Above all else mentioned in the following recap, I'd like to stress that NBA 2K10 does not accurately simulate true NBA-style defense. There are infinitely fewer trips to the charity stripe, since AI defenders are more willing to let you score in the paint rather than foul you to prevent the easy bucket. Therefore, compared to a real NBA game, I will have fewer points from free throws, but more points from layups and a larger number of shots attempted. (So yes, I put up a disgusting number of shots in all of these games, but it's not quite as horrific as it sounds. But hey, it's a video game. What do you want me to do? Pass to my inept teammates and watch them brick shots and turn the ball over? Screw that!) I'm interested to see how NBA 2K11 handles that glaring issue.
Picking up where my last update left off...
Knicks 90 at Magic 123
So it turns out Zydrunas Ilgauskas was somehow aquired by the Knicks in my game. How delightfully goofy! Also, Starbury isn't eating Vaseline on a webcam and killing time in China in this virtual land; he's still surprisingly playing for the Knickerbockers. The Knicks (particularly Nate Robinson) were on fire the first half. The team hit a combined seven first half three-pointers. Then they remembered "oh crap, we're the Knicks!" and proceeded to brick every single attempt from downtown in the second half. Realism! Also, highlight of the game? I drew a blocking foul on Nate Robinson AND dunked on David Lee in the span of half a second.
Bobcats 100 at Magic 112
My teammates are worthless. After watching Ryan Anderson dribble the ball out of bounds for absolutely no reason (there were no defenders around him!), I finally decided to just take over on offense and let my teammates just stand around and not screw up too much. I only dished out 6 assists, but had 54 points. (Being a ball-hog in a virtual world where there aren't repercussions for being a dick is fun!) Meanwhile, Vinsanity managed to turn the ball over and get a 3-second call on consecutive possessions in the third quarter. And you wonder why I don't let my teammates touch the ball some days...
However, I do have one video to share from this game: a sweet layup over Raymond Felton that finishes with the ball bouncing off Felton's head. Plus it's capped off with...
Jazz 94 at Magic 104
Remember what I said about hating my teammates? Here's a nice example. Dorell Myers was open behind the arc, so I fed him the ball. He didn't shoot. I got the ball back and saw Myers in motion toward the basket with no defenders in sight, so I dished it into him. He didn't shoot again. Instead, he tried to force a pass and turned it over. Facepalm. Meanwhile, in transactional news, Joakim Noah is now on the Jazz in my virtual career.
Injury update: Kevin Martin tore his Achilles tendon -- he's done for the season. Way to go, Discount Store. Now you're almost as worthless as the real K-mart!
Blazers 110 at Magic 111
I laid down a monsterous 44-6-16 line for my 25th double-double of the season. And we absolutely dominated this game. Well, until garbage time. After Virtual Van Gundy put me on the bench with a significant double digit lead late in the game, my teammates decided to just quit playing basketball, and the Blazers rallied all the way back to make it a one point game. And yet Stan Van Gundy never put me back in the game! What the hell??? I mean, I get that the coaching in the NBA is pretty bawful at times, but that's just absurd. The other bawful moment of the game: Ryan Anderson stood in the lane like a statue and took a whistle for a 3-second violation and bobbled the ball away while dribbling aimlessly in just a handful of possessions. Can I interest anyone in a trade? Please??
Also, I flattened a dude on the sidelines. Awesome.
Coaching transactional news: The Mavericks fired Rick Carlisle. On Christmas Eve! That's cold. Who would ever do that? Oh, wait. Yeah. Carlisle's replacement is Everett Tinsley, whoever that is.
Magic 113 at Nyets 107
What a fantastic Christmas Day matchup! (The Prokhorov surely approves.) Some big transactional news: Jameer Nelson = traded! In exchange, we acqured something called a "Hans Meier." Hurray? Whatever. Also, Joe Johnson is now on the Nyets. I would say "poor guy," but the Nyets are actually doing very well in this virtual season for reasons beyond human comprehension.
