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#1 2010-07-14 17:43:41

bbkaos
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The art of the build

**disclaimer**  This is 100% my opinion, not fact.  I'm sharing it in the hopes of a good discussion, where everyone can learn something.  I'm aware that other methods work, this is simply how I view things (and boy has that been a successful viewpoint for me).  The real hope is that someone combines this with other viewpoints and takes things to the next level. 

**disclaimer the second**  This assumes the reader knows the basics of how to assign skill points, pair chemistries, maximize sim value, etc.  If you don't, feel free to ask.  Let's assume we are talking about builds in a normal league where players can reach level 6 and 900 quite easily.

So first I'll say that I consider the primary build of a team to be of the utmost importance.  Early in my time here (season 9 and 10) my team had awful builds, and we struggled accordingly.  In season 11 I embraced these ideas, and since then we have had unparalleled success.  Some users might attribute that success to things I do in terms of game planning or scouting, but I completely disagree (because I don't do much there other than understanding what is possible by looking at a build).  My opinion is that the builds I use simply allow for greater flexibility and balance, and better cover the more important areas. 

**Rules I follow**
1.  Everything discussed here is unit based.  By unit I mean lineup, and by lineup I mean the 5 guys who play together.  Assume the starters and bench have zero to do with each other, and are completely separate and different in every way. 

2.  Sliders are merely a way to move sim value.  They don't control your player's actions at all, because your players don't have actions.  The only type of exception is take more/less 3's, as that does literally control whether your player will attempt 3's or not (but not exactly how many).  The other sliders are merely for moving sim value.  Actual attribute levels tend to control distribution, so raising a player's rebounding is a better way to increase his share of the rebounding pie compared to sliding him to "crash the boards".  When a player has tiny sim value in an area moving his slider around does virtually nothing.  No one cares if your rebounder with 50 dunking attacks the basket or not.

3.  Every line must have significant 3pt sim value.  This can either mean a dedicated 3pt shooter or a BH player who slides heavily to 3's. 

4. Sim value is king.  It doesn't explain everything that happens in the game, but in general it seems to be the dominant factor.  Embrace it.  Use the team page update. 

5. Balance of sim value across all areas is the key to winning.  Previously teams have won without balance because no one else was balanced either.  My goal is to leave no area under 1k, and last season I actually got no areas below 2k. 

**Player types**
The most important thing to understand if you want to understand builds is to know what each player type is capable of providing in terms of sim value.  This part ought to be common knowledge to everyone serious, but I am listing it anyway.  It will be listed in terms of what your main is.

Speed - Can slide to rebounding, a con is that the first 2 skill points are delayed and the choices for secondaries are limited to the defensive tree.  A pro is that you can use speed players to mess with rebounding distribution.

Ball Handling - Slides to 3's, an absolutely crucial type of player for my system.  A pro is that this player is in the role tree, which means easy access to GR and WW, which means easy level 7.  Also allows for spread out 3pt distribution, which is how guys like Little Hulk do their thing. 

Passing - Another main that is crucial to my system, passers slide equally into FTs and Shooting.  The real trick is that you can then slide that shooting into dunking (sliders follow the order from top to bottom).  This basically allows a passer to cover 4 areas at once, which is amazing.  A huge con is that there is no other attributes that share the 25% second tier multiplier, meaning passers have less natural options for secondaries and are a tougher secondary to take.  The recent FT changes also severely limited the efficiency of sliding into FTs. 

Shooting - Slides 75% to dunking and 25% to FT.  I despise shooters and dunkers for several reasons, but the main one is that sim value in these areas are not the most efficient type of offense.  3's rule this game, and until that changes you best take advantage of it. 

3's - slides out equally to BH and leadership.  I've rarely had success sliding this player away like that, but others certainly have.  These guys are truly the best and most efficient scorers around, and sim value in this area is in my opinion easily the most crucial area. 

Free Throws - the most unique and difficult player to use.  FTs slide equally into passing and BH, which means this one player can cover 3 areas at once.  I slide mine heavily (80% or more) to pass more, and thus cover pass and BH with a very nice amount of value.  They don't tend to be efficient scorers on their own, but others have had some success with it.  I just consider the pass/BH value as far more important than the FT value.  Another plus is the role player tree and easy level 7. 

Dunking - Same as shooting, slides to shooting 75% and FT 25%.  Not a fan.

