NBA 2K18

Leaked:  NBA City Jerseys

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2K made a “boo-boo” and as a result, we basketball enthusiasts benefit.  That’s why we love these guys so much.  Take a look:

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NBA 2K18 All Time Team Rankings

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Photo Credit: 2K

When we talk about the greatest teams of all-time, we often bring up teams from particular years such the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, 2015-16 Warriors, or the 1986-87 L.A. Lakers. However, what if we approached this from a different angle. Leave the years out of it. Which team is simply the best of all-time. Is it the Celtics with their 54 playoff appearances and 17 championships? Or perhaps it would be the Lakers with 60 playoff appearances and 16 championships? Or, perhaps you could subscribe to the school of thought that the best team is the team with the best player and argue that the Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are the best team of all-time.

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Photo Credit: 2K

After much anticipation, the 2K franchise has made this debate more tangible, debatable, and playable than ever before by incorporating all-time teams into their newest release that is set to hit stores on September 19th. In anticipation of the coming release, the 2K franchise has recently leaked the rosters and ratings for their all-time teams. As we all gear up for 2K, let’s put the debate to rest (or spark it) before it starts, by ranking the classic teams in this Hardwood Features all-time team roster power rankings.

Hardwood Features in partnership with the basketball Oracle, Hoopstadamous have developed a top secret algorithm in order to find a net rating for each team… without further ado, we count down the Hardwood Features All-Time Team Power Rankings

30.  Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies:

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Surprisingly enough, I know. But being a newer franchise has it limitations and consequences.  As you play the law of percentages, the window is tougher on wins and losses when you haven’t played as many games as a franchise who has been around twice as long as you have.  Same thing goes into play for all-time greats.  However, you could still get pretty creative with the lineups and be effective; but in today’s game winning while playing the old-school type of basketball is tough.  The 92 and 93 rated Gasol brothers are the best players on the team but aren’t the fastest players to play an uptempo style game in this run and gun era of 2k.  And backing up Mike Conley, Jason Williams and Mike Bibby should be fun to play with in the backcourt.

Zendejas’ starting five:  Mike Conley (87), Tony Allen (85), Shane Battier (85), Pau Gasol (92), Marc Gasol (93)

29.  Toronto Raptors:

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Another young franchise, the Toronto Raptors don’t have the tenure to be at the top of the list, but this could be a sleeper team this year.  You could throw Chris Bosh at the 5 spot and go extremely athletic and do some damage.  The team just lacks depth.  Then again, in 2k is that really an issue.  Shorten your rotations, use manual substitutions and you’ll surprise a pretty good chunk of your opponents.  This franchise does have some of our favorite jerseys current and throwback.  Look good, play better.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Kyle Lowry (88), Demar DeRozan (89), Tracy McGrady (84), Vince Carter (95), Chris Bosh (92)

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Photo Credit: 2K

28.  Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets:

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Here’s a tough one.  The squad has some really good old school players but no starter or even player on the roster is rated in the 90s.  Glen Rice has the highest rating at 89 which isn’t bad but poses a huge problem when playing against other all time greats who’s entire squad is rated in the 90s.  Stay tuned and you see exactly what I’m referring to.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Kemba Walker (86), Eddie Jones (88), Glen Rice (89), Larry Johnson (88), Alonzo Mourning (88)

27.  Los Angeles Clippers

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Was Corey Maggette really that good?  I’m assuming if he is rated an 86 and starting at the 2 spot on the all-time Clipper team, that means he’s the best two guard they’ve every had?  Or have the Clippers really been that bad?  I guess I need to watch some highlights on him.  He’s my only question mark in that starting five.  Then again, I really don’t care because I don’t think I’ll be playing too many games with this squad.  They are all sorts of messed up and uncompetitive.  Props to Bob McAdoo for being the highest rated player.  The legendary Bill Walton makes the cut.  Lastly, who is “World B. Free?”  Lots of question marks with this team.  No wonder they are always in these conundrums.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Chris Paul (92), Corey Maggette (86), Bob McAdoo (94), Blake Griffin (90), Deandre Jordan (87)

