[Official 2K description in _ BOLD ITALICS_ and my commentary below each player, in non-italicized text.]
Heat Check players are here to give your team an offensive boost! This set represents everyone from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, to Alex English, the most prolific scorer of the 80s. Complete the Heat Check collection to earn a Diamond Chris Paul, who can not only get hot himself, but help everyone else on your team heat up quickly. The following players are now available:
Blah. Blah. [Dopey attempt to make this all seem cohesive.] Blah.
Chris Paul (NOH) – Diamond Collection Reward – Paul is known for willing his teams to victory from both sides of the ball, but he can put up big numbers when he’s hot, and also when the game’s on the line. In addition, he is a master game manager from the point guard spot, and badges like Dimer will help your teammates heat up easier with passes from Paul. Don’t sleep on CP3!
Everyone will be disappointed and will be harping on how underwhelming a Diamond Chris Paul is. I love most of this set and want to get most of these cards, so I’m ecstatic at the prospect of very few people locking the set to get CP3. Less locked cards means more supply, and potentially supply that remains fairly free deep into the cycle, to depreciate as better cards come out.
My fear is that, somehow, this CP3 turns out to somehow be incredible. A sleeper, like Diamond Jerry West. I am petrified that 2K will be ridiculous enough to make CP3 a dunker. Not really, but sorta.
I don’t see any way that he can be made to be very desirable, due to the meta. Everyone expects him to be an elite defender. I would not be surprised to see 99’s across the board, aside from LP DIQ and Block, and with HoF Def Stopper, Pick Pocket, and Pick Dodger. Everyone expects him to have very high shooting ratings. I wouldn’t be surprised at 99’s for mids and 97’s for 3-pointers. I wouldn’t be suprised if he’s very fast. Has maxed passing and HoF Dimer, P&R Maestro, Flashy Passer, Lob City Passer.
But I don’t think any of this makes him highly desirable. Hopefully. Because I want pretty much everyone else.
Chris Mullin (GS) – Diamond—Mullin is one of the greatest scorers of his generation and would fit into today’s game seamlessly. Mullin will shoot and score from anywhere on the floor, and there is very little most defenses can do to stop him.
One of the most anticipated cards of the cycle for me, ever since they gave us a Diamond USA Mullin last year…which I couldn’t afford, because he was a theme pack reward.
He’s the high card/Diamond of the set, so he should be 98 OVR. Which is ridiculous, but 2K seems to be run by GSW fanboys, god bless 'em. Last year’s Diamond Mullin was 97 OVR. Had less Attributes than this year’s 97 OVR Hondo, which has 215 more points, with only 25 of them being from lower Intangibles.
So I think this Mullin will be pretty ridiculously fantasy-buffed. Will be basically, or literally, maxed out in mid/3pt shooting. Will maybe get around 90 in speed ratings. Will get 86 BC and high-end passing.
I don’t know how they can justify it, but if he’s 98 OVR and Hondo is 97 OVR…and they don’t “balance” via intangibles and make Mullin a relatively bad 98 OVR, then he’s also going to be a pretty decent dunker and a very good defender.
My guess is that he’ll have all shooting badges at HoF. Every single one. And maybe also get that count inflated with something like HoF Tireless or Acrobat or Teardropper.
Elgin Baylor (LAL) – Diamond— Baylor paired with Jerry West to form a formidable scoring duo in LA, winning many games with their offensive firepower alone. Baylor was a tough physical player and used that physicality to get open and knock down shots all over the floor. He has a simple shot release and easy-to-learn playstyle for your MyTEAM, and should find his way into many lineups.
Not as excited for this, but he’ll be good. Liked last year’s promo PD Baylor quite a bit and think this will be a 98 OVR and will be better than last year’s 99 OVR. Maybe not in overall Attributes, but definitely in HoF badging. Look for all the badges that he had as Gold last year to be HoF this year. And maybe one or two more.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (MIL) – Diamond— The owner of the NBA record for total points in a career, Kareem and his sky hook won the NBA Championship in Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles. This younger, athletic prime version of Kareem has no offensive weaknesses and will match up with anyone’s MyTEAM. Pick him up so you don’t have to face him!
Should be a 97 OVR. Keep in mind that 2K will be leaving room for a 99 OVR Kareem, so this one will be somewhat nerfed somehow. Last year’s top Kareem was a 98 OVR.
This year’s 97 OVR could be very, very similar. What I think is going to be most interesting is how his price settles out in the AH. So long as they give him at least the same (as last year) 74 Open 3, he should be very popular. Hondo was low Diamond for last theme packs and I think he ended up around 60K (PS4).
Even though there may be less set lock-in, I would expect 97 OVR Kareem to be more expensive. A lot depends on his 3pt shooting, but I expect him to be fast, defensively mobile, have high-end shooting, with range, and high-end post ratings, and passing.
Where they might nerf him a bit, compared to last year’s 98 OVR, is to drop LQ to around 85. Drop Strength to around 90. Have his Speed/Accel in low-to-mid 80’s. Maybe have his post ratings in the mid-90’s. Or maybe he’ll be same as last year’s 98 OVR and even better, with the 99 OVR being totally absurd.