Rebounding - Easy player to own, slides to speed and better be doing so.  Rebounds aren't useful in this game (especially o-boards) so I use mine as a way to provide speed and rebounding for the line.  There is a point in which getting killed in boards becomes detrimental (although it is lower than you think) so my opinion is that every line needs a rebounder or speed player.

Blocking - slides to NOWHERE (thanks Kazz, great idea there).  That is a major con, but I always used blockers because that is what I had and you have to work with what you have.  They are also fun and are great at taking a secondary in defense. 

Defense - slides to leadership.  I love defenders, but I always had blockers and you really only need one or the other (I'd love to have both but it just isn't possible without shorting other areas).  Takes a nice secondary in blocking assuming they are the 7'2 variety.  These guys can always be used as leadership guards if you just slide them 90% or so, and I did that for multiple seasons with great success out of necessity.  Actual leaders are better though since they can easily WW and hit level 7, along with better secondary options. 

Leaders - slides to EITHER blocking OR defense.  A fantastic player type that should be on every single team.  Can WW for easy level 7, and can slide to cover a weakness in either D or blocking.  It isn't that you can't win without them, it is more why would you want to bother?  One of mine scored 30pts in a final four game, so don't give me that crap about stats either.  I enjoy the lead forward, but the lead guard works great as well (depends what secondary you want for em).

**The actual build**
SO those are your player types and what they can do, the question is how do we combine them?  My goal/theory is that each line should be able to cover all 11 areas with something, as well as focus on what I consider the more important/effective/efficient areas.

To be balanced a team basically needs 2 offensive players (shooting, dunking, 3's, BH, passing, FT) 1 speed or rebound player, and 2 out of the 3 (leadership, blocking and defense).  The 2 offensive players are the key, as that really determines what type of team you will have.  One of them needs to provide 3's, so that means you choose between a 3pt shooter and a BH player.  Again, the real key is who you pair them with.  Every line will be short on a few areas, so the question is do you want to be short on passing, shooting, dunking or BH?  To me passing and BH are far more important than shoot/dunk, so I go with that.  Actually passing is the most difficult sim value to get, as you need an actual passer or a FT guy who slides to get it in large amounts.  So with a 3pt shooter the best pairs are passers or FT shooters.  3's/shoot or dunk works, although I feel the two scorer line doesn't shoot as many 3's as you want, and it also leaves huge weaknesses in passing and BH.  I find it is a lot easier to shore up weaknesses in shoot or dunk with sliders and secondaries than it is to shore up weaknesses in BH and passing. 

Rebound or speed doesn't matter much, although rebounders have better secondary options (and heights), and they also don't have skill points delayed like speed guys do. 

The final choice is 2/3 of leadership/D/blocking.  The bottom line is that you want as much value as possible in these areas.  As I said before, leadership players can slide to either one, so if you are paired with a defender you can slide the leader to blocking, and vice versa.  People argue about which is better between D and blocking, and I really have no clue.  I've always had much higher blocking and done just fine, but I feel indifferent in choosing between the two.  A defender does give you more flexibility though, as on a given night he could slide all into leadership and the leader could slide all into blocking, essentially turning it into a blocking line for that game. 

**Examples**

Take a current line that I use:

Pass
BH
Rebound
Leader
Block

This line may look odd at first, but essentially it is one step away from the popular passer/3's lines.  The difference is that the BH is more flexible, as you can more easily leave some value in BH while sliding most to 3's.  This line also allows any player to shoot and make plenty of 3's without any training in that area.  It also has the ability to cover all 11 areas without secondaries, so it is great for lower TP leagues.  Obviously shooting and dunking are the lowest areas, so the focus of secondaries should be on those areas (and defense, although the leader obviously slides there). 

My favorite line:

3's
FT
Rebound
Leader
Block

This is my absolute favorite line, and easily the most effective and powerful one that I have ever run.  The FTs slide heavily to pass/BH, and the 3pt shooter has a natural shooting secondary because his skill points are delayed.  That still leaves weaknesses in shooting/dunking, but this line has no trouble scoring at all.  A few secondaries in those areas and defense complete the package. 

A line I don't like:

Pass
Shoot
3's
Leader
Rebound

I see this line quite a bit, and I really don't like it all.  It basically violates my rule of only 2 offensive players.  The issue is that you are left with a huge weakness in the big 3 areas of lead/d/blocking.  Sure you can slide the leadership to one of those areas, but then you have nothing in the other, as well as less leadership itself.  Make that shooter a defender or blocker and you do a much better job being balanced.  The shooter just isn't needed, as you already have plenty of offensive with the passer and 3's. 

