The Worst Star Player and Skill Ratings from NBA 2K23 Reveals
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September is “complain about player ratings on NBA 2K” season. And with 2K23 mere days away from its release, plenty of marks are starting to hit the internet.
On Tuesday, the game’s Twitter page revealed a slew of overall ratings, including the top 11 individual players.
NBA 2K @NBA2K
The Top Overall Players in 2K23 ⭐<br><br>Giannis is #1 🦌<br><br>Agree? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/2KRatings?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#2KRatings</a> <a href=”https://t.co/IaMYLsopnd”>pic.twitter.com/IaMYLsopnd</a>
To the developers’ credit, it does seem to be getting a little harder to nitpick, but there always numbers that raise eyebrows.
Here, we’re looking at the most egregious examples.
Nikola Jokic Not Having the Top Rating (or at Least Being Tied with It)
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Having Giannis Antetokounmpo at 97 is fine. He’s one of the greatest basketball players of all time and is at the peak of his powers.
There just isn’t a lot evidence to show that he’s discernibly and objectively better than Nikola Jokic, who’s one point behind at 96.
Beyond setting the single-season box plus/minus record in 2021-22 and rightfully winning each of the last two MVPs, Jokic’s numbers and impact have simply been better for at least two years.
Andy Bailey @AndrewDBailey
Player A is Nikola Jokic since the start of 2020-21 (playoffs included). Player B is Giannis Antetokounmpo since the start of 2020-21 (playoffs included).<br><br>I’m fascinated by the general, widespread dismissal of Jokic’s “best player in the world” case. There’s clearly an argument. <a href=”https://t.co/nOVBE8Jtqm”>pic.twitter.com/nOVBE8Jtqm</a>
And he’s spent much of the last season and change facing defenses that don’t have to worry about Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. (due to their injuries).
Giannis is undoubtedly the better defender, but Jokic is the superior shooter, floor general and passer. His edge as an offensive player makes up for the gap on the other end.
There’s a real argument to give Jokic the top individual mark, but at the very least, he and Giannis should be tied.
Stephen Curry’s Three-Point Rating
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Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time. There really isn’t an argument for anyone else.
So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that he has the best three-point rating in the game. The issue is the gap.
NBA 2K @NBA2K
The Top 3PT Shooters in 2K23 🔋<br><br>Steph at a 99 😴 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/2KRatings?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#2KRatings</a> <a href=”https://t.co/3N9T5QE9Si”>pic.twitter.com/3N9T5QE9Si</a>
For the first time in his career, Curry played a full season and shot worse than 40 percent from deep. Among players who attempted at least 100 triples, his 38.0 percent conversion rate was tied for 72nd. Thirty-two players in that group eclipsed the 40 percent threshold.
Of course, Curry deserves a ton of credit for volume. He was the only player in the league who got 10-plus threes up per game. Combining that with his efficiency and history is enough to give him the top three-point rating.
An 11-point buffer between him and the field just isn’t realistic, and Curry’s teammate, Klay Thompson, seems to agree.
Warriors on NBCS @NBCSWarriors
Klay is livid about his 3-point shooting rating in NBA 2K23 😬<br><br>[via <a href=”https://twitter.com/KlayThompson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@KlayThompson</a>] <a href=”https://t.co/KLwPsLLP8b”>pic.twitter.com/KLwPsLLP8b</a>
Jayson Tatum Not Being with the Elite Wings
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If we consider Luka Doncic a point guard (and we should), 93-rated Jayson Tatum has a strong argument to be considered the best wing in the NBA. And, yes, that would put him over legends like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James, all of whom are at 96, past their primes and playing with significant injury histories.
Last season, the the 24-year-old Tatum averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.0 threes. And the basic numbers don’t do his impact or defensive ability justice.
With his size and athleticism, Tatum can guard three to four positions effectively. He led the league in defensive win shares, a metric typically dominated by big men.
His efforts on that end had a very real effect on his team, too.
The Boston Celtics were plus-12.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor and minus-4.4 when he was off (and they allowed 6.2 fewer points per 100 possessions when he played).
He hasn’t scored as efficiently as the aforementioned veterans at their peaks, but he figures to be the best defender of the bunch in 2022-23 (with the possible exception of Kawhi). And he’s the only one who’s still developing.
Ja Morant Being Six Points Clear of Zion Williamson
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Having Ja Morant tied with Tatum at 93, in the top 11 and ahead of Devin Booker’s 91 feels a little premature. It’s not outrageous, though.
Morant just averaged 27.4 points and 6.7 assists as a 22-year-old. The Memphis Grizzlies were quite a bit better when he didn’t play (and that includes a lot of minutes against starters, since Morant missed 25 games), but it’s more than fair to assume his stock is rising.
It’s also fair to wonder about the health of Zion Williamson, but is that worth six ratings points between Ja and Zion’s 87?
Williamson’s 2020-21 numbers are arguably better than what Morant put up in 2021-22. When available, he’s among the most prolific scorers in NBA history.
No, seriously. Michael Jordan and Joel Embiid are the only players with higher career averages for points per team possession.
If both players are healthy for the bulk of 2022-23, it feels like there’s almost no way Morant will be that much better than Zion.
Rudy Gobert Can’t Crack the 90-Plus Club
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Rudy Gobert, who checks in with an 88 overall rating, doesn’t have the game casual fans and gamers may be drawn to.
His screening, rim-running and finishing make him a clear plus on offense, but people want to see post moves, fadeaways and fancy dribbling.
On the rare occasions he does attempt anything like that, he’s opening himself up for the chance to go viral, like he did in EuroBasket last week.
They really say Rudy Gobert can’t post up… here he goes to work on Dennis Schroder: <a href=”https://t.co/j1s54GvDDo”>pic.twitter.com/j1s54GvDDo</a>
The thing is, Gobert doesn’t need to dream-shake his way into top-10 to top-15 impact.
Having a player who can completely dominate a game without scoring is immensely valuable. And Gobert has added 14.8 points and 67.3 field-goal percentage over the last six seasons on top of his “best rim protector of his era” defense.
Over that same six-year time frame, Gobert trails only James Harden, Giannis and Jokic in total win shares.
Even if it means cranking up pretty much every defensive and rebounding metric, Gobert should be in the 90-plus club.