The playbook system has dramatically changed compared to the past versions of the NBA 2K series. Current playbooks in NBA 2K23 have resulted from a variety of generations, schemes, and even player types, and matches the diversity of play calls in the modern NBA.
The wide variety of offensive playbooks have allowed gamers to cater their offensive gameplan around their playing style. There are usually those that run their offense through a motion offense, the post-up, or isolation. Which of these you prefer depends on how you opt to get your points.
Part of being a great at 2K23 is tailoring your offensive system to the players you have available. Having a game plan while knowing how to adjust will be a key asset, especially when you hop on different game modes in NBA 2K23. You can’t run a post-heavy offense if your center is a stretch five, for example.
With that said, here are the best playbooks in NBA 2K23!
1. 2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks
Best overall team and playbook scheme in NBA 2K23
Best known for: Diverse action sets with three-point shooting and suitable for modern big men
Best play: Punch_Inverson_RIP
Milwaukee Bucks, the reigning champions, have the best playbook in 2K23. Last season they showed that they had one of the best offensive systems in the NBA. They were able to defeat offensive powerhouses such as the Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets while only retooling their roster, rather than completely overhauling it. This playbook is perfect for teams with superstar forwards who can score from beyond the three-point line while having big men that suit a 5-OUT system.
One of the deadliest plays in NBA 2K23 thus far is the Punch_Inverson_RIP, which sees a guard run across the wings while two forwards set a double pick for him at the elbows. This play allows more than four scoring options depending on what the defense gives you.
The play is only one out of 35 available plays in the current Milwaukee Bucks playbook.
Other notable plays:
- FIST_HORNS_PIN_45 (B) (Pick and roll at the free-throw line with a runner behind the three point arc)
- FIST 5 OUT 1 (3) (A double pindown for the corner shooter to flare to the key)
- ISO 5 OUT 5 (A handbook to the free-throw line)
2. 2013 Vintage Miami Heat
Best playbook scheme for guard-heavy players
Best known for: Having the most plays in NBA 2K23
Best play: Punch 5 flare rip (Pass and screen away for a three-pointer)
The 2013 Miami Heat playbook is back at it again, being one of the best playbooks to use in NBA 2K for the second year running. The developers modified the game to reward players who can use both their skill and mind to score in-game, hence why this playbook is a crowd favorite.
This playbook is known for having the most plays among all playbooks available at 45 plays, with various options from the three-pointer, pick-and-roll, isolation, etc. Erik Spoelstra used this playbook to guide the Heat to their second championship with the core of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Punch 5 flare rip is an easy play that gamers can run for their offenses. The play starts at the top of the key with a pass then a big man screening the guard running to the opposite side for a wide-open shot. Options coming out of this action include having a roller to the rim, the catch-and-shoot three, or the cut by the point guard to the basket.
Other notable plays:
- Quick 32 box flare (A zipper screen for a sharpshooter to the top of the key)
- Quick 4 Horns Flare (HORNS then the roller pops out off another screen)
- Fist 81 out (A double screen leading to a free lane to the basket)
3. 2022-23 Orlando Magic
Best playbook scheme for big-dominant players
Best known for: One of the screen heavy sets in NBA 2K23
Best play: Quick Point 2 (Double screen from the corner for a flare-up by a sharpshooting forward)
The 2022-23 Orlando Magic playbook is one of the most underrated game plans in NBA 2K23. This is only a bronze playbook on MyTeam, but has the most effective plays for big men who have high screening attributes. This playbook has 38 plays at your disposal during games.
It is also important for this playbook that your forwards have a high three-point shooting rating. This ensures that opponents can keep you honest on the defensive end, which opens up options on the pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop, and catch-and-shoot.
A quick play to run from this playbook is the Quick Point 2 where a double screen is set for a forward to flare up to the wing for a three-pointer. This play can easily be triggered in the first page of your playbook options in the on-the-fly menu during the game.
Other notable plays:
- PUNCH 21 Delay (A pick-and-roll for the ball handler that converts to a screen to a shooter as the Option B)
- PUNCH Loop 25 (A SG-to-C screen at the elbow that converts to a cut to the rim)
- PUNCH 5 flare rip (A variation of the Quick Point 2 with another screen for a bigman to have an open three)
4. 2022-23 Brooklyn Nets
Best playbook scheme for isolation players
Best known for: Wide array of plays for point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards
Best play: CUT 21 DIVE (Pass-and-go from the wing to the point guard)
Steve Nash is known to have the most unique offensive schemes in the NBA courtesy of having Mike D’Antoni as an assistant coach, experiencing the Princeton offense during his playing days, and handling three of the top offensive talents in the NBA today. He has designed his plays to ensure their three superstars have great looks while leaving other options open for the kick-out three-pointer.
A killer play in this playbook is the CUT 21 DIVE. This ensures that your player has a free lane to the rim after a pick from the big man. The play will work with athletic finishers and players who have the slasher badge to get by defenders at will.
The playbook is also filled with isolation actions catered to the Nets’ real-life players. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving are the best isolation players in the NBA today and Steve Nash ensures that they are positioned in places where they can dance with their defenders.
Other notable plays:
- QUICK thru STS (Various screens in the paint that allows a shooter to flash out to the three-point arc with options to shoot, pass, or dribble again.
- QUICK 12 Horns Flare 2 (A typical horns play but with the SG being a screener with the SF running to the opposite wing to utilize the double picks)
- FLOPPY (One down screen and one elevator screen on both sides of the court to give a three-pointer or a cutter option)
5. 2022-23 New York Knicks
Best playbook scheme for three-point shooting players
Best known for: Most three-point plays variations in NBA 2K23
Best play: Quick Point 2 (Double screen from the corner for a flare up by a shooting forward)
A Tom Thibodeau-run offense is surprisingly included in the best playbooks for a three-point shooting team. This shows the evolution of his coaching system and how he has been able to adapt with a team willing to stretch their shooting capacity with Julius Randle, Reggie Bullock, and RJ Barrett.
The Knicks playbook actually has a similar go-to play to the Orlando Magic scheme in the Quick Point 2, but this version has an additional variation with a big man also popping out for an extra three-point option. Using the Knicks playbook works best when having the Golden State Warriors or Atlanta Hawks freelance options open too. These are just optional, but every aspect counts in racking up wins in NBA 2K23.
Other notable plays:
- Quick 13 Follow (A PG-SF pick with a cut to the basket open after one cuts after the other)
- Quick 14 Series (A PG-PF pick and roll follow by another screen to free up the PG for a three-pointer)
- Quick Warrior Fist (Pass-first play where the point guard passes to one wing and set a pick for the other guard to be open from the other opposite wing)
How to use and execute playbooks
Choosing the perfect playbook in 2K23 is just the first step on your quest for a championship in all game modes. Knowing which playbook to equip and which play to run at a certain time will help you read the game both as a gamer and as a coach.
It is your job now to experiment and try out the different playbooks and player combinations available in NBA 2K23. Ensure that the playbook that you equip has enough plays and variations to keep the defense guessing for the whole game. You can test these out in 2K University as you attempt to find your team’s shot timing, hot zones, and play calls, which are crucial when small margins can decide a win or a loss.
Enjoy trying out the various playbooks in NBA 2K23. Do let us know what is your favorite by commenting down below!
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