Thursday, September 26, 2013

New York Knicks NBA 2K14 Player Ratings Breakdown

After 13 long years, New York Knicks fans finally had an elite team to use in NBA 2K last season.  Surrounding Carmelo Anthony with excellent shooters and prolific athletes, the Knicks were one of the most popular teams to use in NBA 2K13, and that should not change very much this season in NBA 2K14.

NBA 2K14 Ratings Video on Operation Sports - credit Steve Noah

Full list of NBA 2K14 Player Ratings

91/SF - Carmelo Anthony (-2) - Shot Creator, Finisher, Closer, Deadeye, Microwave
84/SG - J.R. Smith (+2) - Microwave, Highlight Film
82/PF - Amare Stouemire (-1) - Finisher, Screen Outlet
82/SG - Iman Shumpert (NC) - Pick Pocket, Active Hands
79/PG - Raymond Felton (NC) - Pick & Roll Maestro, Alley Ooper
77/C - Tyson Chandler (NC) - Tenacious Rebounder, Screen Outlet, Defensive Anchor
74/SF - Metta World Peace (+3) - Bruiser, Charge Card, Pick Pocket
73/PF - Kenyon Martin (-3) - Hustle Points
70/PF - Andrea Bargnani (-3)
69/PG - Beno Udrih (+1)
69/SG - Tim Hardaway Jr (NEW)
66/PG - Pablo Prigioni (+3) - Catch and Shoot, Charge Card
63/PF - Jeremy Tyler (+2)
61/C - Cole Aldrich (+2)


  • With Jason Kidd now coaching a few train stops away, it's Raymond Felton's show in New York.  His pick and roll game is such a vital piece of the Knicks offense and the team struggled to create shots when he was hurt.
  • Pablo Prigioni shocked the world and was starting alongside Felton late in the season once Jason Kidd had run out of gas, but should return to a bench role this season.  Prigioni isn't much of a scorer but is capable of running the offense and hitting a three-pointer if left open.  While not a great defender, Prigioni is a pest and looks to force turnovers at every juncture. 
  • Beno Udrih is regarded as a better offensive player than Prigioni, but may not be as good a fit.  Udrih is only an average 3pt shooter (33% last season, 29% in 2012) and won't force nearly as many turnovers (though he isn't as undersized at SG).  While Udrih has a better mid-range game, that isn't as needed on a team that has Melo and J.R. Smith, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Knicks and gamers alike decide to go with the less talented Prigioni.


  • J.R. Smith has long been the most broken player in NBA 2K history.  For the past decade he has tormented gamers with his Kobe-esque athleticism and Reggie Miller-esque shooting.  If J.R. Smith could play half as well in real life as he does in video games, he would be a multiple time All-Star and cruising towards the Hall of Fame.  The health of Smith's knee is questionable to start the season, but that won't stop gamers from throwing it down five times a game with him.
  • As if J.R. Smith weren't enough, Iman Shumpert hit the scene as another cheese-ball himself.  Shumpert's athleticism and new-found 3pt shot turn him into J.R. Smith-lite in NBA 2K... except Shumpert's fantastic defensive abilities create additional turnovers and hinder the efforts of the oppositions top scorer. Gamers can use Shumpert at any of the three perimeter positions and use his Pick Pocket skill to swipe at just about anything without penalty... once he forces that turnover, he can either finish the break himself, or push it to a streaking JR, Melo, or Amare on the break... In real life, Shumpert is still working on his PG skills, and wasn't much of a finisher following knee surgery.  This will be a pivotal year for him, both in life and video games, as there are numerous gamers legitimately pissed off that Shumpert is rated as highly as someone like Marc Gasol (one can only imagine how they feel about J.R. Smith being rated higher than Dirk Nowitzki).
  • Tim Hardaway Jr is kind of a jack of all-trades, master of none.  He'll take the limited minutes Ronnie Brewer and James White got, but won't do much to differentiate himself from Smith or Shumpert.


