NBA ShootOut 2004 Review
By Gary Kearney
A lot of sports fans have heard about the Sports Illustrated curse. This is the curse that states that once you or your team is on the cover of SI you can expect something very bad to happen. For instance, my favorite football player Dan Marino showed up on the cover of SI several years back. The following week he tore his Achilles tendon and was out for the rest of the year. Heck thereís even a mini curse for the Madden series of games. Just go back and check out some of the past cover boys and youíll see that they ran into some hard items that year. Well Iím going to officially throw NBA Shootout 2004 into the curse arena. The thing is Iím not sure how this curse works just yet. See, Tracy McGrady from the Orlando Magic is on the cover and his Magic team is just awful this year. So also is NBA Shootout 2004. Now the question is did Tracy and the Magic curse the game and cause it to be bad, or did the game have a negative effect on Tracy? Unfortunately I donít know the answer to that question. But what I can do is try and explain why Shootout is not that much fun. Join me, wonít youÖ
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Where to start? Let just dive right into it and take a few shots at the general gameplay. There is a wide variation in the ability to make shoots. What I mean is that some shots are nearly impossible and others are just about foolproof. Now of course a full-court shot is hard and a dunk is a gimme, but thatís not the type of shots I mean. For example, Tim Duncan, two-time MVP, should be able to hit a lot of shots from right around the basket and in the paint. But for some reason a little fadeaway or a baby hook will hardly ever go in. About the only shot you can rely on is a layup. But you can still score on just about any possession. All you need to do is be willing to look a little silly. Hereís the deal. Give the ball to a point guard, or anyone really, and have him just race from side to side a few times. More often than not this will lead the defender to become entangled with another player and, thus, allow you to be nice and free to make your shot. Itís practically foolproof. It should be noted that even on the higher levels where you may be being double and triple teamed, this still works.
Want a practically foolproof defensive hint? OK, just keep pressing the steal button when youíre on defense. Sure youíre get a reach-in foul every now and then but not enough for it to be a deterrent. Just keep hacking away and in no time youíll have yourself another steal. Obviously these are very disappointing problems on both offense and defense. There are other examples of just bad gameplay. One happens after every score. After a basket and the view switches sides you have to watch the players start to run back down the court before you can inbound the ball. This really takes the flow out the game especially if youíre the type that loves to quickly take the ball down the court. One funny thing youíll see sometimes the referee trying to chase down the ball. As the ref is running he keeps kicking the ball down the court so heís unable to pick it up until it goes out of bounds. StrangeÖ