26.  New Orleans Pelicans

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Another sleeper squad in my opinion, if you can gameplan and follow through with the execution of it.  A young Chris Paul with a rating of 96 sharing the backcourt with Baron Davis.  Jamal Mashburn filling the 3 spot and David West and Anthony Davis in the front court.  Demarcus Cousins is the first guy off the bench.  The franchise has no titles which make them subpar in our ranking system but there is some talent there.  There is a lot of height which allows a pesky Chris Paul to be more aggressive on the perimeter.  My only concern would be fast break points and finding a way to generate those easy transition buckets.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Chris Paul (96), Baron Davis (90), Jamal Mashburn (89), Anthony Davis (92), Demarcus Cousins (88)

25.  Minnesota Timberwolves

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A 97 rated KG.  91 rated KAT.  A K. Love who used to put up 30 and 20 every night.  For a franchise that has the lowest win percentage of all 30 NBA teams, the club is equipped with crafty guards and skilled big men.  I’m pretty sure KG has some defensive badge that will boost everyone else’s defensive abilities and awareness when playing along side him.  I could see this team being one of the best defensive teams in the game.  Try this:  slow the game down, 4-5 pick-and-pops (or pick-and-rolls), and solid man to man defense.   You’ll win games easily by double digit margins.  And in garbage time, throw in Zach Lavine and Stephon Marbury and just throw alley-oop all over your opponent.  Rub in it.  This team can score and they can play some D.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Sam Cassell (87), Andrew Wiggins (86), Kevin Love (91), Kevin Garnett (97), Karl Anthony-Towns (91)

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Photo Credit: 2K

24.  Orlando Magic

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I believe this team in the ultimate sleeper.  Scorers galore!  High flyers everywhere!  And athletic bigs!?  Dwight in his prime and a young “Diesel.  This is going go to be the 2k team to play with this year.  All five starters are rated in the 90s except for Grant Hill who’d I’d use just as a “space the floor” guy.  Maybe even sub Nick Anderson in for him.  But other than that, you have Penny, T-Mac, Shaq and Dwight.  Look out below because we will be playing the entire game above the rim.  Also, 2k might have to tighten the screws on the backboard and rim at the end of each quarter.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Penny Hardaway (93), Tracy McGrady (95), Nick Anderson (85), Dwight Howard (93), Shaquille O’Neal (93)

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Photo Credit: 2K

23.  Washington Wizards

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As I look through the depth chart, the first thing that comes to mind is that John Wall could go down as the greatest Wizard of all time.  Also, where’s post prime Jordan and Gilbert Arenas.  They’re good enough to make the cut over Otto Porter and Bradley Beal.  This one is interestingly sad, in my opinion.  But then again, John Wall is an excellent playmaker and the other starters are more than just decent.  Who knows, they could surprise me.  I’ve been wrong plenty of times before.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  John Wall (90), Earl Monroe (87), Bernard King (86), Wes Unseld (95), Elvin Hayes (94)

22.  Dallas Mavericks

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Dirk’s 97 rating is going to cause havoc for many.  This is the Dirk that not only would make your eyes bleed with those jumpers, but he’d come in and dunk it on yo’ head on occasion.  This is a fun team with loads of depth.  Steve Nash and Jason Kidd coming off the bench along with Michael Finley, Jason Terry and Jamal Washburn.  Shawn Bradley starts at the five spot with Tyson Chandler backing him up.  This is a good team.  A really good team.  The ratings don’t do them any justice, but they will be tough to beat in 2k.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Steve Nash (86), Michael Finley (88), Mark Aguirre (88), Dirk Nowitzki (97), Shawn Bradley (82)

21.  Indiana Pacers

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This team would’ve been one of the most fun teams in the game but one key player is missing.  8 points in 9 seconds, Reggie Miller.  Blame him Pacer fans for being ranked so low.  So typical of Reggie Miller, right.  Just imagine him being the leading scorer on a squad with Mark Jackson, Paul George, Ron Artest and Jermaine O’Neal.  That’s a mean, physical starting five.  Lots of steals leading to lots of fast break points.  But unfortunately, that is not the case which is very disappointing.  The franchise has 3 titles but are still ranked in the bottom 10.   Thanks, Reggie Miller for holding your franchise back due to licensing.  Smh.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Mark Jackson (81), Ron Artest (88), Paul George (91), Jermaine O’Neal (90), Rik Smits (87)

20.  Cleveland Cavaliers

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If it weren’t for Lebron James and the only 1 title he won for the franchise, these guys would be at the bottom.  The very bottom.  Mark Price and Kyrie Irving are the next highest rated at 91 but that is just about it.  I leave it at that.  Sorry Cav fans.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Mark Price (91), Kyrie Irving (91), Brad Daughtery (89), Lebron James (99), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (88)

