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Player progression in NBA 2K16 has been broken down into broader categories

With practice I became a decent defender in NBA 2K16, and the continuous effort toward balancing aggressive D with conservative basket-protecting is one that you can become skilled at but never quite master -- just like the real thing. My one issue with this is that certain opponents, no matter how savvy you think you’ve become, simply can’t be consistently defended. I couldn't for the life of me find a way to shut down Lebron James without double-teaming, and though that’s probably an accurate reflection of real life, I should be able to keep him contained with man-to-man if my input skills facilitate doing so. From what I can tell, Visual Concepts decided early on that they didn’t want that happening.
 
MyTeam mode is an older returning mode that could use a little refining but still adds enjoyability to the game. Like any other recent sports game, you build your team via trading cards that you buy by acquiring MyTeam points from playing in the mode. At first your team will be stocked with bottom of the rotation guys and maybe one or two players just over the hill, but as you play through the mode and complete challenges, play against friends and strangers, and visit the Auction House, you’ll begin building a team of all-stars. The players you can buy and unlock include stars from the past 50 years, so if you want Kobe, Kareem, and Jerry West on the same team, you can make that happen, provided you have the funds for it.

 
Player progression has been broken down into broader categories that contain the individual ability statistics of old rather than splurging virtual currency on on thing at a time, but those numbers still make a difference. Perfect timing won't always equal a perfect shot, and picking one's shots has really become something of a necessity this time around. That said, I've been bricking some absolutely wide-open, perfectly executed jumpers, which has been a bit of an exercise in frustration. I also miss the little visual indicators that tell you when you're hot or cold, and when your performance has led to a little boost in offensive production or defensive stopping power. I'm assuming that the red rings below my player are indicators of player rhythm, but the game never bothers to explain that.
 
Outside of MyCareer, the other major modes including MyPark, MyTeam and MyGM are all very similar to last year’s release, and while the changes to each vary from minor to, well, very minor, like everything else in this game, those implemented have all made a positive impact on the overall experience. Online still has its issues and remains the series’ Achilles’ heel, but get past the technical issues and NBA 2K15 is nonetheless home to a wealth of options and as always, enough content to swallow your social life whole should you allow it. It’s just an all-round smart game. It nails the fundamentals of a game of basketball, rewarding players who actually play the sport as it is at the highest level. Coach insights often tell you to be patient on offense, or run the offense through certain players, and defensively they can tell you to stop the outside shot or even force it.
 
NBA 2K15 tells you enough without ever holding your hand, always expecting you to execute at a level befitting of the NBA. This game reminds us that it’s a very, very tough league. Move the ball, set screens, be patient. These are actually simple fundamentals, but NBA 2K15 imposes them on a match better than any before it. You don’t just have to deal with owner, of course. You have staff which includes an Assistant GM, Head of Scouting, a trainer, a Coach, and an Assistant Coach. You also have press conferences where you answer questions to determine how much reporters like you. Possibly most important, you have to keep your players happy.
 
With all of these personalities to please, you’re going to develop your own story around your GM. You can play your cards close to the chest and be stand-offish with the press and let them roast your for it. You can call out players and have them resent you. You can appease the coach and keep him happy. You can coddle young stars and push away aging whiners. The meetings, press conferences, personalities that happen off of the court matter almost as much as the games themselves.