Monday, September 5, 2011

Roll and Fade Relieve Pressure

What's happening Family ?

Besides the many large scale improvement's to the play-system in NBA 2K12. There were a number of minor improvements recommended to help with the overall flow of the game on the offensive side of the basketball.

Some of these improvements will provide much needed relief against high pressure defenses. As well as create secondary scoring opportunities off of primary action.

When talking about screen and roll/fade opportunities most people are only concerned with the on ball pick and roll/ pick pop situations. This simplified view of the screen can lead to a powerful advantage for the defense in video game basketball.

Let's look at a basic double screen on the tail end of a floppy play for the 2 man (Shooting Guard). When you don't have the threat of any roll / fade action on your off-ball screens the defense holds an advantage. Especially once they become familiar with the play !

A savvy defender will switch to the 4 ( the red 4 is on defense) and have him jump the passing lane.

With no roll/ fade from the 4 and 5 on offense the defense has the advantage. They have their 2 trailing the offensive 2 to keep him from fading to the corner. They also have the 5 defender able to cover both the 5 and 4 on defense because of their close proximity.
This has been a standing issue in most video game attempts to replicate the sport we love. Almost all games have suffered from a mild to severe case of CSS syndrome. ( Czarism... chronic statue screen syndrome). Here is a video of NBA 2K11 demonstrating classic CSS.

A similar play diagram in NBA 2K12 might look like this
As you can see immediately after his screen the 5 offensive player is cutting to the basket. This will serve to hold the 5 defender and keep him from hedging or helping on the screen. The 3 on offense set's his screen and then fades a bit to create separation.
Now if the 3 defender attempts to shoot the gap, the point guard has the alley to the 5, the dump off to the 3, or the pass to the 4 if the defense wants to rotate.

All of these options naturally come about by simply adding intelligent fade or roll's within the context of the play design.  If it works correctly it gives the user a basketball solution to fix a basketball problem      ( In the words of the wise and talented @nelsonblake2 )

So while not every screen in every play will provide you the protection of the Roll and Fade. The threat alone, combined with a successful execution of it early in the ball game; are enough to relieve some of the pressure.

Hoopcerely Yours,

President Da_Czar


If you haven't already (don't tell me you don't have a dollar)  be certain to support the Nation's own @sageinfinite


  1. Good dissection of play execution. I feel you on this subject I'm glad 2k12 have this now. My only concern I have is canned animations and proper rotation off penetration. I was wondering how you feel about off ball penetration reads?

  2. Walt the 2 player suction has been noticeably reduced. Not coompletely eliminated but reduced. The rotations in 2K12 are the best I have seen. Once the game comes out or they allow me to I can tell you more on that.

    2K worked very hard on the rotations exactly because when you add what I am talking about above a single simple rotation will get beat everytime. In fact that single rotation is why the Pick and Rolls have been basically unstoppable for years.

    Simply put the drive and kick games was beautiful with the exception being unlike last year the open man may not always be the same so you may have a few turnovers as you get used to the cpu not being as predictable on defense.

  3. WOW, this certainly opens a new layer of strategy and realism ... it would also add to the authenticism if it considered the teams and coaches offensive/defensive rating ... so, given the limited time you spend with the game, a question arises:

    are all teams as good on offense and defense ?

    Bad teams shouldnt be able to rotate on both ends equally to good teams ... and should be done considering what I stated, to give room in association or even in real life and the living rosters, to teams improving or regresing due to changes in the roster or coaching.

    This could even be the answer not only for team signature play style but even for the game various difficulty levels.

    Can you elaborate on that without going the extra mile into the mined field ?

  4. Dzar, it is been great.

    I like to see the AI is improving every single year. I hope some day we can really see that Deffense awareness and offense awareness could be really put into the game, rather than superficially appears as now.

    Maybe we can't see those happen in this generation of console, but someday, I will be exited to see Ray Allen-like players put on a real smart off ball move to get him open; and players like Rondo and Duncan could take advantage of their intelligence in their games.

  5. They can use Off /Def awareness in these consoles. they have more then enough processor power to do so. now do they know how to code for it? some may and some may not. who knows.

    lets use it for what you're speaking of here with the rollers/faders. i've played hoop. and i know myself i have always been a little slow to roll. its just not my thing. shame on me. this can be said about a lot of players(pro players as well). there are a certain group of guys in the nba, that are rollers and faders, and some dont roll nearly enough. now i will say no one will stand there looking like a robot to often. but it does happen, where a pg will be darn near cursing "ROLL *&^*(&" yelling at the bigman/bigmen....

