How To Protect The Ball Against Steal Spammers

NBA 2K18‘s gameplay was drastically slanted in the favor of the offense and the developers wanted to change that for NBA 2K19.

Changes were made and some might argue the defense is now too powerful. As a gamer who has played the NBA 2K franchise since its inception, I love and appreciate the realism and balance in this aspect of the game.

One of the biggest changes to the game is the live ball. In NBA 2K19, it is much easier for a defender to make contact with the ball. Some gamers are having some problems adjusting to this meta, so I thought it would be helpful to point out some best practices for protecting the basketball.

2K developer Nino Samuel aka Da Czar has posted a video detailing the precautions you must take when dribbling against a defender with active hands in NBA 2K19. Here is the video, but I detail the three main points below.

It Isn’t Realistic To Spam Dribble Moves in Front of a Defender

Some players like to perform a variety of fancy dribble moves in front of a defender in hopes of triggering an ankle-breaker animation. This might be visually appealing, but it isn’t realistic. NBA 2K is designed to be a simulation, so the gameplay is now and should forever be geared toward realism.

The excessive dribbling zaps your stamina and leaves you open to steal attempts.

Spatial Awareness

Gamers also have to comprehend how close a defender is to them while they’re dribbling. If a defender is within three feet (on the game’s scale) of you, you’re going to have to protect the ball.

The L2 Button is Your Friend

The L2 button is the dribble protect maneuver. It essentially allows you to do what most coaches teach young players to do in real life, and that’s to place themselves between the defender and the ball. You can use this command whether you’re facing or turned sideways in front of the defender.

Obviously, your ability to explode is hindered by this approach, but the best ball handlers, dribblers and offensive players will learn how to transition out of protecting into a face-up situation so that they can still perform dribble moves.

This is likely to lead to more of a skill gap, which is exactly what most competitive gamers want.

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