Anyway, this was an exciting game. The Nyets were a bad matchup for me -- Devin Harris is very fast and agile in this game, and it's hard for me to drive the lane against quick guards, so I have to rely more on my teammates. And we all know how well that usually goes in this game. Check out some of the action that occurred late in this game: I forced Harris to dribble out of bounds with five minutes left. I was in foul trouble after getting a couple charging calls and taking a couple really ticky-tacky reach-in calls, so this was surprising. After that, Vinsanity immediately bricked a wide-open trey. Then Pumaman Dwight Howard got double-teamed and predictably turned it over. Then Vinsanity forced me to dribble out of bounds with three minutes left since he stepped directly into my path on the baseline. After that, my teammates ball-hogged for the final three minutes and I didn't get to touch the ball. What a painful game.
Pacers 109 at Magic 113
Well, I got lucky to win this game. In the first quarter, Steve Blake went supernova on my ass and dropped 18 points. I have no idea. Then in the second quarter, I went ice cold and missed 8 consecutive shots. And these weren't contested shots either. These were wide-open jumpers and layups. Horrific. And I played the entire first half of the game, so I had no legs left to do anything on offense or defense by the time halftime came. Thanks a bunch, Virtual Coach.
At the start of the third quarter, the Pumaman forgot how to move and got nailed on the rarely-seen defensive three-second violation. On the next possession, I was whistled for charging. Then I was called for charging again two possessions later. Coach Van Gundy sat me since I was getting into foul trouble. After being reinserted into the game in the fourth quarter, I got called for ANOTHER charge just two possessions later. Ridiculous. I only played something like four minutes in the second half thanks to all the fouls I racked up on just charging calls. I have no idea what changed, considering I rarely got called for charging in previous games. I like to think that 2K Sports simply modeled a virtual Tim Donaghy refereeing scandal. Sound good? Good. Just so long as I get a cut.
Magic 102 at Hornets 88
Chris Paul came to play. He put down a nice 29/3/9 line. However, I was not about to let myself get outshown by my competition's point guard! I went into total shot-jacking mode and took an unholy 47 shots, but scored a team-record 63 points, then stole the ball from Chris Paul twice late in the game and buried a fast-break three just because I could. Now I see why Kobe likes to put up ridiculous shots all the time -- it's fun! (God, I feel dirty.)
That being said, I did totally whiff trying to block one of his layups:
Magic 108 at Mavericks 86
Another me-first game led to a 58 point outing, including shooting 3-for-8 from downtown. Hey, we're winning, aren't we? I'll stop ball-hogging when my teammates start complaining about getting the number one seed in the East. Meanwhile, I forced Jason Kidd into a backcourt violation in the first quarter. Not to be outdone, my teammate Ryan Anderson took a backcourt violation shortly after this. I'm not sure, but I think my virtual doppelganger gave him a "I'm this close to breaking your neck and raping your soul" Kobe stare.
I only played 16 minutes thanks to foul trouble. Gilbert Arenas was just way too fast (faster than a speeding bullet, as it were), and I couldn't stay in front of him on defense. The result? I fouled him. A lot. Hey, it wasn't pretty, but it worked.
Heat 90 at Magic 102
In perhaps the greatest one-on-one battle since Dr. J versus Bird was commemorated in 8-bit form, Dwyane Wade and my polygonal, pixelated version of myself battled all game long in a back-and-forth contest of hot streaks. For every ridiculous, contested jumper D-Wade drained from the top of the key, I countered with an obscene reverse layup in traffic. And vice versa. Our teammates seemed content to stand in awe and just watch us battle for much of the game. It finally culminated in the closest thing you'll ever see in NBA 2K10 to a hard foul:
This was the first game that I played with the patch, and it was a decided improvement over the previous unpatched version of the game. Layups became infinitely more difficult, new animations were added, etc. However, after this point, I lost my notes I took on later games, so I think we'll call this the end of the NBA 2K10 Diaries. My copy of NBA 2K11 (and a new video card for my PC) have arrived and are waiting to be installed, so I should be able to get back to gaming later this week with a brand new -- and hopefully improved -- game. We'll have to see just how much bawful it has.
In closing, I'll leave you with this glorious video of Vince Carter failing. Enjoy.