The Story of an Extremely Satisfying NBA 2K14 Comeback Against a Troll
(This article was originally published on Broken Leagues)
So there I was, sitting in my office chair, NBA 2K14 at full speed on the television. I had only recently bought the game, but I’d already fallen into something of a malaise, facing online opponent after online opponent. I was in a zombified state, in which I was playing the game without really appreciating what was on the screen. I needed something to amplify the experience — an augmentation, as they call it in Fable.
And I got it. I got my augmentation in the form of a complete jackass.
My opponent was Jay-_-Swagga, who exuded all the maturity one might expect from a dude with a grouchy-face emoticon in his name. Swagga played as the Miami Heat. I was the Portland Trail Blazers and was on the road.
It didn’t take me long to absolutely despise this guy. Swagga was doing all the douchey things you can do in NBA 2K: taking charges at half-court, replaying every dunk and block ad nauseam, pausing and un-pausing the game every few seconds during a timeout, hovering select over the quit button. More than I anything, it was his usage of the Miami Heat that pissed me off. I can understand being brash or arrogant when you’re using a team like the Nets or the Mavericks. But Miami? I’m sorry, but when you play as the best team in the NBA, you lose the right to be a cocky asshole when you do something right. It’s like celebrating when you’re using Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl.
In the first half, Swagga relied almost entirely on outside shots. In particular, he spammed the hell out of Ray Allen, who kept getting open behind the arc. In the third, Swagga only attempted Ray Allen three-pointers off of screens.
I wanted to kill this guy, to beat him so thoroughly that he’d never again attempt such infuriating tactics.
But holy crap if it’s not hard to stop digital Ray Allen from connecting on an open three-pointer. And what was especially irksome was that there was nothing I could do, no setting I could enter, to make Blazers guard Wesley Matthews stay on Allen. Inevitably, Matthews would drift aimlessly into the lane for some inexplicable purpose, giving Allen just enough room to hoist an unblockable three. And even when I’d control Matthews, and later Nicolas Batum, to stay as close to Allen as I could, that still left LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to shred the automated defenders.
Swagga started to pull away in the fourth quarter, with me cursing the game’s mechanics every step of the way. Hand-checking fouls had seemingly disappeared entirely, making it ludicrously easy to lose the ball or have it stolen. The controls also weren’t as responsive as they were in NBA 2K13, that it would take a split-second longer for the ball to be passed or for a player to react.
When I called timeout with 2:40 left in the fourth, Swagga’s lead had ballooned to 77-62. It was insurmountable. I came to peace with my impending defeat, sending all my starters to the bench in the universal sign of surrender. In their place came in Mo Williams, C.J. McCollum, Dorell Wright, Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard. Swagga stuck with the lineup that had gotten him this huge lead: Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, LeBron James, Michael Beasley and Chris Andersen. There was no compassion from Mr. Swagga, who paused the game to toggle to over the quit button, just in case I hadn’t already considered it.
Coming out of the timeout, I found Mo Williams wide open in the top right corner, just in front of the three-point line. Swish. 77-64.
I switched to full-court defense, the most desperate and easily-exploitable of the all defensive settings. And sure enough, a few quick passes later, Chris Andersen was completely uncovered, without a Portland defender around for miles. He could have dunked it and made it a 15-point differential again, but he didn’t. Swagga wanted to humiliate me, to show me just how little he thought of my admittedly-lame gaming skills. So he dribbled back behind the three-point line, waited for Beasley to come across half-court, and swung it over to Beasley, who promptly fired a ludicrous three-point heave that had zero chance of going in.
I came down the court. Mo Williams curled to the corner once again, and I passed it to him. This time he was behind the line, and this time LeBron James was right in his face. No matter. Swish. 77-67, with 2:05 to go.
Chris Andersen took the ball out. The full-court defense had everyone blanketed. He was controlling Wade and I was controlling Williams. I guessed that he would have Wade dart to the right and then toss it to him, and I guessed right. I intercepted Andersen’s pass, took one dribble, and drilled a 10-foot floater. Now the lead was down to single-digits with 1:57 left. Encouraging, but not enough for me to get my hopes up.