A common 2 scorer line that I wouldn't use, although I recognize it is decent:

Shoot
3's
Rebound
Leader
Block

This issue here is BH and passing.  A lead guard can easily take a secondary in BH, and the 3pt player can slide away a bit to get some more BH.  Passing is tough to come up with here, and it will be a real weakness.  I also don't like how the high base of the shooter or dunker commands so many shots.  This is a very workable line, but it just doesn't fit the way I like to do things.  It is reasonably balanced at least. 

A variation of the above that I have used, but no longer would want to use:

Shoot
BH
Rebound
Leader
Block

This line certainly has its moments, but again has a real weakness with passing.  It is a step up from the one above though, because of the added flexibility the BH brings.  If you want a player to average near a double-double in points and assists this is the way to go.  Again, I just don't like some guy taking jump shots all day. 

A line I love to see, because I know it will be an easy win:

Pass
Shoot
Rebound
Leader
Block

The issue here is the lack of 3's.  It leaves you vulnerable and unable to take advantage of the most powerful and efficient form of scoring in the game.  BH is another obvious weakness of course. 

Next up is two stat-whore specials:

3's
Rebound
Leader
Block
Defense

I actually want to try this line sometime, although the problem is more what the other line will look like because of chems.  The issue here is a lack of pass/BH/shoot/dunk, although I love the huge values in lead/d/blocking.  This line has had real success though, but it just doesn't fit my criteria. 

BH
3's
Leader
Block
Rebounds

If you want to jack your 3pt shooter this is what you do, as the added value slid in from the BH makes 3's rain down.  3's may be really important, but nothing is so important that you should forget about balance.  This line tends to be really inconsistent, yet puts up amazing numbers and upsets top teams at times.  The issue is the lack of passing/shooting/dunking, as well as being very easy to counter (just reduce 3's).  I wouldn't use it, although if I was the underdog I wouldn't mind swinging for the fences with it.  Again, another weakness is what the other line looks like, as you really can't have any 3's on that line with how chems work. 

For all of these lines it is important to note that defenders and blockers are interchangeable.  The difference is that you want your leader to slide to whichever you don't have.  You could also really do 2 leaders per line, and simply have one stay in leadership and one slide heavily.  The amount you decide to put in each area is an on going process, and you have to experiment a lot to find the right balance. 

***need to go buy beer, more to come later***

***final disclaimer***
I'm not saying this is "right", I'm just sharing my opinion as I go.  If you gain nothing from this, congrats.  If it helps you or gives you one idea, I'm glad.  Mainly I am doing it because I get a huge number of PMs and end up typing the same stuff repeatedly.  I do also have to point out that you shouldn't blindly follow these "rules" as that is more just a way to share a thought process.  Understanding the process is far more important, as then you can adapt it rather than follow it.

Last edited by bbkaos (2010-07-14 23:55:36)


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#2 2010-07-14 17:51:42

SwaggerJ
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Re: The art of the build

Professor bb strikes again


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#3 2010-07-14 18:12:15

kr1shna
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Re: The art of the build

sounds like another CR bible in the making here!


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#4 2010-07-14 19:19:58

mattya802
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Re: The art of the build

Noob


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#5 2010-07-14 19:46:30

chekreyes
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Re: The art of the build

kr1shna wrote:

sounds like another CR bible in the making here!

Sounds like another help section to me. What are we supposed to discuss?

Last edited by chekreyes (2010-07-14 19:46:48)


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#6 2010-07-14 20:06:45

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Wow I am out of shape.  Ok time to finish this.


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#7 2010-07-14 20:09:22

chekreyes
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Re: The art of the build

Please don't. You know I hate it when you do this! LOL


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#8 2010-07-14 20:35:11

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Updated, more to come later.


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#9 2010-07-14 21:23:14

mattya802
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Re: The art of the build

You should probably add in where you have blocking that defense could work as well.

Also, the possibility of doing double leaders instead of 1 leader and 1 blocker/defender.


Oh and another huge issue I've noticed with 3pt,reb,lead,def,blocking is secondaries, especially if the defender is a tall forward.  You end up with 6 tall forwards and 6 in the defense tree making covering passing/BH even more difficult.

