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We Talkin' Bout PRACTICE??? 
Posted on August 18, 2014 at 04:52 PM.
Before I begin I would like to request that we get a master practice scheduler that we can set before the season to setup practices throughout the year automatically with options. Like 2 practices a week with an option of at least one day off, or an option for not after a back2back set. This would allow us to always have practices without having to setup each one manually throughout and entire 82 game season. It'd be cool to only have to tweak them if need be and not having to add them each week. THANKS

NOW ON TO THE REAL DEAL ----->


THE "HOW TO" ON A SIM PRACTICE MODE FOR 2K

***Please not that the GREEN sections give more insight and can be skipped over if you just want the bullet point details!!!***

For starters, we NEED a practice mode. Practice is the way by which all players work on their game, and transition from good to great. How they prove the naysayers wrong, and how they come back stronger than ever (word to PG).

I have the greatest idea ever on how to apply the practice mode in the most SIM manner possible and I want to share it so here goes.

THE BASICS

First, before we can practice anything, we need to separate each shot location on the court so that we can reflect how good players are from a certain location on the court. We'll use the existing hotspots system for this purpose.


Each section of the floor separated by a hotspot comes from data received by a third party company (stats inc i think) and reflects how good or bad each player shoots from a certain hotspot on the floor. Red for spots he shoots higher than his baseline FG%, gray for neutral (within .5% of base FG%), and blue for spots where they shoot lower than their base FG%.

Now, each player should have the standard rating for say, mid range shots. This standard rating represents how comfortable this player is when shooting from mid range at ANY mid range spot on the floor. This baseline rating then takes a 5+ boost in red spots (spots where they shoot higher % than baseline FG%), stays neutral in gray areas (within .5% of base FG%), and -5 to the base rating in blue spots (where they shoot lower % than base FG%).

Players have to be at least a 70 rating from said area to have a "RED" hotspot anywhere in that section. So if your 3pt rating is at least a 70 you can have a RED section anywhere above the 3pt line. For neutral lines you would have to be at least a 50 in base rating. Anything lower than a 50 would have a blue hotspot in all areas. So if you have a center who can't shoot 3s he would likely have a rating either below or in the 50s and blue all around the 3pt arc. This would require a substantial amount of work put in, but its not impossible. This represents the SIM standard and shows how well this mode would work in reflecting players getting better IRL.

Im not sure how hotspots currently work; how much they reward or penalize a player for shooting from a specific spot on the floor, but I developed my system so that we can see how I plan to make it work in relation to PRACTICE.

WORK ON YOUR GAME

Just like in real life, we should be able to simulate players coming back better in specific ways both year over year and throughout the season. Players should be able to work on shooting from certain spots on the floor that we feel would best help our team be successful.

Maybe im using the Spurs and I want Tiago Splitter to work on his midrange game from the right baseline because he always ends up being left open from that spot on the floor. You get the idea. We should be able to work on a set player's game and develop it as we predict it will develop or to suit our team needs.

How we do this is by shooting a set number of shots from a specific hotspot on the floor we want to work on. Lets say we need to make 100 shots from the spot on the floor we want to work on. Once we make those shots we give a boost to our hotspot rating from that spot. Remember the red, blue, or gray neutral?

If we are working on our shot from a blue spot, the boost will neutralize the negative effects of this spot on that player's hotspot chart (so long as the rating from that range is >50). If we work on a gray spot we will create a red spot after completing the practice (as long as rating is at least 70 from that range (i.e 70 midrange shot)). If we already have a red spot(which remember is a 5+ boost) we would get just one point added to the base rating each completed practice session. If we are below the rating of 70 required for RED hotspot and say our midrange is 67, in that case you would receive a point added to the base rating per session until you reach the minimum rating of 70 for the RED hotspot.


Note that in order to get the best results in real life you need to focus your practice on a specific "FACET" of your game. Thus the same will be true in this mode. This means that before you start the practice you would designate a certain area to work on which would be close, mid, arc 3pt, corner 3pt, and lastly freethrows. You can only work on on FACET of your game per practice, but you can work on any hotspot within that range (around the arc, everything in the paint, etc). You do have the option to change your choice of FACET at any time during the practice at the expense of losing what you've worked on so far and starting fresh working on the new FACET.

