It’s not all about scoring points — you have to prevent your opponents from scoring them, too. Digest these tips on the other side of the ball to keep the other team from running away with the game.
Square up and strafe for better defense
When it comes time to keep up with your man, you might think the turbo button will keep you safe. That is wrong. Hold L2 instead, and watch as your player gets low and squares his shoulder to the ball carrier. You’ll find it easier to control your man as you look to try and match the movements of the ball carrier, and you can even use the right analog stick to put your hands in the way of a shot or into a passing lane to attempt a block, steal, or contested shot. The L2 button will be your best friend on defense.
You will still need to get comfortable with that turbo button if you’re on offense and suffer a fast break rebound, but for the most part, this is how you follow your assignment.
Get back on the fast break
Speaking of fast breaks, don’t lollygag on the turn of possession. If your teammate misses a shot and you can’t get the rebound, start running down to the other end of the court. And when you make the shot, don’t sit around celebrating when the point guard is about to take the ball right back in the other direction.
Box out on rebounds and free-throws
And speaking of rebounds, make it easier on yourself. The defense will be in a better position to rebound the ball more often than not. When you are, hold L2 to box your guy out, and either pave the way for your players to grab it or go and get it yourself (especially if you’re the center).
Don’t leave your man open
Not sure what your assignment on any given play or in any given defense is supposed to be? NBA 2K20 has visual aides turned on for most difficulty levels. On defense, you’ll see a blue arrow directing you toward the man you’re supposed to pick up.
It’s especially important to pay attention to this indicator when you’re playing zone defense, as the man you’re supposed to be guarding changes constantly. If you find yourself away from the play, just press the X button to switch to the player closest to the ball.
Go for well-timed steals
Forcing turnovers is an important part of basketball. The classic steal is one of the most exciting defensive plays because of it. Just press Square to put your hand out and go for the ball.
Be careful, though. If you spam the steal button you risk being called for a reach-in foul. Try and only go for the steal against a player who doesn’t have great handling, or while they’re in the act of passing the ball. Even just one or two stolen possessions can be the difference between winning and losing the game.