The center position is usually a path less taken by NBA 2K players. Even when creating such a position, the user usually wants the ball in their hands often.
The good thing about a center for your MyPlayer, though, is that aside from scoring, there is a plethora of other ways to be productive.
Fortunately, a center gives more points on the superstar grade because it gives better chances for more fantasy points at both ends of the floor
Here, we’re going to focus on a mix of offensive and defensive badges for a center in NBA 2K21, but it’s up to you when it comes to how you create your perfect center.
How to be a center in NBA 2K21
You will need to know your role first when creating a center in 2K21. You can be a scoring center with decent defense, like Joel Embiid, or maybe just a pure leaping beast like DeAndre Jordan.
Pure offensive centers aren’t practical to make in today’s NBA 2K, mainly due to all of the nerfing done to open looks and easy layups. You’ll actually have a better chance at performing better with a defensive center.
While pros can pull-off playing offensive-heavy centers like Karl-Anthony Towns or Al Horford, a Nikola Jokić or an Anthony Davis build is more practical to use in a game dynamic.
Having a good mid-range game is key on offense, alongside your close-up shot attributes. It’s mostly what you will need, especially as you’ll mostly be in the paint.
2K Online builds may be quite different because you’ll mostly be running up and down; your center build must be close to a power forward in such instances.
Also, you’ll need to put in the time because you’ll be building your center according to the attributes that you prioritize. The more well-rounded that you make your player, the slower you’ll progress.
It’s best to upgrade a particular set of skills according to playstyle first. The rest are easy to add on once your player’s strengths are optimized.
Most importantly, you’ll need the badges necessary to add certain animations that will upgrade your center’s game.
How to use center badges in NBA 2K21
The main center badges are pretty obvious, but there are some surprise ones too; this is because the centers have pretty much had a tougher time scoring underneath the basket since 2K20.
While most of the previous year’s badges aren’t available in 2K21, it opened a way for new ones to make a semi-hybrid center in your own image and likeness.
Now that the frontcourt positions are nerfed, you will have to rely on these animations to get by. Otherwise, you’re going to stagnate on that C+ grade.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t need too much emphasis on leveling up some badges: simply having them at a bare minimum gives enough animations to get by a lot of the time.
You can exaggerate on them, though, depending on how you want to build your center. However, the basic attributes you’ll need first are the dunk, layup, standing dunk, and post hook to make sure that your offense passes.
Others feel like making their players one-trick ponies, like LaMarcus Aldridge or Enes Kanter, on offense. Sometimes they do the same on defense, à la Rudy Gobert.
Best center badges in 2K21
Keep in mind that you’ll have Bronze to Hall of Fame levels to upgrade your center badges. Some are okay enough at Bronze, while others need that Hall of Fame for the best results.
It can cause quite a dilemma, trying to create a playstyle for your center. For instance, don’t expect 30-plus point outputs if you’re using Andre Drummond – unless you’re looking to the rebounds column. On the other hand, Joel Embiid takes a longer time to build due to his versatility, so it might be easier to create a better version of JaVale McGee.
Centers often get mistaken for paint beasts, and for a good reason. What separates the two is that a center doesn’t have to be dominant while still very productive, whereas paint beasts are proficient at both.
The focus here is on the centers, with the best badges for a paint beast covered here, so you’ll need these 2K21 center badges if you are playing as a center.
Finishing center badges
To craft center whose playstyle is more focussed on finishing in NBA 2K21, you’ll want to stick on these badges.
It might sound funny, but the Acrobat badge will come in handy for your center. In fact, you’ll need more animations from here than from other badges. Do your center a favor and go for a Gold Acrobat badge.
A good offensive center should have the ability to absorb as much contact as possible. That said, you’ll need a Gold to Hall of Fame on the Contact Finisher badge to have that Shaq-like dominance underneath the basket.
Since we talked about nerfing, you’ll need the best way to get around the downgrades. That means that you’ll need at least a Gold Pro Touch badge to make sure that those shot timings won’t be altered easily by opposing defenses.
How long can you sustain being the block in the middle? It’s the Relentless Finisher badge that helps you last longer and still finish your shots underneath the basket. At least a Silver will get the job done for you.
