ESPN once again showed their ability to blow a simple decision way out of proportion. My favorite time of the year is coming up in two weeks, which is what you ask? It?s the Brett watch of course. ESPN will be interviewing Brett?s barber, butcher, and perhaps the guy who wipes his ass to determine if he?s coming back this season. All in attempt to boost their ratings and annoy the living shit out of sports enthusiasts.
Now that I have aired my grievances with the current sports world I guess I can focus on the purpose of this post. 2K11 is still a few months away, but since the sports world seems to be focused on the NBA I guess I can add my two cents. The 2K franchise is notorious for overpowering rookies and superstars, however some players are much better then their ratings indicate. For example, Rudy Gay, Terrence Williams, Tracy Mcgrady, and Andre Igoudala are some of the most feared players in the game, despite missing a superstar rating. So here is a preemptive warning, the teams in my top five might not be the favorites in real life.
1) Oklahoma City Thunder- was there a better player in the NBA then Kevin Durant last season? The critics might say Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, but those two had a much better surrounding cast. In 2K10 Kevin Durant was deadly from the mid-range and was quite consistent from behind the arc. After last season expect him to be even better in 2K11. In addition to Durant you have Russell Westbrook who can drive to the rim on anyone and was also a strong passer. Also, expect his mid-range shot to be more consistent in 2K11. These two players alone make OKC a threat, but add in James Harden and Jeff Greene who both had very easy releases in 2K10, and you have four very formidable players. The only weak spot of OKC appears to be their lack of a dominant big man. However, there is a chance they will overpower Cole Aldrich, after all Tyler Hansborough was unstoppable in the paint in 2K10.
2) Chicago Bulls- in my opinion there is no better point guard in the game then Derrick Rose. He can shoot the mid-range, pass, and pretty much dunk on anyone as long as he has momentum. Rose is also one of the quickest players in game, which is great for fast breaks and defense. Add Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Kyle Korver you have one of the most diverse starting five out there. Boozer is a solid power forward on both sides of the court. Deng is a great slasher who possess a strong mid range shot. Noah is an inexpensive but effective center, and Korver is a consistent three point shooter. Expect a lot of opposing players to focus on Rose and Boozer, which will allow Korver and Deng to thrive.
3) Orlando Magic- the Magic were the class of the Eastern Conference, but they now have some serious question marks coming in the 2K11 season. The most glaring question to me is a lack of a solid defensive power forward to play alongside Dwight Howard. However, despite that hole the Magic would be a very good choice to start your franchise. Dwight Howard is the most dominant big man in the game, he makes it difficult for even the best slashers to get to the hole. Furthermore, the fellas over at 2K don?t like to recognize his shortcomings on the offensive end. Howard does have help on the offensive end from Rashard Lewis, who possesses the ability to knock down threes consistently, and attack the rim with great power. Lewis, has some help on the perimeter from Jameer Nelson who might be the best three point shooting point guard in the game. Add in an aging Vince Carter to the list and you have yourself a pretty good team. I almost forgot the Magic drafted Stanley Robinson who has the potential to be the Terrene Williams of 2K11.
4) Miami Heat- the fans might be going nuts in south beach about the newly formed trifecta, but I?m not convinced that it will translate to success in a video game or real life. As of right now the Heat have five players on their roster, Wade, James, Bosh, Miller, and Chalmers. You obviously have to respect the three superstars, especially James and Wade, but I feel their play styles are too similar to make this a successful 2K team. Wade and James are arguably the two best players in the game at getting to the rim, they will also reek havoc on the defensive side. However, they are both sub-par at shooting from distance, and can be inconsistent from the midrange. As for the third member of the new ?big three,? Bosh can be easily neutralized by a number of power forwards in the game. I do like Mike Miller who can shoot the three very consistently. He will definitely help the Heat spread the floor. However, until the Heat add a surrounding cast of stronger players they will not move up my list.
5) Los Angeles Lakers- ?look he did the Jordan dunk!? Yes, Pat I am mentioning your infamous statement regarding Kobe doing the most generic dunk in the game. The Lakers might be the defending champs in real life, but they are number five in my 2K11 preseason rankings. Kobe?s mid range is pretty much unstoppable when he gets going, plus he is one of the better players at finishing at the rim. Pau Gasol might be the biggest bitch in the NBA, but he is a solid 2K player. His length allows him to block players that drive weakly to the hole, and can finish decently in the post. In my opinion, Ron Artest was pretty much useless in 2K10. He struggled to consistently do the things he does well in real life (shoot the three, play tight defense). Look for a better showing from Ron in 2K11. Andrew Bynum might be injury prone in real life, but he was a force in 2K10. He has a strong presence in the post on both sides of the floor. The Lakers replaced Derrick Fisher with Steve Blake, who is a very consistent three point shooter. Plus, we can?t forget their deadly bench featuring Luke Walton and Adam Morrison.
These are my preseason picks for NBA 2K11. Its important to remember that 2K rewards athletic players, which is why my rankings might seem out of wack, but I guarantee these picks will hold up when you get your hands on these teams in October. I would also like to note that the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies just missed my list. They could potentially be very dangerous teams come October.