  • Carmelo Anthony is the #3 rated SF and a top 10 player in NBA 2K14.  He was a scoring dynamo in NBA 2K14, and opponents will be pulling their hair out once Melo's new "Microwave" skill activates.
  • Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani replace Chris Copeland and Steve Novak, which should be an upgrade in the real and virtual world.  MWP and Bargnani do many of the same things Cope and Novak did offensively, but also bring the size and defense needed to play ALONGSIDE Melo and compete in the playoffs.


  • Amare Stoudemire just needs to stay healthy.  His days of dunking over people are largely over, but he can still have a long career in the mold of Antonio McDyess if can find consistency with his mid-range jumper.  Of course, NBA 2K fans will still be able to use Amare as a dunk machine, and probably play him the entire game without fear of repercussions.
  • Kenyon Martin played most of his minutes at center last season. At this stage of his career he resembles an undersized Tyson Chandler.
  • Andrea Bargnani had an awful year in Toronto last season and Knicks fans hope a change of scenery benefits him  From 2011 to 2012 he averaged 20.8 PPG so there is certainly some scoring ability there.  Of course, most NBA 2K fans would probably still prefer Novak's 92 3pt rating combined with the Corner Specialist and Spot Up Shooter signature skills.  For what it's worth, Bargnani does present a major upgrade over Kurt Thomas and brings them the stretch-shooting big the Knicks craved after Rasheed Wallace went down. And while Bargnani's rebounding has often been criticized, the truth is he is better at it than Copeland and Novak, and not much worse than Melo, all of whom played a ton of PF last season.
  • Jeremy Tyler played well enough in the D-League to get a partially guaranteed contract from the Knicks, but will not be healthy to start the season.  He's a big body that shouldn't set foot on the court if Amare is able to walk.


  • Tyson Chandler been one of NBA 2K's most underrated centers for THREE YEARS now, having lead the NBA in True Shooting percentage each of the last three seasons (absurd 69.2 TS% over that time frame).  His defensive prowess, rebounding, finishing ability (especially in the pick and roll) make him just as valuable to the team as Carmelo Anthony.  Chandler was named to his first All-Star team last season, was named to the All-NBA Third team in 2012 (when he was Defensive Player of the Year), yet he's rated on par with the likes of J.J. Hickson and Emeka Okafor.
  • Former lottery pick Cole Aldrich is joining the Knicks for training camp, and has a good shot at making the team.  Already 25 years old, Aldrich doesn't have a ton of upside but instantly becomes the best shot blocker on the Knicks when he signed the dotted line.  As long as Isiah Thomas doesn't walk down that aisle and throw 30 million at him as he did Jerome James, he should be a fine addition.

Carmelo Anthony SF 91 A- A- B C B B- A B+
J.R Smith SG 84 C+ A- B+ D B- C B+ A-
Amare Stoudemire PF 82 B B- C- B+ C- B A- B
Iman Shumpert SG 82 C A- A C B D B+ A-
Raymond Felton PG 79 C+ A- B+ F A D- B+ B
Tyson Chandler C 77 C+ F C A F A B+ C+
Metta World Peace SF 74 B- C B B+ C C- B B
Kenyon Martin PF 73 C+ D B- A- B- B C
Andrea Bargnani PF 70 B B+ D- C+ D+ D+ B+ D+
Beno Udrih PG 69 C+ B B- F B D B C+
Tim Hardaway Jr. SG 69 C B C+ D- C+ C- B- N/A
Pablo Prigioni PG 66 D B+ B- F B+ D C+ C+
Jeremy Tyler PF 63 B- F F B- F C+ D+ C
Cole Aldrich C 61 C+ F D- B- F B+ C- D

*Athleticism grades were not shown in video; NBA 2K13 values have been included here.

While specific attributes have not been released, we are able to see changes made to their skill grades to get an idea of why players went up/down in rating.

