Centers have historically been viewed as bullies in the paint – the ultimate paint beasts. That’s not always the case now, but NBA 2K has made it possible to wind back the clock.
While the position is a far cry from what it used to be, there are still centers proficient in operating in the paint. These players aren’t necessarily traditional centers, but they’re still capable of getting the job done down low.
As much as we would love to build a player like Shaquille O’Neal or Dwight Howard, though, we’re going to focus on stars who used to own the position with a little more finesse, like Hakeem Olajuwon.
The best badges for a center in NBA 2K don’t focus only on one skill. Instead, they’re a mix of everything needed to get the job done underneath the basket.
What are the best badges for a center in 2K22?
Being a center can be difficult with the 2K meta, but it can quickly get a whole lot easier if you know what you’re doing. Being able to find yourself a mismatch can often result in immediate points in the post, provided the center has the required moves in their arsenal.
While it may be tempting to become a stretch big who shoots threes, it’s still best to focus on more traditional center skills, with an ability to hit outside shots only when needed.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the best badges for a center in 2K22.
1. Backdown Punisher
The Backdown Punisher badge is pretty self-explanatory. It increases your chances of bullying your defender in the post, so make sure you’ve got a Hall of Fame badge for your center.
2. Brick Wall
The Brick Wall badge is a good one to pair with the Backdown Punisher badge to drain your defender’s energy each time you make body contact. Make this one at least a Gold, and upgrade to Hall of Fame when possible.
3. Grace Under Pressure
Trapped in your opponent’s zone defense? That’s what the Grace Under Pressure badge is for. You should put this one on Hall of Fame for best results as it will boost the effectiveness of standing shots under or near the basket.
4. Dream Shake
We mentioned Hakeem earlier, so it makes sense to use the Dream Shake badge. This one is to help make your defender bite on your pump fakes in the post, and it’s best to have it at a Gold level at least.
5. Hooks Specialist
Post hooks can be easy to perform when you’ve got a mismatch, but are much less straightforward when you’re backing down a power forward or a center. This animation will help you out in that regard, so make sure it’s at a Hall of Fame level.
6. Rise Up
Rise Up is to a dunk as Grace Under Pressure is to a lay-up. You don’t need to dunk all the time, though, so we’ll put this one a notch below Hall of Fame at Gold, which should still be good enough to do the job.
7. Pro Touch
The Pro Touch badge will add that little bit of finesse you need on lay-ups and hooks. Make sure you have it on at least Gold, especially if you like to shoot off a drop-step move.
8. Rebound Chaser
The Rebound Chaser badge is arguably the most important defensive badge for a center in 2K. Your effectiveness is significantly limited if you can’t snatch up those boards, so get this one up to a Hall of Fame level.
Regardless of how much you chase your rebounds, if someone is boxing you out it will make it hard for you. The Worm badge can help you to swim straight through those box outs, and a Gold one should be sufficient for your player.
You don’t need to block shots all the time to be effective on defense. The Intimidator badge is enough to alter them, so be sure you have at least a Gold one.
11. Post Lockdown
The 2K meta is always friendly towards the opposition when it comes to post defense. Even the worst centers in the game can shoot over Rudy Gobert if you are the one controlling him. The animations on the Post Lockdown badge will help make it that little bit harder for opposing offenses, so make sure it’s on a Hall of Fame level.
12. Rim Protector
To ensure the Post Lockdown badge does indeed help with your post defense, pair it up with at least a Gold Rim Protector badge. This will help significantly when it comes to blocking shots.
13. Pogo Stick
Speaking of blocking shots, the Pogo Stick badge is important to make sure the second chance attempt that you grant an opponent upon swatting his shot won’t be a successful one. Get this one up to at least a Gold level as well.
14. Post Playmaker
With the above badges, you’ll already be a monster in the paint, so you can expect some heavy defense to be played on you once you start heating up. The Post Playmaker badge will help you bail out to an open teammate. A Gold badge is enough to boost your open teammate’s jumpers.
What to expect when using badges for a center
The current 2K meta is very realistic, bringing you a feel that mirrors what you’d have if you were actually playing on the court.
As a result, it’s best not to rely purely on badges for success, and instead spend more time trying to improve your overall gaming skill, because there’s isn’t any way that your Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic post move is easily going to get through the defense of even someone like Dwight Howard.
These badges work best when mismatches are created, so to maximize their impact, it’s best that you give the ball handler a lot of picks to force the switch.