You might ask, what happens if I have a center with no outside shot capability whatsoever, and I want to work on his corner 3pt shot and skip midrange? In this scenario it would be ideal to work on your midrange baseline shot (the area right in front of the corner 3) and become comfortable shooting that BEFORE you try to get him shooting corner 3s. Either way without at least a base rating of 70 from midrange, the requirement for the same results will be double until you reach a base rating of 70.

You might wonder why its such a high boost from blue to neutral, or from neutral to red. The reason for this is as a basketball player I know that if you are not comfortable shooting from a spot and you focus on that its easy to reverse that and neutralize it. Its also fairly easy to become really good at shooting from a specific spot you otherwise are indifferent (neutral) to shooting from. The hard part is perfecting your game from those same spots. Which is why its so hard to get better from a said spot on the floor and takes alot of hard work put in. This is the reason for the 1 point boost per session after the player is proficient (red spot) in the area you are working on vs. the 5+ boost when going from blue to neutral or neutral to red.

APPLYING PRINCIPLES

One thing all players can or should relate to is the fact that practice means nothing without applying what you've worked on IN-GAME. So, these boosts will all be tentative until certain goals are met at the end of the season. These goals will be one of two things: either shoot a certain percentage from the spot you are working on, or make a large amount of shots from that spot on the floor by the end of the season.

This will force players to apply what they've practiced in the games or otherwise they'll lose out on the work they've put in. The more you work on throughout the season the more goals you will have to meet(at/by the end of the season) in order for your gains to be made permanent and thus carry over into the next season and beyond.

Many people will try to work on too many things each season and not be able to meet goals by these set goals in time, or perhaps not be able to meet he FG% by seasons end. This will create the perfect balance that also exists in real life.
You can only work on so much at a time, and you have to balance the season's games with which players you work on and when.


We also have to mention that the same factors that limited practice before will limit the practice mode now. In previous years of 2K's association mode we had the option to practice our players as a whole on days off in between games, but we had to balance these practices with the overall season fatigue of our team.

This practice mode is for the individual players and simulates them working on their game independent of the team. With that said, I would like to keep the existing practice mode feature as a way to continue to simulate TEAM practices just like we normally would. Just like we would have to balance TEAM practices with games in the past throughout the season, we have to balance individual practices with both TEAM practices AND the teams games just like a real player would. There is a fatigue factor as well so we would need to make sure that we balance how much we practice both as a TEAM and as an individual.

When it comes to practicing in the summer, the amount of practice time available is determined by how far along in the season your team gets. If there are say 12 weeks (July, August, Sept) maximum available, the max would be for players on a team who didn't make the playoffs, with 2 weeks being subtracted for each round your team progresses. So if your team was in the finals, you would be limited to 4 weeks of practice. The rate of possible practice days in a week during the summer is 3 sessions per week. It should also be noted that in the summer it takes 3 practices to solidify practice results due to lack of games being played to apply your skills. So it'd take a week worth of practice to work on one facet of your game.

As far as GAINS in the summer are concerned, all gains are taken into next season and there are no goals to be met besides the in-practice goal (make 100 shots from said spot, etc.). The summer goals are much larger than in-season goals. So instead of only 100-150 shots from a said spot it might be 250-300 shots made from the same spot.

IN CLOSING

Practice and progression are such a HUGE part of the NBA and they are currently absent in 2K as far as depth. This mode gives us a comprehensive way to develop our own players, teams, and systems and thus in theory (if we are SIM ENOUGH) be able to replicate the results of the WORLD CHAMPION S.A. SPURS. Like they have, we can take players that are niche players and make them fit into our systems and styles. We can play the game our way and do it for years on end. This is the type of mode that when coupled with all of the other transcendent features 2K has to offer on GEN4 systems and PC can create for us the most SIM GAME KNOWN TO MAN.

I personally was inspired to write this blog so that I can help this game take it to the next level and grow into the game that we all want to play. I find myself playing no more than 3 years in association before getting board of it and starting anew, and features like this would be game changers that allow us to invest in our players, teams, and systems in a way that we can just walk away from and start anew. So guys, HERES TO THE FUTURE OF SIM BASKETBALL!

Thanks for reading and I hope to see lots of feedback on what you like, would change, or add to this mode. Feel my passion and pass it on.
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