Next month, 2k Sports will release NBA 2k17, the latest installment of the long running basketball video game series. The games have been quite good for a number of years now, touting new features such as Steph Curry chewing on his mouthpiece (Gerald Wallace did it first).
As the season approaches, 2k is slowly unveiling the ratings of various players. Steve Noah of Operation Sports shared a photo that features many of the Hornets player ratings, and well, just see for yourself:
Kemba Walker overall rating 85 in NBA 2K17 pic.twitter.com/MoSVB5ea9E— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) August 31, 2016
First, let's all agree that rating Kemba Walker at 85 is pretty accurate, as are the individual letter grades associated with each skill set. However, most everything else gives off the impression 2k Sports didn't watch the Hornets a lot last season.
Let's start with Nicolas Batum. His 79 rating is surprisingly low given just how important he was last season. We could debate just how good of a shooter he is, but where 2k really got it wrong was with his playmaker grade. Giving Batum a C+ when he led the team in assists, and arguably instigated more of the offense than Walker shows a lack of understanding of the kind of player Batum is. By comparison, former Hornets offer sheet signee Gordon Hayward received a rating of 84.
Beyond Batum, the overall player ratings are fairly accurate, though a tiny bit debatable. What 2k really messed up on was 3-point shooting. Charlotte made the 8th most 3-pointers for a season in NBA history, and yet the best 3-point shooter among those shown on this list is Walker (who shot 37 percent). Marvin Williams' grade of D- is the most puzzling of all of them.
The individual defensive grades seem low as well, but it is important to remember that beyond MKG, none of the current Hornets are known for being great individual defenders or rim protectors. It's been recognized that Steve Clifford defensive system is what has led to the team's top 10 defensive ratings.
The game doesn't come out for another few weeks, so there's the chance these ratings won't be reflective of the final product. Ultimately though, the majority of these ratings appear put together without a lot of research. If we were grading based on playoffs alone, Williams for example, would be deserving of that D-. We aren't though, which makes me wonder if 2k only watched the Hornets during the playoffs last season.