Lob City Finisher
If there’s a smurfed skill in 2K21, it’s the Lob City Finisher badge. Even without the badge, any player underneath the basket has a chance to finish an alley-oop. That said, having at least a Bronze Lob City Finisher badge for your center will give you enough animations to pull-off easy buckets from a call for a lob pass.
Shooting center badges
Up the shooting ability of your center in NBA 2K21 by equipping these badges to your player’s build.
Catch & Shoot
Disclaimer: don’t expect your center to become like Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson with the Catch & Shoot badge. Still, you’ll need a higher level one for that sudden mid-range. That said, a Silver toGold badge for this one does the trick.
The Deadeye works as a good companion for that mid-range catch and shoot. That said, a Silver Deadeye badge will be enough to arc your shot over an incoming defender successfully.
Worst case scenario, the center is the last to run down the floor on a successfully defended fastbreak. It usually leaves them open at the top of the key, too. Having a Range Extender badge makes sure that you can successfully catch and shoot that three. Be sure to level things up to Hall of Fame here for better success.
The mid-range game is more common for a center outside of the restricted area. That way, you’ll usually end up with set shots. A Bronze or Silver badge will ensure that you convert those as easy as fastbreak layups and dunks.
Playmaking badges are usually just bonuses for big men, with the Gasol brothers being examples of good playmaking centers and Nikola Jokićis the best in today’s NBA.
It is still interesting to note that, unless you want to copy Nikola Jokic literally, you’re good with Bronze Playmaking badges for your center.
The Break Starter badge is useful if you also have a high rebounding rating and accompanying badges. All you need to do is throw it to a runner, like a quarterback, for instant offense. A Bronze Break Starter badge is enough for most centers.
Speaking of the Gasol brothers, they were good dimers in their prime. While Marc Gasol doesn’t have a dimer badge anymore, his playstyle still gives you an idea of why the dimer badge will come in handy. Make sure to add a Bronze one as well.
You are now in Nikola Jokić territory with the Flashy Passer badge. Most centers don’t really need such a badge, but if you want those extra SPs, then add a Bronze one to your center build in NBA 2K21.
Defensive and rebounding center badges
You’ll want to bolster your center’s game without the ball in their hand, too, so consider adding the ebst defensive or rebounding badges.
Sometimes, boxing out opponents doesn’t guarantee rebounds, but at least you can still use the animations. That said, a Bronze is enough for the Box badge.
Ironically, the Intimidator badge works like a Rim Protector badge but without the swats. It’s responsible for altering shots of driving opponents and even for jump and post shots. You’ll need to max-out this badge to the Hall of Fame level.
Pogo Stick is like the Doodle Jump for players. Think of a Bam Adebayo, Rudy Gobert, or a prime Dwight Howard jumping out of the gym to block shots. That said, make your Pogo Stick badge a Silver
One of the most underrated stats that wins games is the rebound. He who controls the boards, controls the teams set for offense. So, make each rebound count by having a Hall of Fame Rebound Chaser badge.
If the Pogo Stick makes sure you jump high enough to block shots, the Rim Protector badge makes sure that you can successfully swat them down. As such, it’s best to keep this badge at a Hall of Fame level as well.
The secret to being a machine on defense is being a Tireless Defender. While it works better for wing players, you will need this as well to be successful when trying to help defenses. A Hall of Fame badge will give you every animation for every defensive scenario.
What to expect from building a center in NBA 2K21
Building a center in NBA 2K21 can be very confusing. There’s a ton of badges that you will have to combine wisely, with the build being reliant on how you want your player to play. Sometimes, it’s even better to focus on one aspect before you build your center into a more well-rounded one.
For example, building a Joel Embiid will have to start by prioritizing defensive badges before distributing offensive and playmaking skillsets. On the other hand, you might want to be a shooter before a good defender, like Brook Lopez – you are more likely to be a big part of the rotation that way.
It isn’t easy to build a solid center in NBA 2K because you won’t be able to maximize the abilities of being in control. Centers usually have a system to adapt to, and the same goes for 2K centers, regardless of what build route you go down.
Most importantly, you’ll need to be a very good, one-dimensional center first, and then you’ll be able to progress faster in the position.
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