Arvydas Sabonis (POR) –Amethyst—Sabonis is another player who would fit into today’s NBA offensively quite well, armed with a great outside shot and passing ability (current NBA comparison—Nikola Jokic). Sabonis will stretch the floor and take the opposing center away from the basket while creating driving lanes for your teammates, presenting the opponent with a major dilemma defensively.
Ever since they gifted us with a DI Sabas last year, which I used the crap out of, despite underwhelming badging, I’ve been eagerly anticipating what Prime Sabas will be for this cycle. Being Amethyst is not really disappointing, especially if they make him a 95 OVR Amethyst like 95 OVR Worthy. The way they’re juicing cards, even if they do 94 OVR, he’s going to be better than last year’s 95 OVR.
I’m expecting a 3-point rating of maybe up to 90. Elite passing for a big with HoF Dimer. Hopefully not as slow as last year and really hopefully not as laterally unquick.
I will not be surprised at all if he gets HoF Deep Deadeye and HoF Corner Specialist. Which would make him the only big in the game with this combination, aside from Diamond Dirk.
Alex English (DEN) – Amethyst—English scored the most points in the NBA during the 1980s, and shot 51% from the field in doing so. There are very few players in NBA history better at putting the ball in the basket repeatedly (18th all-time in NBA history in scoring).
Liked the Sapphire Milestones version. I think of him as a shorter Carmelo, with better defense, not as good shooting, better finishing. Will be interesting to see how they rate a high Amethyst version of him. Could be a serious bucket generator.
Steve Smith (ATL) –Amethyst—Smith has a variety of offensive moves to keep the opponent off-balance and a silky-smooth jumper that earns him a reputation as easy to use among MyTEAM players. He’ll make the defense pay for leaving him open.
This, along with Eric Gordon, is one of the two cards in the set I don’t care about. If they stay true to the approximate proposition that was last year’s Diamond Steve Smith, I’m not going to care much.
That said, will probably be attractive to many as something like a Kyle Korver in shooting, but able to run the floor well and even handle the ball.
Kristaps Porzingis (NY) – Amethyst—Porzingis’ unfortunate injury does not detract from the fact that he was putting up great numbers and heating up quickly for the Knicks this season. We’ve created a card to represent Porzingis’ performances offensively that should strike fear into the hearts of opponents in Super Max.
Up until now, people have been selling Ruby Porzingis with Diamond Shoes for 30K+. I assume this is because people were buying them in the high 20’s. Which is ridiculous and this card will obliterate Ruby Porzingis’s value.
This is the low Amethyst in the set and the low Amethyst in the last set was Isaiah Thomas, who I think could be had for 11K easily. Probably artificially low because of how short he is, but even if the “natural” price of this AM Porzingis is 20K, then he’ll be affordable to most players.
He’s already a budget monster in Ruby Form and an Amethyst that might get a half-dozen HoF badges is going to be scary.
Jayson Tatum (BOS) – Ruby—Tatum began his rookie season on fire from three point range, and has maintained a three point percentage of over 40% for the season so far. When given an opportunity, just like on your MyTEAM, Tatum can excel at keeping the defense off-balance.
Hard to believe that the highest Moments Tatum we’ve gotten so far is the Gold. But it’s 2K so maybe it’s easy to believe.
Any which way, I think most of us are expecting this to be a major budget beast.
Probably will now get 86 BC. Will get 3pt shooting around 90 or higher. Will get a bump in Driving Dunk and I expect will get elevated to at least 85 in Dunk Tendencies. May actually get alright defense, which will be huge.
Eric Gordon (LAC)–Ruby—Gordon had All-Star potential as a Clipper before injuries took hold, with the ability to drive to the basket and finish strong combining with a great shooting touch making him into a deadly offensive weapon. Get his release down pat and you’ll be drilling threes with this card in no time.
I bet this is going to be a super-budget sharpshooter. Probably 95+ 3pt ratings. I bet he’ll have at least one, maybe two HoF outside shooting badges…in a card that could be so plentiful that it’s no more than a couple/few thousand MT.
He’ll be fast, he’ll dunk, and he might even be not too bad on D. He might be a big deal to budget players. I just don’t really care.
Manute Bol (PHI) – Ruby—Believe it or not, Bol, a 7-foot-7-inch center, enjoyed a 31% season from three-point range and knocked down six threes in a single game against the Phoenix Suns, a “Heat Check” moment if there ever was one! Your opponent will not expect Bol to pull up from outside!
Didn’t think much at first glance, and then read the description and realized, oh shit, they’re going to give Manute a totally legit 3-point shot. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s going to get 80+ Open 3. Maybe even 85.
His Sapphire card has Open 3 of 72.
The Sapphire has total Attributes of 2919. Lowest of all Sapphire Centers. If they make his Ruby lowest of all Ruby Centers, then we’re still looking at 100 points in boosting. I don’t know where the hell they’d put a buff of 100 points, but I’m excited to find out.
One of the things that I’d always like to do is field an All-Time Warriors team that might actually be competitive a decent % of the time. This year has been a major gift to Warriors fans with the addition of an Amethyst Baron Davis, PD Nate Thurmond to join with Wilt Chamberlain as totally legit Centers (as opposed to the [beloved] likes of Bogut, Tyrone Hill…and…JaVale? Zaza? Alton Lister?).
And now we get the player tied for Tallest NBA Player Ever…and with what is almost definitely an 80+ Open 3.
NBA 2K18 is Dead. Long Live NBA 2K18!