The evolution of the center position is experiencing another twist in the modern NBA, with stretch bigs capable of guarding the paint and keeping up with guards along the perimeter. The past two editions of the NBA Finals featured DeAndre Ayton and Bam Adebayo, who have showcased the skill set that the five-position now needs.
There are still teams that have a hole to fill in the middle of the paint. Multiple coaches have opted to run a small-ball lineup, but having a big man guarding the rim is crucial when most teams have reverted to superstar centers who can take over the game at will.
With that being said, here are the very best teams for a center in NBA 2K22
The trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden is one of the most talented in NBA history: they just need a dominant center to complete the puzzle. The center joining this big three needs to be a lob threat on offense while also being a force in the paint on defense.
The only big men on the Nets’ roster now are Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and Nicolas Claxton. Griffin and Millsap will mostly occupy the power forward minutes, while Claxton’s backup center role opens up the opportunity for a starting spot at center in NBA 2K22
The ability to be versatile while being a dominant force in the paint is the presence that the team needs to solidify themselves as an Eastern Conference powerhouse. If you are imagining what a perfect center build is for this team, think of the All-Star version of DeAndre Jordan.
The Portland Trailblazers are possibly one piece away from being championship contenders, or, just as easily, they could start rebuilding from scratch. The team is at a crossroads, especially with the contracts of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the horizon.
The former Western Conference finalists had huge success when they snapped up Jusuf Nurkić – before his gruesome injury in 2019, that is. After their experiment with Hassan Whiteside went awry, finding a center that can fit the game style of their guards while still impacting the game has become a necessity.
Having pick-and-roll chemistry and the ability to score on the post is a dimension that the Blazers have yet to unlock. Having a new coach may change this, and a build of a pre-injury Nurkić is the perfect mold to pattern your build as a center for the Blazers.
3. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are one of the most exciting young teams in the Eastern Conference, with a LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier backcourt providing much of the scoring. They also have explosive finishers in Miles Bridges and PJ Washington to finish dunks in the paint.
The one missing piece needed for a solid starting lineup is a center that fits the timeline of their young core. With the departure of Cody Zeller and only Mason Plumlee as an active center on the roster, now is the perfect opportunity for a big man to steal the show.
Miami has retooled in the offseason by signing Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, and PJ Tucker to try for a deep run at the Championship once again. Bam Adebayo is a solid option inside, but his lack of shooting range holds the team back at times.
A center that has the ability to space the floor while being serviceable on defense will be optimal in coach Erik Spoelstra’s system. They experimented with Meyers Leonard and Nemanja Bjelica as a stretch-five, but both were too inconsistent to earn decent minutes in the rotation.
A Brook Lopez or a Davis Bertans mold as a stretch-five would be a plus, given the offensive weapons that the roster has today. The ability to play with multiple stars will give any center an opportunity to shine in South Beach.
The Golden State Warriors are a team ready for a championship run. They have had a rough two-year stretch due to the injury of Klay Thompson and the departure of Kevin Durant. Still, they have kept much of the core that led them to three NBA titles in the past decade, with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green on the books.
Their front office has tried to experiment with a system without the talent of their Super-Team, but this has failed thus far. James Wiseman looks like a promising center for the team, but this roster will need a big man that can capitalize on the final prime years of Stephen Curry.
A center that can hit threes will be the minimum requirement to make it in this Californian team. You’ll also need to be a center that can be a post option on offense; think of a modern-day David Robinson or the Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.
6. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are suddenly a middle-of-the-road team after seemingly having a championship roster for the past decade. Their most recent restructuring sees the general manager aiming to shore up the interior defense.
Robert Williams, Enes Chanter, and Al Horford are all decent centers for the roster, but none of them stand out as part of a championship-contending team. Having a physicality-gifted yet rebound-savvy center would allow the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to focus on their perimeter game and stopping the opposing wing.
The Celtics have been one of the worst teams for defending in the paint for quite a while now. Having a player along the lines of a Jarrett Allen or Rudy Gobert build in 2K22 will definitely suit what Boston is trying to build right now.
Fitting a center in a Zion Williamson-led team sounds ironic, but this could possibly craft the next best 4-5 duo when done right. The Pelican front office has experimented with pairings for the superstar, trying Steven Adam and Jonas Valančiūnas, but neither has offered the spacing that the team needs to excel.
A center that can shoot the three-pointer while being a great rebounder is a fit that the Pelicans need to become competitive in the Western Conference. One that can defend against other superstar big men is also essential to compensate for Williamson’s height in the middle.
A build akin to Kristaps Porzingis or Karl Anthony-Towns will fit the Pelicans’ plans of creating a dominant frontcourt. A balance of space and slashing are additional dimensions that this team can explore to take another step in the right direction.
How to get started as a center in NBA 2K22
The 2K22 developers have revamped post play in NBA 2K22. There is a greater emphasis on being precise with the moves that you make in the paint due to the smarter defensive of computer-controlled players. This is a good and bad thing, especially as the gap between amateur and professional gamers is evident through this tweak.
Experimenting with what playstyle you want your center to have is key to gaining success in 2K22. Whether you prefer to attack the post or do damage from three-point range, sticking to one strength can pay dividends as you get used to the new mechanics of the game.
Now that you know the teams that would benefit the most from a center of your caliber, see if your big man play can surge them to the Championship in 2K22.
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