Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Talk about NBA Live 18 here.

Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Postby Geemonster84 on Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:16 pm

Dear NBA Live Developers & :bowdown: NLSC Family :bowdown2: Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Back again everybody, today I will be doing another refining blog/post. Today I will be covering NBA LIVE’s “Pick & Roll” mechanic.

The meat and potatoes of fundamental basketball offense...


How the system currently works…

Right now we have five options for the “Pick & Roll” mechanic :!:

1. Pick and Pass to the driving big man
2. The Pop for a 2pt/3pt
3. The Pick and Roll into a jumper
4. Pass out to a guarded player
5. Pressing through the cumbersome pin wheel play calling menu to find said pick & roll plays - way too long of a process

Note: The current state of the pick & roll is simple and plain in both LIVE and 2K games. But what if we could layer this attack making your opponents have to think more about other optional attacks on the fly.

Let’s Begin…

Pick & Roll Reactions: CPU vs Player vs. Player vs Player

CPU vs Player

The CPU in most cases if at all won't hound you and respects your space and doesn’t play you 94 feet like Scottie and The Glove once did… This allows the user to pull off a smooth Pick & Roll to the basket.

Note: This needs to be fixed in NBA LIVE for sure because players like Lowry, Beverley, Draymond Green and specially Kawhi Leonard play their opposition very aggressively and out work their opposition to death. However, that’s another note back to the Pick & Roll…

Player vs Player

During a Player vs Player game depending on the type of style your opponent he/she will either hound you for a steal/cause a foul, sagging off your pick leaving the pick ineffective, especially around the three-point line and lastly everyone gets bunched up together in mass confusion of Pick & Roll mash potatoes.

But what are the other players doing once the pick and roll is activated...


In most cases once the pick and roll is activated your other CPU teammates are not doing much but observing. There is no cuts or screen happening which is the major problem because there needs to be options beside a jump-shot or a drive to the basket.

While l was playing NBA LIVE 18 l was thinking how the Dev Team could make the Pick & Roll have offensive options while driving and bingo! :applaud:

Once the pick and roll is activated using L1 press in Left-Stick which activates the pop, quickly flick in either direction UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT and let go of Left-Stick (L3) before your big man performs the pick would give you your pick & roll plays on the fly without waiting for menu toggling or waiting for a certain spot on the floor to indicate whether the play is ready to go. This will cause your CPU teammates to react to defensive sets and your pick and roll sorta how Kyle Korver and Richard Hamilton play off screens.

For Example!

phpBB [video]

Screen "Chop Cut"

phpBB [video]

Atlanta Hawks High Ball Screen + Weakside Flare

phpBB [video]

Atlanta Hawks Invert Pick & Roll

phpBB [video]

Spain Pick & Roll

An optional play that could be purchased through crates or International Coach Cards (talked about in my first Dear Developer post)

phpBB [video]

A New Way To Run Pick And Roll In The NBA

Adding a bit more...

The introduction to the Invert Pick & Roll mechanic. This function will be activated by pressing and holding L1 and R1 and double tapping the player icon you want to do the second screen for the Inverted Pick and Roll. Therefore you call the first pick using L1 and press and hold R1 (Icon Passing) button and quickly double tap the icon that represents the player you want to do the second screen with. You can also use Inverted Pick & Roll button without calling an initial pick and roll to achieve V-Cut with selected player.

Note: These Pick & Roll plays do not have any markings on the floor to indicate what is happening, its up to the user to know how these plays are performed. Unless playing on a lower difficulty or toggling it on in the menu options.

My thought process on only using a four play shot mechanic is as followed.