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Photo Credit: 2K

19.  Atlanta Hawks

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The first 5 and the second 5 off the bench are legit.  The rest, meh.  The ratings are just that off the franchise itself.  Just better than mediocre.  “Nique” will make things exciting with his high flying ability.  A young Mutombo swatting everything like house flies.  The scoring machine Joe Johnson is his prime.  And Pistol Pete coming off the bench.  The squad isn’t the most appealing but they get the job done in typical Hawks fashion.  When I look at the numbers and depth chart, nothing jumps out at me other than consistency across the board.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Lou Hudson (91), Joe Johnson (89), Dominique Wilkins (94), Bob Pettit (95), Dikembe Mutombo (92).

18.  Portland Trailblazers

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Rip City!  Damian Lillard is obviously one of the greatest Trailblazers of all time and he’s one of my favorite players to play with in 2K.  If only he had these other 4 (along with CJ McCollum) with him in the current day playing in the loaded Western Conference.  This is a nice starting five.  LA in his prime when that midrange jumper was nothing but cash money.  Clyde “The Glide” is just poetry in motion.  Jerome Kersey just bullying everybody.  And Bill Walton the man in the middle.  This team is nasty.  Extremely underrated but nasty.  Rip City, stand up!  Be proud!  You got some true and original hoopers.  I mean what I say when I say, “These dudes can ball!”

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Damian Lillard (89), Clyde Drexler (96), Jerome Kersey (87), Lamarcus Aldridge (89), Bill Walton (95)

17.  Brooklyn Nets

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A solid squad.  You can attack from all different angles here.  The defense is there.  There are scorers, playmakers, dunk masters and bench depth.  Jason Kidd has to lead the team as everything on the offensive side of the ball will have to run through him, but he has all the tools around him to get a triple double every time you play with him.  Just give the ball to Kidd and let him do his job finding the open man.

Zendejas Starting Five:  Jason Kidd (95), Drazen Petrovic (90), Vince Carter (89), Julius Erving (97), Kenyon Martin (86)

16.  Philadelphia 76ers

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I love how these guys are middle of the pack.  Gamers are going to sleep on them and I’m taking advantage.  A.I. is back and he has help.  Athletic help.  Previous years were a challenge winning with “The Answer” but now he can be a score first point guard as opposed to a score first scorer.  He has Hal Greer, Julius Erving, Bill Cunningham and Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain with him.  Hershey Hawkins is the first man off the bench or one could start a young and athletic “Iggy” and have Greer be the sixth man.  Their only downside is depth, but who cares.  A.I. can play the full game if you manage the timeouts effectively.  I love this squad.  This is going to be my team this year!  Get ready.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Allen Iverson (97), Andre Iguodala (87), Julius Erving (94), Billy Cunningham (91), Wilt Chamberlain (93)

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Photo Credit: 2K

15.  Sacramento Kings

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When you sixth and seventh guys off the bench are rated 93 (Nate Archibald) and 90 (Demarcus Cousins), you should have a solid squad.  Even eighth and ninth are rated 88 (Mike Bibby and Vlade Divac).  Based on the starters, I look for Peja to be a huge X-factor.  Trying to stop all those other guys who require so much attention, leaves one of the best shooters to ever play just chilling on the perimeter, hands ready for a catch and shoot.  I don’t expect him to miss and neither should anybody else.  Shooters shoot.  Oscar Robertson is the highest rated on the team at 97?  He must be pretty good, right?  Don’t forget about C-Webb, either.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Oscar Robertson (97), Mitch Richmond (94), Peja Stojakovic (88), Chris Webber (93), Jerry Lucas (94)

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Photo Credit: 2K

14.  Miami Heat

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For the Miami Heat to have been around for close to just 30 years, it has seen a lot of success as well as showcase some of the all time greats.  Their starting five is pretty legit.  Hardaway, Wade and James will mesh perfectly.  Especially during the break.  All three are excellent at forcing turnovers which will lead to east transition buckets.  Then you have Bosh and Mourning in the front court.  4 out, 1 in.  This team should be a fun one.  Force your opponent to play uptempo and a face paced up and down game and you’ll be watch the scoreboard melt.  I love the Haslem is on the team too.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Tim Hardaway (88), Dwayne Wade (97), Lebron James (99), Chris Bosh (88), Alonzo Mourning (94)

