• NBA Live 16: The Mid-Range Game

    Through NBA LIVE 14, 15, & 16, one of the most repeated gameplay concerns has been the lack of a mid-range game.

    Community member Rudy has taken a closer look at this request versus real-life NBA statistics and shot charts. How much of an issue is the lack of a mid-range game?

    From Rudy: There has been quite a bit of criticism of NBA Live 16 for not having much of a mid-range game and a lack of team tendencies. When looking at the team stats there are usually an excessive amount of points in the paint. Why it that and can we do anything to help reduce this?

    Continue on to read Rudy's takeway on the mid-range issue as well as some suggestions he has for sliders and settings that he has found to improve NBA LIVE 16 gameplay and his experience.

    Looking at real NBA statistics from the 2014-5 season the average team scored 42% of their points in the paint (PIP) last year and roughly 17% from the line (per Team Rankings). I assume the majority of fouls come from plays in the paint so we can say that roughly 55% of the scoring in the NBA in 2014-15 came as a result from shots in the paint. If you combine the points in the paint in Live 16 with free throws (low on default) Live 16 isn’t that bad. The CPU is still too high overall as their PIP is normally over 60% but it’s only a little high when combined with free throw scoring.

    Teams got 23 to 24% of their points from the 3 point line last year. That means almost 80% of all NBA points in the 2014-15 season came from the paint, free throw line or 3 point line leaving only 20% of the points scored from between the paint and the arc. If you are expecting more mid-range shots you aren’t being realistic. The Detroit Pistons took 22% of their shots in the mid-range game last year and the Rockets only took 14%. Other teams like the Pacers (37% - very high for the NBA) and Mavs (30%) took more.

    A recent Live 16 shot chart from cpu Pacers and Mavs.

    When looking at team shot charts there is a lack of 18-20' shots at the top of the key. Overall I don't see anything remotely close to a game killing issue. But I do see a slight lack of mid range game and too many buckets at the rim.

    The biggest problem with the game is that Live doesn’t really emulate the different styles between teams. Everyone plays largely like the Rockets – driving to the rim or shooting the triple. James Harden took 38% of his shots from downtown and only 22% mid-range. Steph Curry took 48% of his shots from 3 point land so these players are emulated well. But players like Dirk Nowitzki took 63% of his shots at mid-range and he doesn't shoot the corner 3. He doesn’t play like that in Live spending too much time in the post or beyond the arc. What exactly is Synergy doing? Does it work?

    From one recent game against Dirk (I wouldn't call this horrible but in the 2-3 games I've played against him overall he does not take over half his shots from mid-range):

    A few of the biggest issues for me with the mid-range game is a lack of quick shots off screens, step back jumpers off the pick and roll and poor defensive AI that fails to protect the rim. When a player beats a man off the dribble they have very little reason to pull up for a mid-range jumper in Live 16 since the path to the paint is often uncontested. We need more help defense and there is nothing we can do about that but pray for a patch. In the mean time we can adjust sliders to make it more difficult to get to the paint.

    Fixes to control points in the paint in Live 16
    • Turn down both Jostle sliders to 0. This really helps in reducing the ability to blow past people.
    • Max out shot blocking at 100. As guys do get to the basket, this helps protect the rim.
    • Drop the Layup shooting slider.
    • Turn up the difficulty. It’s easier to get into the paint on the lower levels.

    Team Styles
    NBA Live 16 does a good job of getting the ball in the hands of their top scorers and they are usually the team leaders in points although the teams often feel far too similar in how they get those points. You don’t have a ton of options to fix tendencies for teams and for some reason most settings are all the same at default but you can make a few changes to help with tempo and style.

    Team Personality Fixes
    • FORMATION - I set the following teams to 4-1 Low so the PG doesn’t always handle the ball and this is based solely on a suggestion from OS Slider forum: Cleveland, GS, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Indiana.
    • CRASH BOARDS - Based on last year’s offensive rebounding numbers (this is affected by pace and shots) I turned Crash Boards on for these teams: OKC, Detroit, Denver, Utah, Philly, Chicago, Houston, Clippers, Memphis, Cleveland
    o http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/te...ensiveRebounds
    • TEMPO – Based on last year’s possession of games I turned Tempo on for Houston, GS, Denver, Phoenix, BOS, OKC, Philly, Sac, Dallas, LAC (I’m not sure how much of an effect this really has)
    o https://www.teamrankings.com/nba/sta...sions-per-game

    At the end of the day Live has its flaws but is still a fun game to play. Stars get their touches and points while scrubs don't. Even if the game is centered around shooting threes and driving the lane it isn't that far off the real NBA on most nights.


    My personal Superstar sliders (these are not that hard)

    [Intro authored by cdj.]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NBA Live Mid-Range Game started by Rudy View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Nice work, Rudy.

      Some questions & thoughts:

      - Do you feel like the Crash Boards & Tempo settings do much of anything? Personally, I don't think they work but am hoping I'm wrong. I do think your idea is correct though - changing them to help differentiate CPU play style should be a big help for the game.

      - Mid-range Game: I like that you used CPU-CPU for the shot charts. Sometimes I see others talking about it but they use shot charts from HUM v CPU and I don't think that is fair, namely because it doesn't take into account HUM defense, on-ball and otherwise as it can lure the CPU into driving the lane more if the user has poor on-ball skills.

      Could part of the problem be the AI CPU ball-handler is smart enough to know to drive if open, but not smart enough (or taking into account) to know to pull up for a jumper if there is a lot of traffic in the lane and/or premier rim protector/shot blocker in the lane/proximity? Or maybe the CPU doesn't take into account mid-range shot ratings or Synergy/shot data for the offensive player? This becomes something tougher to test or determine though, doesn't it?
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I honestly don't know if the Temp and crash boards work. Tempo I'm really not sure. I think crash boards works but how much I don't really know. The formations does. Using 4-1 you see other guys bring the ball up the floor and run the offence.

      For the shot charts it was user vs cpu although I didn't defend Dirk at all. I generally use the PG on defence and I do a decent job of denying the d I've but not perfect. The jostle sliders do help significantly. I wish the sliders were in 5 point levels. Many sliders are a bit weak but the outside 3 point shots are not. Going down from 40 to 30 as the user makes a big difference imo.

      The mid range game is hard to figure out but I do think the making it harder to get to the hole helps. I would still like to see more catch and shoots off of screens. I want to see a guy beat his man and the new shoot a pull up jumper as he sees a big man or shot blocker rotate over. But I did want to illustrate that the nba has moved away from the mid range game and the constant complaints over it are a bit over done.