  6. ..the offensive awareness should have another rating that we could see and it should be broken down buy player types cutters or divers & faders)

    ariza- Cutter rating=100, fader rating = 50

    Ron artest - Cutter rating = 60, fader rating = 90

    ^^cutter= will make your player cut or dive depending on the play called. if a play breaks down your off ball players will revert back to who they are. a cutter will always cut off the ball. cause thats who he is.

    fader=will make a player fade or slide out/pop out looking for the ball to be kicked back to them for a jumper or for them to now be able to make a move themselves.

    i used ron vs ariza for a reason. you gain more of a triple threat with ron. but you lose the cutting. ask the lakers. no cutting means teams like dallas can sit in a zone and not worry about someone back dooring them or catchin their defense off guard. but a guy that only cuts and isnt a true triple threat. a defense can just play him for the cut. when he isnt cutting they just pack the paint and dare him to shoot.

    this can be implemented into the game. i just dont think they have made this a priority. i'm not sure if they even realized how much of cutting or fading makes basketball seem more realistic/play realistic.

  7. Beautiful breakdown of a seemingly minor improvement that truly goes a long ways. I love how you included that even though not every screen situation will feature this type of new threat, just the defenders knowledge that it's POSSIBLE is huge.

    The beautiful thing is that it's our job as virtual coaches and playmakers to set the defense up and keep them on their toes.

    Big ups to 2k for implementing these types of things and big ups to you for educating the masses on how to integrate these types of things into our game-plans.

  8. Also another question related to plays ... last year, to me, the blue circle that started a play was very inconsistent in recognizing that my players were standing over or near it ... while there have been made tweaks on the play indicators are presented, has this been addressed, the starting play ?

  9. @ ffaacc03,

    I'm not sure if the little play are start circle didnt notice you. as much as i think the other cpu players were not in position to start the play. so it SEEMS as if the play wont start because of you. its not you a lot of times. its the other players. i know this because i play a lot of crew games. and i run plays in there with real people. the guys have to run to their spots ffirst for the play to start. if they dont. the play wont start.

  10. @ffaaco I would think individual player ratings would take care of that. Or at least start down that path. If one team has 80 rated help defensive players and another team has 50 rated help defensive players Even if both teams notice the need to help at the same time. They would/ should handle it differently according to their ratings.

    That also takes educating the gaming public however. How would you feel on an online game if your playing as the timberwolves and they other teams rotation are crisp and your are blatantly slow ??? That could cause some issues as far as the perception of the game's fairness.

    That said it was important to teach the game how to properly rotate in the first place. If they prove successful in their implementation this year then a natural extension might be to have differences according to team/ coach ability.

  11. @kingpnp good points they already have a tendency to cover how often a player may roll vs fade. So maybe the effectiveness of that tendency can be looked at to make sure there is really a difference.

    @ffaacp Kingpnp is correct most of the issues stemmed from teammates not being in postion or unable to get to their positions. That has definitely been improved with the majority of the plays in the game. There are so many I can' say with certainty you won't see it but it should be few and far between.

    Much better flow to the offense this year in my opinion.

  12. @Alan Thank you ! Good points as well.

  13. @ Wang we are not that far away. They are taking steps toward that every year. What I am learning is first you have to get the code in. Then you can individualize it if you have enough memory to do so.

    kingpnp wants more specific ratings and tendencies but it's not that simple. Those ratings/ tendencies are memory hogs and they have to be added for every player in the game. So there are other things to consider besides just desire to implement.

  14. @ Da_Czar,
    about the tendencies being memory hogs. excellent point. well like you said perhaps they will stop playing around with these consoles and give us something that can calculate. lol.

    when the next gen consoles drop. i better not see any less then 4 gigs of ram. and i better not see any more ide drives in the systems either. they better all come with SSD drives. no excuses. these consoles on drop date can run us $450+. and thats with a small hardrive, and less then 600mb of ram. i guarantee your computer is running GIGS of ram as we speak. at this point in the computer game its called normal to run 4gb of ram. so this next console better be ready to take on these player tendencies LOL

  15. The way I look at it is this, the more the options the better. It is one thing to have a double down screen for the 2 guard to be run over and over again. Soon or later the CPU or user will pick up up on this. Chris Smoove knows what plays the CPU will run in my player. It becomes obvious. Having increased "tree branches" in 2k12 for the players on the court given a set play will give greater flexibility on offense for scoring and greater adjustment on defense for applying defensive pressure.

  16. Czar first let me say I'm a big fan. I follow your post on OS and because u almost always echo my sentiments on hoop games I rarely feel the need to post anything. See fam I'm a hooper"played 4 years d2 ball, coach aau and breathe the sport so when I play 2k I'm looking for a replication of the sport I love. Forcefield removal and this roll fade option have me excited for the sim potential of 2k 12.. But I need to know about zone offense. Do they have options like this against zone?