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Photo Credit: 2K

13.  Denver Nuggets

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The Nuggets are ranked 13 on our list and have no NBA titles.  How so?  Talent.  Although, not much success in the Finals, a lot of talent has come through the Mile-High City.  And any team with Allen Iverson on it is going to be one of my favorites.  Young Melo is rated a 94.  Then you have David Thompson, Dan Issel and Alex English.  Other than A.I., what attracts me the most is the depth at the point guard position.  Chauncey Billups, Nick Van Exel and Fat Lever are all solid ball handlers with great offensive awareness, but if I’m playing with this team (which I will be), everything is going through “The Answer.”  He runs the show.  Offense and defense.  Melo is my second scoring option.  Be prepared for an offensive explosion.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Allen Iverson (90), David Thompson (95), Alex English (93), Carmelo Anthony (94), Dan Essel (92)

12.  Milwaukee Bucks

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The Bucks and Nuggets were tied at 88.2 per the Hoopstradamus Net Rating Score.  The tiebreaker was titles and win percentage.  As a franchise, the Bucks have won 51 percent of their games and won one title.  Way to go Bucks!  And as far as 2K, there’s not a lot of depth here, but another sleeper team.  This team is a video game team.  A legit floor general, athletic wings and a monster in the middle.  Sharpshooter, Michael Redd, can be your sixth man.  No Jabari Parker which is a bit of a let down, but the best ability is availability.  All five starters are rated 90 and above with the big guy being rated at 99.  “Fear the Deer.”

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Oscar Robertson (94), Sidney Moncrief (93), Ray Allen (90), Giannis Antetokounmpo (90), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (99)

11.  Houston Rockets

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This is this year’s ultimate video game team.  Hakeem Olajuwon is my second favorite player of all time.  And If I weren’t so biased towards A.I., this would be my team in 2K18.  The Beard, T-Mac, Clyde “The Glide”, Hakeem, Yao and Steve Francis.  You could get really creative with this roster.  Kenny Smith and Cutting Mobley make the cut, as well.  As they should.

Zendejas’ Startiing Five:  Steve Francis (88), James Harden (94), Tracy McGrady (91), Clyde Drexler (91), Hakeem Olajuwon (98)

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Photo Credit: 2K

10.  Utah Jazz

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The pick and roll maestros.  The bread and butter of the game still in this present day.  It’s hard to believe this is one of the greatest franchises to never win a NBA championship.  Led by 2-time MVP, Karl Malone, and the all time leader in steals and assists, John Stockton, both are rated 97.  The first 10 rosters spots are rated 87 or above.  Those ten include a young Andre Kirilenko, Deron Williams, Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert.  The Kansas Jayhawk, Greg Ostertag makes the final roster spot rated at 80.  Another star-studded team with a numerous of different skill sets.  The Utah Jazz are silent but deadly.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  John Stockton (97), Pete Maravich (95), Adrian Dantley (92), Karl Malone (97), Mark Eaton (89)

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Photo Credit: 2K

9.  Phoenix Suns

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The Phoenix Suns make the top 10 of our rankings even without Sir Charles on the roster.  It does help having the last person on your all time greats list rated an 84.  Just imagine how much better the Suns would be if Charles Barkley were in the game.  Move Tom Chambers to the bench and add him to your starting lineup, and you’ve got a pretty fierce starting five.  But unfortunately that’s not the case.  It’s still a good squad, even with a 96 rated Nash.  But it would really bother me playing with a squad and one of their best ever wasn’t on the roster.  That’s not good for the basketball psyche which means you’re already at a disadvantage.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Steve Nash (96), Paul Westphal (88), Shawn Marion (90), Tom Chambers (89), Amar’e Stoudemire (91)

8.  Detroit Pistons

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The “Bad Boys” 2.0.  This is a mean squad.  The toughest decision I see with this squad is whether to start Rodman or Ben Wallace.  Let’s just start them both and make our 93 rated center the first man off the bench.  Too bad there’s no Rasheed Wallace or the opposing squad would have to forfeit due to injuries or hurt feelings.  Hard foul after hard foul if I’m playing with these boys.  I hope flagrant fouls are more prone to be called in this year’s game.  They will be a really physical squad.  And on top of that, they are really good basketball players.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Isiah Thomas (96), Joe Dumars (93), Grant Hill (93), Dennis Rodman (89), Ben Wallace (89)

