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At first it may seem difficult to enjoy NBA live 06, since you have a wide range of moves at your disposal along with most of the defensive and offensive playbooks employed in real games. Although some basic knowledge of basketball certainly helps, at least the rules and knowledge of players’ positions, you do not need to know the game or have followed the NBA to become a decent player. All that is needed is familiarity with the controls and insight into how to time offence/defence against AI.
In the following sections we will look at what each button does, how to execute a proper transition and how to dunk; your basic spectacular jam. To make reading easier, the buttons indicated in the guide are the ones displayed on a Sony PlayStation© controller. This is perhaps the easiest way to discern and memorise the controls.
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There are two types of controls, like in many team-based sports simulations, which change depending on whether your team has possession of the ball or not. Thus, there are defensive or offensive controls; the task may seem gargantuan but pressing the right button will soon become automatic especially if you have played any other kind of sport sim.
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Setting Your Difficulty
There are various levels of difficulty. You can choose "starter" if it’s your first go at the game, but this is absurdly easy. I often opt for "All-star" difficulty as it is not too unrealistic.
You can also adjust the sliders if you find that the AI has too many advantages or the free-throws are too hard. Go to "Settings – Gameplay Settings" and adjust the sliders to your liking.
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Defense Strategy and Controls
The first thing you may want to do when you lose possession is to set-up your defensive formation. You can do this with the D-Pad (standard configuration) or customise your own buttons.
I won’t delve into the specifics of basketball formations, as it would be quite complex to do so, but suffice to say that the ‘double-team’ strategy often works in the game; in case they are able to enter the paint (the 2 points area of the court) you can clog the middle and often stop AI scoring. If you find that you are loosing in the 4th quarter or so, and the margin isn’t by more than 10 points you may want to use ‘full-court man-to-man’.
The buttons you need to worry about are:
X – Change your man
Triangle – Jump/Block shots
Square – Steal
L2 – Set-up a block with the controlled player
Tips: Stay close to your man and try and hit ‘square’ from time to time. Not too much as it will result in a foul.
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Offense Strategy and Controls
As you have the ball you may want to set-up your offensive formation, although this isn’t as important as defence particularly for new players. Just make sure you move the ball about or try and use the free-style controls to penetrate the AI’s defence.
When your opponent looses the ball in your half of the court, you can counter-attack. This is called a transition and it’s best when you don’t hold the ball too long. Look to make the basket quickly either by passing to a free man or running yourself.
To pass the ball press the X button; this won’t result in a precise pass however, so it is much better to use precise passing unless you are under pressure.
You can pass precisely by holding the L2 button. The overlay will tell you which button passes to whom; look at the image below for an example.
To shoot hold the circle button. Release is important so make sure you get your timing right and your shot is uncontested for best results. This is the same whether near the basket or when shooting a 3-pointer.
Lastly, to dunk, hold the square button when near the basket. If you have a player who has a high dunking-score it will be easier to make the cut.
Tips: When in transition, run towards the edge of the field then cut in as you reach the 3-point line. Cutting the court results in easier scoring as the defenders won’t chase your player until they realise he’s going for the basket.
Your good to go, now set-up your game!