Last edited by mattya802 (2010-07-14 21:24:45)


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#10 2010-07-14 21:34:06

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Excellent points, I'll add those in and more later tonight.


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#11 2010-07-14 23:28:17

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

And oh yeah, I was hoping people would discuss their own theories, or possibly what they agree or disagree with.  I feel that this right here is the true brilliance of the game, namely how you combine different player types to win or obtain awesome stats.


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#12 2010-07-14 23:47:02

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Re: The art of the build

I think you have very good points, and it will take a while to fully digest everything...

But, the thing that is already stuck in my craw is your notion that single scorer lines can't be effective without a 3-pt shooting presence.  As your line-up analysis pointed out, there are basically two types of lines: single scorer and dual scorer.  Within those categories there are many subsets.  But for me, the single-scorer shooter line which is void or has a minimal value in 3's, can be very effective as long as you have a single-scorer 3's line on the other side.  In those situations where you are going up against another single scorer, you match-up 3's on 3's and shooters on the other.  In those situations where you are going against a dual-scorer line, the match-up is of lesser importance, but the key is to bait the non-3 scorer on that line into taking a plurality of the shots (which can be done fairly effectively with TSP's).

The single-scorer shooter line does put more of a premium on insuring proper match-ups (leading us back to the match-up vs. slider/TSP debate...), but I've seen several teams in both Jordan and Bird be effective (final four+) without having any meaningful 3-point shooting value.

As I've said, you've put a lot out there to digest, but this item was the first thing that struck me.  Hopefully, I'll be able to weigh in on more later as well.


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#13 2010-07-14 23:53:16

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Absolutely, I've seen teams without 3's do pretty well.  I would just personally never do it.  I know I come off strong, but I really am not saying my way is right or the only way.  It is just a matter of opinion really.  I mean one of the best teams of all time (CTTF) violated one of my rules (they had a FT guy instead of a leader, 3 offensive type players).  However, they were such good trainers and so far ahead of the curve slide wise that they dominated early Jordan. 

What it comes down to is how ridiculously efficient 3's are.  Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?


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#14 2010-07-15 00:05:54

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Re: The art of the build

bbkaos wrote:

What it comes down to is how ridiculously efficient 3's are.  Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?

I think that 3's have actually been quietly--I don't want to use the term nerfed...but it's what coming to mind...lemme see--reined in.  Most top-flight shooters convert on approximately 50% of their shots; whereas most 3-point shooters convert on 35-40%...and that percentage has actually decreased across almost every team on which I'm participating this season to closer to the 33-38% range.  As such, I think that the points per attempt numbers are much more in line than they have been in previous seasons (and, I think that this scoring parity has contributed somewhat to the contender-level parity seen across most leagues).

Additionally, I feel that shooter lines tend to be more balanced in terms of from where the scoring comes.  I think that this occurs because of the ability to turn either shooting or dunking into a coverage in 3 attribute classes (Shooting, Dunking, and Free Throws).  These are values that can easily be enhanced by any offensive build.  As such, a captain can easily mask how his sim points are allocated and thus increase the likelihood of having TSP's set by his opponent miss the key offensive metric for that line.


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#15 2010-07-15 00:21:05

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

This is the first season that I have noticed 3's being less powerful, and I agree that if that keeps up or accelerates we would have to totally rethink things.  For now though elite teams still make well over 40% of their 3's.  I've yet to see a team with a non 3pt line seriously compete with my teams, although we have lost the occasional game over the seasons to more unique builds. 

I definitely know what you mean on the rest of it though, I just couldn't stand to not at least somewhat take advantage of and defend myself against 3's.  The game would be a whole lot more interesting if that sort of thing was balanced though.  Maybe it is a fitting time to leave, I'd hate to be a dinosaur tongue


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#16 2010-07-15 00:28:09

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Re: The art of the build

These are the five skills that I personally find most important and that every lineup should primarily focus on:

1) 3-point shooting
2) Defense
3) Speed (I like this skill because I heard it helps with defense.)
4) Rebounding (I know you're skeptical about this, bbkaos, but so far in the games that the team I'm on has played, we only win games when we have more rebounds. I don't know exactly why, but it's hard for us to win without getting more rebounds than the other team.)
5) Leadership

I personally think dunking is another good skill (since it can help the team get high-percentage scoring), but not in the top 5.

