NBA 2K12 Defensive Game Plan Analyze Your Opponents Hot Zones

I recently started a challenge with my NBA 2K12 readers which I call Coach2K’s  Best of Seven Series challenge. I started this challenge because when I was younger my friend and I would always play Tecmo football and we would always pick a team from opposite conferences, play a season and meet in the Superbowl. The NBA season is pretty long so we never did a complete NBA season but we would always play a best of seven series like it was the finals and whoever won had bragging rights.

I always found these series to be pretty intense and we always had to shoot like 80% to win. If you missed a few jumpers, it was so hard to come back.

To recreate that I started my challenge and this article represents my first in a series of articles about breaking down the game to figure out how to win against my opponent. The first breakdown is on analyzing your opponents hot zones and shot ratings.

The settings we are using are Hall of Fame, simulation mode and 12 minute quarters. Usually everybody plays 5 minute quarters in quick match, so the idea here is to create a more demanding game in which players might get in foul trouble and maybe get tired. Because of that, it might make it so that you have to rely on your bench in key moments of the game – something you don’t have to do really on 5 minute quarters.

If you have read my stuff, you know that I will be playing the Indiana Pacers for all of my games. My first opponent is PSN ID sreckless. He is using the Boston Celtics. Since we are both Eastern Conference teams, the series format will mirror an Eastern Conference finals with two games in Indy, two in Boston and if necessary one in Indy, one in Boston and finally one in Indy.

Boston is going to be a very challenging matchup because the Celtics have a bunch of weapons both inside and out. It’s going to be hard to stop everyone.

The first step for me when I break down and opponents game is to look at where each players hot zones are and who has the best shot ratings on the team.

My first few of these were pretty basic. I made a basic chart with some baskets on it. I’d go into freestyle practice mode, choose a team and choose each player and bring up their hot zones. I had some colored pencils and my assistant coach “The Kid” and I would go through and see where the hot zones were.

To the top is my first basic one of these. You can see it was pretty simple. This one was for the Clippers. The first one of these I created was for my Pacers. I used it to get use to where I wanted to shoot. Now, I pretty much have those spots memorized. When it comes to my opponent though, I don’t necessarily know them by heart, so I make one I can look at during the game.

In my pursuit of learning to play better defense, the first step is to do my best to get people out of those zones.
For my matchup with Boston, I went in and recreated this idea and fancied it up a little bit with the actual pictures from the game. A snippet is to the right and you can view the full shot chart here.

NBA 2K12 Boston Celtics Hot Zones and Shot Ratings

In looking at Boston, I realized a few things that intuitively I knew but confirmed from my hot zone and shot ratings research.

Those things were:

    • Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are deadly from three.
    • Rondo is the worst shooter.
    • The bench could be a weakness if I could get the starters in foul trouble
    • Garnett is tough from mid range in

My goal in playing defense is to get my opponent to shoot with the worst shooter on the floor. That would be Rondo. And to challenge every shot that Allen, Pierce and Garnett take.

In my next article, I will talk about how I decided to set my defensive settings but in the meantime, here’s a video where I discuss my thoughts about this first step.


Coach2K is a fictional NBA2K player. C2K has been playing video basketball games since the Mattel handheld basketball game was released way back in 1980. You can contact Coach2K on Twitter by clicking here.

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