Summertime heralds the arrival of hotter weather, longer days, and, of course, the NBA Playoffs. It takes time for the playoffs to return to shape and reduce attendance as more and more arenas open their doors, welcoming the high-intensity environment that was missing the previous year.
Increases the highest player rating since the game's inception.
The Los Angeles Clippers won their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks in seven games, bringing the first-round of the NBA playoffs to a close. With their victory, the Clippers will join the Atlanta Hawks, the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, the Brooklyn Nets, the Utah Jazz, and the Philadelphia 76ers in reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Despite the fact that the Jazz and the 76ers are the top seed teams in their respective conferences, neither team has any players who are highly rated in NBA2K21 MT. So, how do these teams compare to one another when viewed through the 2K lens?
4. Chris Paul's layup for the Phoenix Suns
The resurgence of the Phoenix Suns has been one of the most talked-about stories of the NBA regular season thus far. The addition of future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul (89) allowed the Suns to build on their perfect 8-0 bubble season from the previous season and continue their winning ways. The Phoenix Suns have received exactly what they expected from the Point God this season, as the team earned its first postseason berth since 2010 and advanced to the second round by defeating LeBron James and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
Young stars Devin Booker (89 points) and Deandre Ayton (85 points) will be joining Paul in the lineup, and both players will have excellent playoff debuts. The Suns have three players with perfect potential ratings (A+), making them one of only two teams in the NBA to have three such players (the other being the Brooklyn Nets).
* All-around two-way player Paul thrives offensively from mid-range (A+) and is an outstanding perimeter defender (A+) for his position.
* Book is described as a scoring machine in 2K21, with perfect ratings in both his mid-range (A+) and inside (A+) scoring games.
* Ayton has shown why the Phoenix Suns selected him first overall in the 2018 NBA draft by anchoring the interior defense (B+) and cleaning up offensively under the basket (A+) in his first season in the league.
3. Philadelphia 76ers basketball team
Joel Embiid scores a dunk
For Philadelphia Flyers fans, putting their faith in the process has brought them to this point. To their credit, the 76ers won the Eastern Conference regular-season championship, their first since losing in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000-01, their best season since that same season.
Philadelphia is hoping for a different Finals outcome this time around, thanks to MVP finalist Joel Embiid (96 points). The backcourt is in the hands of Ben Simmons (86), who complements Embiid's contributions in the frontcourt. When he's in good shape, Embiid is a force on both ends of the court.
* Embiid's rim-protecting defense (A+) could earn him the big mane defensive player of the year honors, while his offensive skill set, which includes scoring from close range (A+), mid-range (A+), and 3-point range (A-), could make him a strong candidate for the MVP award.
* Simmons, the 23-year-old point guard, possesses a unique skill set, as evidenced by his ability to score easily from under the basket (A+), but his inability to shoot from mid-range (D-) or beyond the arc (D+). With players like Tobias Harris (87), Simmons makes up for his lack of scoring ability by assigning him players (A-) who excel in that area.
* Harris receives high grades for his performance inside the paint (A+), mid-range (A+), and 3-point shooting (A).
2. Milwaukee Bucks (National Basketball Association)
Giannis Antetokounmpo goes up for a dunk
Aside from winning the NBA championship, the Milwaukee Bucks have enjoyed tremendous success over the past few seasons, particularly in the Eastern Conference.
After winning back-to-back MVP awards heading into this season, superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (96) was named to the All-Star team for the second year in a row, and the Bucks upgraded their point guard position by acquiring Jrue Holiday (86). Holiday and Middleton, who play the point guard and small forward positions, respectively, help Antetokounmpo on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.
* Antetokounmpo's interior offensive game (A+) and playmaking abilities (A) carve up opposing defenses, allowing him to score in transition. His defensive abilities are outstanding on both the interior (A) and the perimeter (A+) of the court.
* Holiday has above-average playmaking ability (B+), and he can shoot the ball effectively from anywhere on the court (A-).
* Middleton, like Holiday, has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net from virtually any position and defends well on the perimeter (A-).
The Brooklyn Nets are the first of these teams.
Kevin Durant had his hair cropped.
The Brooklyn Nets, the only team with more than one 90-rated player, are downright frightening, as they have three players rated 90 or higher. Perhaps the best group of offensive players ever assembled on a team is the trio of Kevin Durant (96), James Harden (95), and Kyrie Irving (91). Offensive Threats NBA2K21 MT is a designation given to each of the players. The Nets also join the Suns as the only teams left with three players with A+ potential ratings, joining them in that distinction.
While it is widely believed that defense wins championships, the Brooklyn Nets believe that the best defense is a good offense, which is a slightly different take on the saying.
* Despite the fact that Durant is returning from an Achilles injury, the 31-year-old has not missed a beat. Durant is the only player in the NBA with a perfect A+ rating in all three offensive categories, including the shooting guard position. Despite the fact that Harden and Irving can both shoot the ball from beyond the arc, the two are more effective as ballhandlers who create offense for others (A+).
* While Durant performs admirably on perimeter defense (A-), the same cannot be said for the other two guards in the lineup. Harden (C+) and Irving (B-) barely scrape by when it comes to defending their man, but their explosiveness on the offensive end more than makes up for any defensive shortcomings.