The opening credits flash with all the logos of the NBA. Then the classic EA Sports logo flashes and the deep voiced man booms in declaring “E-A Sports….It’s in the game!” And welcome the newest edition of NBA Live.
Well…that’s how it was supposed to pan out until it was officially shelved last week, conceding to 2K’s NBA 2K franchise for the third year in a row. NBA 2K13 was released on Tuesday to high critical acclaim and what will most likely be extremely high sales for the third year, as well.
Before I lose you…don’t worry, this isn’t a video game review. But better yet, this is a review of how 2K has rated the Wizards squad and how they predict the season to end for the Wiz Kids.
To start off, the Wizards as a team are ranked 25th in defense, 28th in offense, and 25th overall in the NBA. Having not seen the new-look Wizards play one game yet with their overall new look, I can’t say I fully disagree with these ratings as of now. (Fun fact-- the Bobcats still rank worst in the NBA in offense and overall ranking).
And before I get into ratings, let’s get to the must-knows. As I simulate a full season with the Wizards in NBA 2K13, the Wizards will (according to them) end the season with a 43-39 record and ending up in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Yes, the Wizards (in this one simulation) will make the playoffs. But as they face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, the Wizards will see the end of their season after a 4-2 series loss. (Side note: I tried the simulation a second time and got nearly the same results including an exit in the first round to the Nets).
But as I look deeper into the game, I’m a little baffled (as I always am) with the ratings of the players on the Wizards squad. To begin things, the 2K crew has the Wizards starting rotation as follows: Wall (PG) Crawford (SG) Ariza (SF) Nene (PF) Okafor (C).
While this is still a possibility, I don’t foresee this being the day one lineup, and instead believe Booker will play the Power with Nene at the center. I see Okafor as a spark off the bench type of player.
But the reason this starting lineup is this way is due to the ratings of the individual players—which means Booker must have gotten robbed somewhere. As I look at the ratings, I see that Booker is given one of the lowest ratings on the team (a 67 overall with a C in post-defense). I get it, Booker is not a household name, but you’ve got to think the guy would get a better rating after a standout season in Washington last year.
Who’s lower than Booker, you ask? Well, Shelvin Mack came in at a 64 overall scoring low in everything except athleticism and perimeter defense. Jan Vesely comes after Mack with a rating of 60 (YIKES) as he scores C’s mostly across the board. While I disagree with the ratings and actually think both guys have much more talent, I can’t fully disagree, as they have not yet really been able to make a name for themselves nationally and only saw significant playing time during injuries or towards the end of the season.
And then, in last place, from the University of Connecticut, A.J. Price, with a dismal rating of 54. But really, I have no argument as his only above average stat is his three point shooting, which I felt was a main reason he was brought on.
As you take a look at the best, I really have no arguments, and actually fully agree with the ratings of Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford both being the same (75). I really think it’s going to be a tough battle for the opening day starting SG spot.
For the most part, I generally agree with and am impressed with 2K’s scouting of the Washington Wizards. But there’s one thing I had to go check on before I finished this piece…our good friend Andray Blatche.
Here, 2K Sports, is where we defer in the most extreme of manners.
Blatche is rated overall a 74, with no grade lower than a C except his ball-handling.
And on that note, I believe it’s fair to say that while generally accurate, 2K will need to get out a roster update pretty soon after the pre-season tip-off.