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Photo Credit: 2K

7.  New York Knicks

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Allan Houston is the lowest rated starter at 89.  The other 4 ratings are 95, 95, 94 and 91.  The lowest rated player on the entire squad is Kristaps at 86 after only being in the league 2 seasons.  This is the perfect squad for the Big Apple.  The perfect blend of talent for center stage in Madison Square Garden.  New York City is the best city in the world and whether you like it or not, the basketball Mecca.  This roster represents just that.  When you play with these guys, make sure you put on a show.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Walt Frazier (95), Allan Houston (89), Carmelo Anthony (91), Willis Reed (94), Patrick Ewing (95)

6.  Chicago Bulls

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Ranked 6 with 6 titles.  Sounds fair.  Not only does this squad have the main characters from both 3-peats, but also the “A-Train” Artis Gilmore, Jerry Sloan, “Butterbean” Bob Love, and the ever-bouncy prime time sublime MVP Derrick Rose.  Of course, Michael Jordan rated at 99.  He’s unstoppable so you’re just going to have to deal with it.  No starter is ranked below a 93 and Jimmy Butler is your first man off the bench.  Not bad…not bad at all.  The X-factor is a 94 rated D. Rose at the PG spot as he is a game changer even for this stacked squad.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Derrick Rose (94), Michael Jordan (99), Scottie Pippen (97), Dennis Rodman (93), Artis Gilmore (93)

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Photo Credit: 2K

5.  San Antonio Spurs

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Starting the top 5 all time greats rankings is the San Antonio Spurs.  Out of the 50 years they’ve been in basketball existence, they’ve made the playoffs 45 times.  Very much worthy of a top 5 rank. The Spurs all-time win percentage (.603) is the highest of all franchises and boosted their ranking quite a bit. Equipped with the three-headed monster of the Claw, Timmy, and the Admiral will form a defensive juggernaut that would even have Pop smiling on the sidelines.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Tony Parker (94), George Gervin (96), Kawhi Leonard (94), Tim Duncan (98), David Robinson (96)

4.  Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder

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Surprising as it may seem, Hoopstradamus has the franchise ranked 4 all time.  The Sonics / Thunder feature Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, James Harden, and the Kevin Durant, not to mention Jack Sikma and plenty of other OGs from their 1979 title squad. These guys are ridiculously dangerous and will be a ton of fun to play with.  The starting five is an old-school version of the new-school Golden State Warriors with James Harden returning as the sixth man.  The squad is filthy with a tenacious backcourt.  Kevin Durant greatest Sonic of all time?

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Gary Payton (94), Russell Westbrook (94), Ray Allen (95), Kevin Durant (97), Shawn Kemp (89)

3.  Golden State Warriors

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The Warriors recent success has without a doubt had a profound impact on their legacy as a franchise thus impacting their place on this list and their Hoopstradamus rating.  Adding Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016 boosted it even more.  This roster is loaded with versatility.  Approach each game with a “pick your poison” mindset.  Beat them up down low with the big boys or beat them down the floor with the small ball.  Kevin Durant is a pretty good defender.  I’m moving Thompson to the sixth man, starting KD at the 3 spot.  Mullin takes the SG position.  Now there are problems and mismatches everywhere for my opponent.  It’s just much too east to win with these guys.

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Stephen Curry (96), Chris Mullin (94), Kevin Durant (96), Rick Barry (95), Wilt Chamberlain (98).

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Photo Credit: 2K

2.  Boston Celtics

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The Celtics came in one decimal behind the Lakers in the Hoopstradamus algorithm. However, you can decide who is truly greater with a head-to-head matchup against the Lakers. 17 titles is greater than 16 after all.  The lowest rated player on the all time roster is Antoine Walker at an 87.  When the Kevin Garnett led Big 3 along with Rondo come off the bench, depth shouldn’t be an issue.  Incredible!

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Bob Cousy (95), John Havlicek (96), Paul Pierce (94), Larry Bird (98), Bill Russell (98)

 1.  Los Angeles Lakers

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Magic, Kobe, Shaq, Wilt, the logo, Kareem, 16 titles, 60 playoff appearances in 69 seasons.  No starter rated below a 97.  Need we say more?  Props, LakerNation!

Zendejas’ Starting Five:  Magic Johnson (99), Jerry West (97), Kobe Bryant (98), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (96), Shaquille O’Neal (98)

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Photo Credit: 2K

Hardwood Features NBA 2K18 All-Time Team Power Rankings

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Archives:

1-4 Pick and Roll to 4 Elbow Iso

The art of being patient on offense and the power of the triple threat.

