NBA2K Timeout Strategy

With the C2K League playoffs coming up, our commissioner, PSN alabamarob, made an official change in league play. Specifically, the change he made was to not allow a player to pause during the game and make any changes. Once the game starts, the only changes that can be made are the ones allowed on the fly with the d-pad or that are available in the timeout screen.

This got me thinking that it might be good to talk about exactly to do during a timeout to make the most of it. The best approach I think is to use the menu that pops up during a timeout as a checklist to remind you of what steps to take and to take them in that order. As far as when to call your timeouts, check out my post about how to use your timeouts in NBA2K.

Here are the options that happen and some things to think about as you choose each one.

    1. Substitutions How you approach substitutions will depend on whether you are subbing in players manually or if you are using auto subs. The first thing I look at in the substitution section is how tired my players are. If they are getting tired, then I sub them out. Typically, my bigs get tired faster than my guards and so my biggest concern is keeping them fresh or otherwise they might get killed on the glass. This is also a good time to think about what you need on the floor and to put the right personnel out their to accomplish that. A good example would be subbing your best free throw shooters on the floor when you know you’ll be fouled at the end of a game. You can also sub on the fly if you can think and act fast enough. TIP: At the beginning of the game, set your situational lineups to how you would use them to sub quicker on the fly.
    1. Points of Emphasis In the points of emphasis section, you’ll have access to both the offensive and defensive POEs. If things are working good, you might decide to stand pat with your settings. But let’s say you notice your opponent is constantly pounding the ball inside and scoring easily because you’ve been limiting perimeter shots. During a timeout, that’s the time to make a switch to protect paint in that situation. A change in POE’s can also be made on the fly. BUG: Sometimes, POE changes don’t stick after the first time you change them in a timeout. It’s a good idea to re-check them on the fly once you’ve returned to action and change it again then if you need to.
    1. Defensive Matchups I make changes here defensively to put better defenders against the players hurting me. This is especially useful if you have a lockdown defender and you want to switch your lockdown guy onto their best player. Once last year, when I was playing our Bulls owner, late in the game, I adjusted my matchup of Paul George from guarding the small forward to Derrick Rose to help stop him. A defensive matchup change is not allowed on the fly.
    1. Defensive Settings The primary purpose of our commish’s new guidelines on when to allow changes only during timeouts was probably specifically in this area. A guy would see he needed to make a change in defensive strategy and pause the game to immediately address that concern but he wouldn’t have to utilize a timeout. And, instead of being limited to 20 seconds or one minute, could take up to his allotted time to dink around in the settings for much longer. This took away from the realism of the game.
  1. Offensive and Defensive Scouting Reports In a user vs user game, you can get a look at the tendencies of the player you are playing and combined with your knowledge of what is happening in the game, game plan accordingly. This option is not available in user vs CPU games.

That’s a summary of what to do and consider during a timeout. Keep in mind that you can make subs and adjust POE’s on the fly while playing. The best time to do this would be during a free throw attempt and so what our commish has also requested is that opposing players not speed through the free throw routines. This would allow the time to make changes like that.

But as far as the other changes, to create more realism in the game and to prevent users from adjusting other gameplay settings from manual to auto, we no longer allow any changes except for what you can do on the fly or in a timeout.

What are some things you think about during a timeout?


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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