    Happy to be a member bro. Keep up the good work

  17. Nice features! I look forward to trying these things out while running halfcourt offense in NBA 2K12.

  18. @ king millions Love the name fam. Anyway I think many things in last years game factored into a user knowing exactly what play the cpu was running. THe chief among them being that the oppositions star only had 4 plays to choose from. Think about that. 48 minute game for one person your only going to see 4 plays ? What if you play that team 4 times a year ? LOL so that and the lack of ANY branching made it extremely easy for the user and as a result somewhat boring.

    my next blog with illustrate a big of how we tried to make that more difficult. It's not perfect by any means however I think it represent a significant step towards inputting a deeper strategy level into the 2K series.

    THe things I have discussed haven't even been considered to this degree when they were building the play system. Now ... even if it isn't perfect. The intention behind the design was based on 100% basketball not the limitations of the AI. That makes a big difference and I think you will feel that when playing.

  19. @rdubb33 Thank you !

    GREAT question as a fellow user I am sure you will hate this answer but there just wasn't enough time. I was really concerned with the balance of the game. I didn't have enough time to work with the engineer on the zone defense so I didn't want to introduce plays where the defense didn't stand a chance of defending.

    As a hooper I am sure you know the right personnel plus the right zone offense will murder a defense. I didn't want to cause that type of unbalance . That said there are some plays that nba teams have ran against zone that are in the game.

    They just aren't zone buster type plays that I think you may be referring to.

  20. Thanks for the answer... When it wasn't mentioned in the play calling insight I already knew what time it was... Today's blog is encouraging tho.... The variance of movement will help break down zone defense as well. Got my eye out for part 2

  21. @ Da Czar & rdub33

    i'm not sure if any team has a Deadly zone busting offense like say a college team would. but like i said in another reply. usually it goes the better your zone defense, the better your zone offense. it goes hand in hand in the nba. in addition if the players will run the plays with a PURPOSE(anyone that has ever played for a coach knows what i'm talking about). your defense will be broken down no matter how strong it is. offense IS better then defense purely based on the reality that defense is so reactive. i have to wait to see you do something in order for me to do something(sure if i study up i know what you USUALLY desire to do. and i attempt to take that away. but beyond that. its all wait and see on defense).

    one thing i will add, that i noticed yesterday playing crew games. i chose the pacers for my team. i'm the pg, another guy is the sg. and i moved dahntay jones to the SF position. i've never seen this on a consistent basic with any perimeter player(not even the kobe's, dwades, brons, on allstar difficulty). if D.jones got a defensive rebound. he would push it up the court with a speed dribble. i mean fast. like real life. in addition. if he saw a crack in the defense. he would IMMEDIATELY attack it. when i say attack i mean go to the rack with a vengence. we're sitting there laughing like "look at D.jones go" lol. but the question is this. why the heck isnt kobe,dwade, lebron, etc not attacking you like this? sure they attack in waves. but to often they dribble slowly. and hang out, dribble some more. hang out. then shoot a dumb shot. when these guys are MONSTERS if they see an opening.

    just the idea that lebron, kobe, wade have the ball scares the defense. in 2k11, it doesnt feel that way half the time with these superstar attackers. maybe someone should look at Djones tendencies or something. and apply them to all the stars. but this same can be said for how i like how hibbert and the pacers clog the lane and he goes after shots. not just standing there with a glitch animation block. i'm talking about challenging guys at the rim. this is why i like playing with the pacers. they seem to play like the real thing. minus granger, who plays like he's a 3rd string sf to often.

    this kind of offensive attacking mentality can be also entered into defenders, depending on their aggressiveness in real life. and apply it accordingly. some guys will overplay. but if you get caught not paying attention. STRIP(Cp3). if you think you have free layup. here comes kg, chris andersen, dwight, etc out of the blue for a swat. these are aggressive players. where is the lebron chase down block? more aggressive defense. the entire denver team plays aggressive steals defense, just like memphis. they attempt to turn you over. this makes you speed your offense up. the faster you run your O(if you're not use to moving that quickly). will result in more offensive errors.

    if they want us to recognize teams by their defense and players by their defense and offense. then on defense i want certain guys/certain teams to play aggressively all game, parts of the game. based on their real life counterparts. vs right now in 2k11 where the defenders wait on the offense completely.

    what would you do if you knew gino might poke the ball loose if you're just sitting there trying to run your play? you would run your plays still. but you would move much quicker and possibly angle your dribblers body where the ball is away from the defender. this changes how the play starts and who you're going to pass it to for the play to actually start.