll forgive me, I hope, for my less-than-rigorous style.)
I gave TD a pass last time, since most of their players had recently been playing on different teams and on the league build. I think they still haven’t recovered their peak chemistry, but they get less of a pass this time. SelfTaught retains their stellar chemistry. I watched this game on Mootyy’s stream, so I got the TD audio rather than last time’s ST audio.
Again, I scout with a NBA 2K League-focused perspective. I’m not looking to see who the best Pro-Am player is as much as I’m looking to see which Pro-Am players will best be able to perform in the league. I like to focus on the non-league guys.
With that recusatio out of the way…
The difference in the game from NBA 2K18 is eminently noticeable. Certain changes will have more of an impact on the league build than others, but (for example) I like that passing is less automatic and that arms in the passing lane truly mean something.
Although this wasn’t the best-executed game, I did see a number of individual improvements from players on both teams.
In terms of point guards, I liked SelfTaught’s ExposeHim more in this game than in the last one. I think his pick-and-roll decision-making was improved, for the most part, and he was certainly able to create more without relying on souped-up dribble moves. I’m still not certain about his defensive prowess—more gameplay footage will clear that up—but it’s a positive that no egregious mistake stands out. He led the game in points (22) and assists (10) in a primarily PnR offense.
My estimation of Dev went up in this game. Thought he made some good moves and certainly hit some good shots. He’s someone I definitely want to watch more this year to consider how meritorious he is of the serious hype. Again, the defense of point guards will be an interesting projection since the prevalence of locks in Pro-Am generally means a defensive switch.
In my last ST article I noted that I want Pete to suck in more defenders on his rolls after his thorough screening. He certainly did that this game, which really does help his point guard. The defense remains very solid, both in hedging in PnR and down low. This time I’ll suggest really polishing the angle of his initial screen and consistently making the right decision in kick-outs. Also, nail those layups! Some crazy sequences there. You know what I’m talking about.
Really liked Traphard and Getonmylevel in this game. Some good leaks and cuts in transition as well as solid defense in the win. Very very solid role players, as is Dhuggz. An interesting thing that ST did on defense, capitalizing on their steal/passing-lane capability, is running almost triangular strong-side defense. It’s a bit of a gamble, and is partially predicated on Pete’s ability to move well, vertically and horizontally, on defense, but it did stymie a number of possessions. A few sharp weakside cuts will force an adjustment.
Again, the TD players are good and this is just based on one game. More scouting sessions coming soon.