Carmelo Anthony: Post Defense (C+) from (C); Rebounding (C+) from (B-)
J.R. Smith: No changes
Amare Stoudemire: Outside Scoring (C+) from (B-), Rebounding (B-) from (B)
Iman Shumpert: Perimeter Defense (A-) from (A); Rebounding (D+) from (D)
Raymond Felton: Inside Scoring (C) from (C+)
Tyson Chandler: Perimeter Defense (C-) from (C); Post Defense (A-) from (A); Rebounding (A) from (A-)
Metta World Peace: Rebounding (C-) from (D);
Kenyon Martin: Outside Scoring (D) from (C); Post Defense (A-) from (B+); Rebounding (B-) from (B+)
Andrea Bargnani: Rebounding (D+) from (C-)
Beno Udrih: Rebounding (D) from (D-), Outside Scoring (B) from (B+)
Tim Hardaway Jr: No changes (Rookie)
Pablo Prigioni: Inside Scoring (D) from (F); Rebounding (D) from (F)
Jeremy Tyler: Rebounding (B) from (C+)
Cole Aldrich: Perimeter Defense (D-) from (F); Rebounding (B+) from (B-)

The major thing we can derive from this is that rebounding was adjusted league-wide. Aside from that, players are mostly un-changed.

More important than the player ratings (which largely haven't changed much from NBA 2K13) are the player's Signature Skills which often have significant effects on the gameplay.

Carmelo Anthony: Microwave
J.R. Smith: Highlight Film
Amare Stoudemire: Screen Outlet
Raymond Felton: Pick & Roll Maestro
Tyson Chandler: Tenacious Rebounder, Screen Outlet
Metta World Peace: Charge Card, Pick Pocket
Kenyon Martin: Hustle Points
Pablo Prigioni: Catch and Shoot, Charge Card

Amare Stoudemire: Posterizer, Hustle Points
Iman Shumpert: Lockdown Defender
Tyson Chandler: Eraser, Hustle Points
Metta World Peace: Lockdown Defender
Andrea Bargnani: Catch and Shoot, Microwave

  • Carmelo Anthony gained a 5th skill, "Microwave", which will basically allow him to get on a hot streak after two-consecutive made shots.  This is a skill that is largely reserved for high-volume sixth men (although Kevin Durant does have it, as does former sixth-man of the year James Harden).  Pair that up with his previous skills (Shot Creator, Deadeye, Finisher, Closer) and it makes the penalty for poor defense on Melo even harsher.
  • J.R. Smith has needed Highlight Film for awhile, since he is a very flashy dunker... hopefully this means they can drop his dunk rating since he doesn't actually perform them very often (0.4 dunks per game, compared to 1.1 for Paul George, 1.7 for Dwyane Wade, 2.3 for LeBron James, etc)
  • Amare Stoudemire lost the very cheesy "Posterizer" which means he'll play less like Blake Griffin.  Both he and Tyson Chandler pick up "Screen Outlet" which improves their ability to score off the pick and roll.  Both skills match up with Raymond Felton's "Pick & Roll Maestro" which improves the scoring of the ball-handler and increases pass accuracy to the roll man.  Felton's Alley-Ooper skill also matches up with both big men, and I'm curious to see if the pass accuracy from Maestro would add to the lob accuracy given by Ooper if an alley-oop were attempted in a pick and roll situation. 
  • Tyson Chandler has never really been known for his shot blocking ability, and Eraser was always a curious choice.  Chandler's calling card is his rebounding, yet didn't have the "Scrapper" skill last season.  I'm not sure if I agree with the removal of "Hustle Points" but the inclusion of "Tenacious Rebounder" should more than make up for it.
  • Metta World Peace and Iman Shumpert lost Lockdown Defender, but remains quality defenders with the Pick Pocket skill.  Pablo Prigioni surprisingly doesn't have a steal skill, but did pick up two skills that probably ensure he see's court-time ahead of Beno Udrih.
  • Andrea Bargnani lost both of his signature skills after his nightmare season, but didn't really deserve them in the first place.  He'll try to earn them back this season.

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