Playmaking has primarily been the job of the point guard. They are the ones to bring the ball up the court and start the offense. In today’s NBA, with the play getting faster, point guards have had to adapt to faster passing and converting defense into offense quicker.
As the name suggests, playmakers are probably not the player finishing the move but are paramount in creating those chances. This may require beating a defender off the dribble to open up a defense, or it could mean making a pass before a defense is set.
Point guards such as Steve Nash, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and John Stockton epitomized the passing aspect of a traditional playmaker. Nowadays, however, point guards like Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving have the ability to beat players off the dribble and create plays that way.
How to be a playmaker in NBA 2K21
When looking for players to emulate in the playmaking field, stars such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden both boast great playmaking ability.
They will have the ball in their hands for the majority of the possession but always have their head up, reading the defense, looking for a pass to slice through. Both players, when receiving an outlet pass, are pushing the ball up the court as fast as possible with the intention of either finishing the play themselves or creating space for a teammate to have a wide-open shot.
In the half-court, these players in NBA 2K21 utilize the pick-and-roll to create a mismatch for themselves as the roller or for their teammate, who sets the pick. This leads to gaps in the defense to take advantage of and to use some of the subsequent badges to finish the play.
Height is an advantage for a playmaker, but not necessary – you can think of Ben Simmons and the great “Magic” Johnson. Essentially, it’s more about the mental build that creates a great playmaker.
How to use playmaker badges in NBA 2K21
Attributes to look to develop when using playmaker badges center on passing and dribbling, with the emphasis on the former. The ability to make a pass gives weight and potency to the badges that you acquire. The skill of dribbling allows you to keep hold of the ball, giving you more time to wait and make the perfect pass.
Still, to ensure that your MyPlayer isn’t one-dimensional, it may be best to add a scoring weapon to your skillset. In the modern game, the three-point shot would be the immediate thought. However, wherever you are lethal from, something that will stop the defender from standing too far off of you to cover the pass is helpful.
Best playmaker badges in 2K21
The intangibles of being a great playmaker don’t necessarily require a MyPlayer with incredible ratings. Finding easy ways to set up your teammates and create easy shot opportunities is possible by making smart plays and reading the defense well.
However, when the space is tight, or you need that burst of skill to get past a defender to create a shot, that’s when the badges give you a greater chance of success. For example, a pass through the defense to a backdoor cutter may be possible without a playmaking badge, but the badge ensures a higher pass success rate.
1) Floor General
When you have the Floor General badge, your teammates get an offensive boost. This means that they are more likely to make shots, and also get other slight increases in their ability at the offensive end. Once at the Hall of Fame level, you are also able to see the likelihood of a teammate making a shot from their current area.
2) Needle Threader
With the pick-and-roll being such an integral part of the modern NBA, the Needle Threader badge has become essential. The badge increases the ability of tight passes getting through the defense and finding their intended receiver. It’s ideal when finding cutters to the rim or passing out to a deadeye shooter.
Once you find your teammate for that open shot, you need them to finish off your hard work by creating them the opportunity. The Dimer badge gives your teammate a shooting boost when they take the pass, increasing the likelihood that they’ll make the shot.
5) Ankle Breaker
When in the half-court, sometimes one defender needs to stumble before the whole defense opens up. The Ankle Breaker badge increases the chance of the defender stumbling when performing dribbling moves, and so, it increases the likelihood of a defensive breakdown.
With more shots and more long shots than ever, the logical result is more rebounds further away from the rim, therefore increasing the chance of a fast break led by a guard. The Downhill badge increases your speed with the ball in transition, giving you the edge over the defender to beat them off the dribble or find the pass that leads to an easy bucket.
What to expect from building a playmaker in NBA 2K21
In the modern NBA, a point guard cannot just be a playmaker if they are to reach the top. Players such as Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo are very good playmakers and have a knack for finding their teammates for open shots, but their impact on the court is limited by their lack of other offensive skills.
When building a playmaker in NBA 2K21, it is important to bear in mind that you will need another offensive weapon – preferably one that involves scoring to ensure that you’re always effective.
As you begin your journey, focusing on playmaking ratings may be tough when you’re trying to establish yourself in the game. It may be more beneficial to grow in either three-point shooting or shots from close to the rim. This will allow you to catch the defense off guard and create space.
Physically, a player that is quick is more likely to create space, particularly in the open court on fast breaks. However, a taller player may be able to make passes that shorter players cannot, so it is important to pick your poison and choose how you want to approach the build when selecting body parameters.
Now that you know the best badges for a playmaking PG, you can go and orchestrate your offense to victories in NBA 2K21.