Now granted, I can’t say too much about the quality of the digital on-court, as I haven’t had a chance to pick the game up just yet, but according to our pals over at Twitter.com, the shooting mechanics are improved, the game is fluid, and (game gods willing) you can actually change a player’s position and number in My GM mode.
But as these things so often go, nobody, not even the fine folks over at Visual Concepts, can please everyone. While the game’s on-court performance may be improved, there are still plenty of folks underwhelmed by Ronnie 2K‘s player evaluation skills.
… what? Has Ronnie 2K ever even watched the Philadelphia 76ers?
The Philadelphia 76ers’ 2K roster may be in need of a retooling.
Coming into the 2020-21 NBA season, the hype surrounding Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey was at an all-time high.
Sure, he wasn’t what you would call an elite scorer at Kentucky during his lone, pandemic-altered season, but vision, verve, and versatility left many a talent evaluator convinced that he would hear his name called in the lottery.
That, unfortunately, didn’t happen… unless you happen to be a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, then you are surely very happy with the results.
While Maxey’s rookie season wasn’t perfect, as his offensive game took some time to make it NBA side, as did his defense and playmaking abilities, the Texas native provided a legitimate spark every time he took the court, both with his infectious efforts and lightning-quick ability to take the ball 96 feet to the hoop.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about Maxey, I think about three things: His floater, his drivers, and his speed.
So why, I ask rhetorically, does Ronnie 2K hate Maxey and think he’s a slow, poor passing developmental player? Why doesn’t he think Maxey, who very well may be the team’s starting point guard next season, is a slow, poop-passing offensive player who really only provides value on defense? According to the fine folks over at the NBA – ever heard of them? – Maxey led the Sixers in average speed on the ball and average speed off-ball. He ranked fourth in average defensive speed and even finished out the regular season with the most feet-per-minute of any player on the Sixers’ team, even more than Ben Simmons.
Hmm… if the actual Association’s own statistics department acknowledges Maxey’s basketball speed, why can’t 2K?
Whether he’s tasked with playing alongside Simmons in a reserve role, behind some other point guard in a reserve role, or running the show solo as the team’s point guard numero uno, Maxey is going to unquestionably be one of the team’s top minutes getters this fall. He’s going to shoot the ball more, pass the ball more, and potentially even attempt more than 1.1 free throws per game. But do you want to know what Maxey won’t be doing this fall? Playing any faster. Heck, if anything, Maxey’s game actually had to slow down a bit as his rookie season went on, as he would often outrun his teammates and have no passing options on the wings.
If that’s so obvious to the naked eye and so easily backed up by statistics, why hasn’t Visual Concepts’ developmental staff figured it out?
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what Tyrese Maxey’s 2K numbers are. It doesn’t matter how fast he is with or without the ball, how high his 3 point shooting stats are, or if he goes from a 76 to, say, an 83 with extended action in the starting lineup… actually, it does sort of matter, doesn’t it? It matters if you want to play as the Philadelphia 76ers in the game and get a realistic playing experience. Maxey? With 77 speed? That isn’t realistic and thus doesn’t deserve a free pass. Fix it in the first update, Visual Concepts; we all know one is coming.