 

Master the step back animation and you’re unstoppable:

 

 

 

NBA 2K18 “The Prelude”

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Alright my fellow 2K gamers.  Now that you’ve spent your entire weekend customizing and re-customizing your MyPlayer, using multiple user profiles to play the story over and over again, we now know a little about what to expect from this year’s game in terms of gameplay and Career Mode.  From better dribbling moves and size-ups to blow-bys and step-backs, isolation and isomotion is going to give a even more realistic experience proving yourself on the “Proving Grounds” and breaking the ankles of your favorite NBA players under the big lights.

The Prelude:

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Photo credit 2K

The intro was pretty cool.  Everyone in “The Neighborhood” knows DJ is destined to be the next NBA star and put their city on the map.  With that being said, the story is just too predictable and the cut scenes are too long.  It took me about 4 and half hours to complete the prelude and I played 3 games on the grounds going to 21 by 1’s and 2’s and 2 scrimmages with a 5 minute running clock.  I like how everything will carry over into the game once it releases but not enough basketball.  I get it.  It’s all about the build up and creating the hype, but hoopers just want to hoop.  Even the cut scenes within the pickup games could done away with.  Why can’t the celebrations of a big shot (or just show-boating) be done within the flow of the game itself?  If that’s your style then talk your trash but do it at the wrong time and it will cost you.  Remember in Fight Night how you could taunt your opponent?  Fights of my own have ended because I wanted to taunt my opponent and in mid taunt a haymaker hits me right between the eyes.  Lights out!

Offense:

Everyone likes to score.  You win by outscoring your opponent. However, it seems tougher to score this year with better defensive A.I.  That being said, 2K has equipped players with a more intuitive and fluid dribbling system.  You can bust out some serious crossover combinations if you have the ball in the hands of an elite ball handler.  There are still the ankle breaking animations in the game, but you really have to do some serious crossing to force that animation.  The “force-field” those really good defenders have is no longer there either.  Once the defender is on your hip, he is at your mercy.  Use his disadvantage to your advantage.  Use those dribbling sequences and shot animations to create the space you need and it’ll be oh too easy getting buckets.

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Photo credit 2K

On the contrary, 2K has always seemed to struggle in the area of passing.  The bounce pass in definitely to most effective pass.  But even for the bounce pass, there are certain scenarios that call for certain passes where all you can do is drop your head in disgust.  Making the perfect pass is an obstacle in itself.  But a two-handed chest pass across the body into the chest of your opponent is extremely frustrating when it leads to a turnover.  In this year’s game, there seems to be a slight delay from when you choose your target until actual delivery, but I’m pretty sure that is directly correlated to the player’s actual passing ability and passer rating.  If you make the right pass, you’ll score but it is difficult to do that when it’s the wrong type of pass.

Defense:

Now back to the defense.  Good, solid defense is and always has been the ability anticipate your opponents next move.  Great defense is and always has been great anticipation AND forcing your opponent to do something you want them to do.  The biggest change I’ve noticed is this year’s defensive A.I.  Defenders are far more quick to react and are much more aware.  Last year, if you ran the pick and roll in MyPlayer mode, you’d have a good second to react to the shifting defense.  This year…not so much.  That window closes much quicker and forces you to make the correct pass in probably have a second now.  The roll man is being checked without rolling freely to the hoop while other defenders rotate on the weak side.  You have to think fast (as it should be on the NBA level) or reset and run the set again.  If you’re not careful, you’ll be deep into the shot clock and have to force up a tough contested shot.  Enough of those and you’ll have to chuck one up in the L column.

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Photo credit 2K

Stealing has greatly improved in this year’s game.  Again, great defense comes from forcing your opponent to turn the ball over.  It is not going up to the offensive player and spamming the steal button.  Spam it and you’ll be in giving your opponent 2 free points from the foul line.  My advice…just lay off it for 24 seconds.  You’ll get the ball back.  I promise.

Overall, I believe this is 2K’s best one yet.  And it has to be because NBA Live is trying to make a comeback.  Won’t happen but I’m all about improving and 2K seems to do that every year while addressing the concerns of its community.  I’m a 2K fan because they listen, they adjust and they improve.  It’s going to be great year!  Comeback next week for a full review of the early release.  Let’s get it!  Follow Hardwood Features on Twitch at HardwoodFeatures.  How far will you go?

Prelude Rating: 8.5/10