When it comes to the game of basketball, scoring may be pretty but defense wins championships. That sentiment is true whether you are talking about real life action or NBA Live 10 for the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. In both cases, it won’t matter how much you score if you can’t stop the other team from putting the ball in the net. So, if you have your sights set on winning NBA Live 10 tournaments for both video game consoles, you’ll need to pay attention to the following defensive tips.
First, you need to identify the best players on the opposing team and set your match-ups and defensive strategy accordingly. Just because your default settings have each position guarding its counterpart, that shouldn’t stop you from being creative. If you are facing a team with Kobe Bryant, your best defender should match up with him whenever possible. This might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how often gamers leave their weaker shooting guard on Bryant, as opposed to using a stronger defender. Simply make the defensive switch between small forward or point guard and get the best situation possible. Similarly, identify the best big man on the opposing team and use your best interior defender as a way to stop them. Remember, just because your player is a certain position, doesn’t mean they play that way. Make sure you have your match-ups in order and you will be in much better position to get key stops.
Next, decide on your overall defensive scheme, choosing between man defense and zone defense. If you aren’t sure which is best for any particular game, there are a few factors to consider. First of all, note whether the opposition can shoot the three-point shot with accuracy or not. If they are strong shooters, you will likely play man-to-man, crowding each player on the perimeter without allowing open looks. On the other hand, poor shooting teams will struggle against a zone, because it clogs the lane and gives up open shots from the outside. In these situations, you will hope for that result, as the opposition gets more and more frustrated. Zone defenses are also a great solution for slowing down opposing superstars, because it allows the full five-man unit to focus their eyes on one player. Of course, the downside of this choice is that other players will end up with easy baskets, while great offensive teams will find cracks in the zone. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your NBA Live 10 opponent and choose the defensive format that makes the most sense.
Zone defense is another option, and one that has been used more traditionally in college basketball. In fact, zone was illegal in the NBA until recently, when the rules committee allowed it to used. In zone, each defensive player is given a section of the court to defend, be it under the basket or out on the wings. The biggest advantage of zone is that it helps teams deal with opposing superstars. When facing a guy like Kobe Bryant, it is almost impossible to guard him with one player. Instead, the defense is able to collapse the zone on a scorer like Bryant, using a team effort to try and slow him down.
To make sure this happens, make sure each of your players puts a body on their man when the shot goes up. Resist the urge to sneak down the court for a chance at scoring, because that decision can easily backfire. If you leave your man too early, they will simply grab the ball for an easy put-back basket. Think about it – every extra rebound that your opponent gets during a game is an extra shot opportunity, and a much better chance at victory. For that reason, you must pay extra attention to rebounding.
Again, it doesn’t matter how many points you can score if you can’t stop the other team. Use these defensive tips to improve your NBA Live 10 skills on the PS3 and Xbox 360, giving you the upper hand when you face online rivals in tournaments and challenges. Think you have what it takes? Get online and show your rivals what you’ve got!