I'm very skeptical about passing and ball handling. To my understanding, all these skills do is increase your shooting percentage. I would think it would just be better to add another shooter.


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#17 2010-07-15 00:33:54

Hannibal
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Re: The art of the build

bbkaos wrote:

This is the first season that I have noticed 3's being less powerful, and I agree that if that keeps up or accelerates we would have to totally rethink things.  For now though elite teams still make well over 40% of their 3's.  I've yet to see a team with a non 3pt line seriously compete with my teams, although we have lost the occasional game over the seasons to more unique builds. 

I definitely know what you mean on the rest of it though, I just couldn't stand to not at least somewhat take advantage of and defend myself against 3's.  The game would be a whole lot more interesting if that sort of thing was balanced though.  Maybe it is a fitting time to leave, I'd hate to be a dinosaur tongue

I know it's not against your team...but look at how well NDSU Bison is doing with a Shooter sole-scorer line...


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#18 2010-07-15 00:34:15

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

My top 5 would be:

1. 3's
2. Leadership
3. Defense or blocking (pretty sure they are relatively the same)
4. BH
5. Passing

On the subject of rebounding....my teams routinely have been out rebounded on the O-boards by 10 or more for as long as I can remember.  The only thing that really shows up is O-boards, and D-boards are a consequence of non scoring possessions.  Strong rebounding leads to more O-boards.  A strong team leads to more D-boards.  It is very possible to "lose" rebounding yet have more total rebounds. 

Pass and BH do a hell of a lot more than just increase shooting %.  Simply put, they increase the amount of possessions that you score on.  They just don't specify what type of score it will be (unlike shooting/dunking/3's) so it is tougher to track.  A stong base in speed distributes steals to your player, I'm not sure what speed sim value really does.  I just think of it like leadership, and I usually slide pretty heavily into it.


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#19 2010-07-15 00:37:12

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Hannibal wrote:

I know it's not against your team...but look at how well NDSU Bison is doing with a Shooter sole-scorer line...

It is impressive.  I've always wondered about Kareem/Bird and how I would do there, but we really have no clue.  I have to go off what I have experienced, but that is precisely why I put so many disclaimers on all this.


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#20 2010-07-15 05:59:03

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Re: The art of the build

Question in regards to flexibility i never understood why u went with 2 blockers over defenders? If u know what i mean

disclaimer In no way is the post intended to be rude just very curious


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#21 2010-07-15 06:03:40

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Re: The art of the build

Sorry i am reading this as i go. In regards to passing I think the Con u listed could be advantage in regards to the associated benefit of infinite range.

Btw greatly appreciate the write up


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#22 2010-07-15 07:00:40

mattya802
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Re: The art of the build

I think he just stuck with blockers because that's what he had from the start before he knew better and didn't wanna switch them too.

@Deathstar - If you look at teams with speed players instead of rebounding they get dominated on the boards but can still win.  Just one game (of many) from my West team this season - http://www.courtrivals.com/showBoxscore.php?gid=652709.


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#23 2010-07-15 08:11:53

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Re: The art of the build

Good Post.. Ill add this in VHS.


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#24 2010-07-15 09:40:54

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

Yeah I only used blockers because that is what I had.  Sometimes you are very limited by the player types you already have around.  In any of those builds listed you can swap defenders for blockers and it wouldn't make much difference.


9 Championships (5 Jordan, 3 West, 1 Kareem)

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#25 2010-07-15 10:50:14

bbkaos
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Re: The art of the build

SASCO wrote:

Sorry i am reading this as i go. In regards to passing I think the Con u listed could be advantage in regards to the associated benefit of infinite range.

Btw greatly appreciate the write up

Oh missed this one.  I have never (recently) regarded passive benefits or skills as doing anything.  I'm not sure that the other part of infinite range has much effect.  From what I remember 8/10 made "long range shots" become 3's.  Infinite range bumps that to 9 and 10 out of 10.  So essentially, if it works at all, you are adding 1 point per 10 MADE long range shots.  I'm pretty sure my passers have rarely made 10 shots at all, let alone long range ones. 

I still love passers because they cover so many areas, and in a way they aren't linked with any secondaries so you are free to choose whatever you want.  Lately I have done shooting with them, merely to gain some more value in a real weakness that most of my lines have.  I also get the feeling that strong secondaries have an impact that is a bit greater than just the pure sim value they provide, although that is just a gut feeling speculation type thing.


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