1. Usage - The pick and roll is used 90% of the time for offense - Human vs Human - I could be wrong... But from playing CPU they rarely use the pick & roll they run plays for screens
2. Speed - Using only four plays allows the pick and roll plays to develop on the floor before your big man approaches your Point Guard
3. Smaller learning curve - Learning the four plays is easier for the user to remember the animation cues to execute the play

Note: The locomotion system must be tune down to have a better pick and roll experience and play running experience because more often then not the pick and roll the user will be sucked into a FORCE DRIVE!!! or run pass their spot on the floor.

phpBB [video]

Pick and Roll Defense - High Pick and Roll

Defending the Pick & Roll

Gone are the days of just having man to man defense play in the background, with these different pick and roll packages the team on defense must use different defensive sets or they will be crushed by the pick and roll. Enough with the handouts on D... the focus is on authenticity... So on the defense end are plays that could help your CPU players reaction to what they are seeing on the court better. With a man to man defense there will always be a man open, because attributes and player IQ will play a role underneath the hood of NBA LIVE prime example is how J.R Smith would guard K.D on a switch or off-ball.


The Load Out... How the user should look at these pick & roll plays... :shifty:

Dribble Hand-Off 2.0™

At the current moment in NBA Live 18 we can not move to perform a dribble hand-off, but... :cheeky:


What if the developers gave us the ability to move our players at will and create our own moving dribble hand-off on command. If this could be implemented in NBA LIVE 20 we could recreate Golden States' Three-Man-Weave sequence. However if you are unable to perform these plays things like kick-ball, traveling and steals could happen. :mrgreen: (Y)

phpBB [video]

Warriors Weave


phpBB [video]

Australia "Flip Angle" Olympics X's & O's

Australia "Flip Angle" Olympics X's & O's is a prime example of how we could use the Pick & Roll, Inverted Pick & Roll and Dribble Hand-Off 2.0 mechanics in combination sequences to create unique plays. Being able to do these plays EA could reward the user by giving them a teamwork multiplier effect that would cause teams to heat-up :cool: and also unlock rare awards and new play books. Therefore once your team has a new play you can go to the Live Academy™ (read my first Dear NBA Live Developers post) and learn it causing your team to have higher chemistry and unlocking the play in your automatic play call functions. So think of these exclusive plays as :idea: learn-able attachments :idea: to your team's brain, which means your Boston Celtics will differ from someone else Boston Celtics. This also works in The One street mode 5v5, 3v3 and more...

The Live Academy would be central mode in NBA Live 20 that gives you your customization...


How Live Academy™ (from my first Dear NBA Live Developers post) plays a part in the user selected pick & roll plays, in his mode the user would be able to select his/her personnel and second unit roles by player attributes and Synergy. The Live Academy also would accumulate data on users effectiveness of performing these plays and could also suggest other plays instead or help users run the plays correctly. Live Academy mode would also have a Create-A-Play for the more astute users that understand basket ball a bit more than the causal gamer.

Thanks again for looking at my post... Peace for now. (Y)
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:09 am

Re: Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Postby ThaLiveKing on Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:54 am

This got me mad last night

User avatar
Posts: 2435
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Postby Geemonster84 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:52 am

ThaLiveKing l completely understand your pain.... Great game mechanic, however the dev team hasn't refined the Pick & Roll defense logic. In a real game Enes Kanter would have read this play and protect the basket. Thanks for reading my post my Canadian friend... Working on another post right now.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:09 am

Re: Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Postby Andrew on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:13 am

Something that I really like about NBA 2K's pick & roll control is that you don't have to keep holding down the button to ensure that your teammate sets the pick. While there is some advantage in having control over when your teammate rolls or pops, or especially when they slip, it's a bit awkward having to keep holding it down to maintain the screen while you also try to make your move. It'd be good if there was a way to cue up the pick & roll instruction as in 2K, so that once the screen comes, you can focus on what you're doing as the ballhandler.
NLSC Webmaster/Administrator
Contact: Email | Twitter
Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
NLSC: Podcast | The Friday Five | Monday Tip-Off | Wayback Wednesday | 20th Anniversary of NBA Live | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Support The NLSC Hosting Fund: Patreon | GoFundMe

Like my work? Want to help out with the NLSC Hosting Fund? Please consider leaving a tip!
User avatar
Year 19
Posts: 110564
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 9:51 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Dear NBA Live Developers & NLSC Family Refining the Pick & Roll System!

Postby Geemonster84 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:44 am

Andrew l never really considered that route but you are absolutely right! That would free up your hands to do other things.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:09 am

Return to NBA Live 18

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests