Don’t Overdo the Crossover
Remember the episode of The Boondocks where Riley was great at dribbling but couldn’t shoot to save his life? Not to mention the numerous “street ballers” who can bounce the ball off their shoelace but not nail a 6-foot jumper with any consistency? Don’t be that guy. You have a ridiculous amount of moves at your disposal to lose defenders, but do not feel obligated to use them all on the same drive to the hoop. No less of a luminary than NBA Live 10 Lead Gameplay Designer Mike Wang said one of the biggest mistakes he sees is people overdoing it with the analog stick.
Do enough to get past the defender, then look for an open shot. If you don’t have one, pass the ball or use the B button to set up a screen and get someone open. While you’re doing those fancy dribbles, there are points during the animation where a savvy defender can steal the ball and that’s a fastbreak bucket waiting to happen.
To Three or Not to Three - There is No Question
One of the primary uses for setting screens (press and hold the B button on offense) in this game is to get a great shooter open beyond the three-point arc. The long range shot, or inability to hit it, decides many games. That’s especially true in online play. A recent Xbox Live update is supposed to remove a glitch that makes step back three-pointers an instant shot. But a couple of quick three pointers can still turn the tide of a game.
A lot of players have a specific point on the court they’re most comfortable shooting from. You should plant a defender at that spot the second the opposing team begins setting up. And don’t be afraid to intentional foul with the Back button. Throwing some fouls in early is a good way to check the opponent’s free throw skill. If they miss even one of three shots on occasion, fouling them becomes an infinitely better option than letting them fire up uncontested threes. Also, on free throw attempts you get the option of pressing X and A to make your opponent’s controller vibrate. It may throw them off and it may not, but it’s an option you don’t have while they’re shooting a three.
If you’re not the best long range shooter yourself, it’s time to hit the practice gym. NBA Live 10 does a good job of imitating the signature shooting styles of the world’s best b-ballers. That means launching with Kobe isn’t the same as Peja Stojakovic’s odd looking but effective fling at the bucket. Practice at length with your favorite players so you get a feel for their shot and the moves they’ll use to get open for it.
You Don’t Need The Ball to Be a Baller
One of the most important features in NBA Live 10 is the ability to control a player that doesn’t have the basketball. Superstars such as LeBron James don’t wait for the shot to come to them. Sometimes you won’t like what the AI is putting together on offense, that’s when you need to create your own shot.
Lock onto an off ball player by holding Left Trigger and that player’s passing icon button, then releasing it. Combine the off ball player control with pick and rolls to create one-on-one matchups with guys you can take using your dribble moves, or to get wide open and nail a jump shot. The beautiful moves you can create with off ball player control are highlight reel material.
Mix it up sensational off ball control plays with your superstar players and playing the old fashioned way to get your role players open. Soon your opponent won’t know who’s going to put the final nail in his coffin.
More Great Xbox 360 Games
Of course, if you do get too frustrated at NBA Live 10, here are some other great Xbox 360 games that you can check out:
Ninja Gaiden 2 - Does It Live Up To The Ninja Code?