NBA 2K17: Best Offensive Plays Guide

Learn how to execute the most effective NBA 2K17 offensive sets in our guide.

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2K Sports is back at it again with another title in their NBA 2K series with the release of NBA 2K17 over a month ago. The game is available on PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, Microsoft Windows, iOS and Android. However, a majority of players that really want to enjoy the game to its fullest will seek to obtain the title on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

While you are free to run around and play the game based on athletic abilities alone, players will soon realize that their offense will run far more efficiently if they implement play-calling in to the mix.

Calling various offensive sets will allow your shooters to get open, clear lanes for backdoor cuts and get big men setting picks for easier buckets.

With this article, we aim to provide you with some freestyle offensive sets for beginner players, but also throw in some play calling that will help you take your game to the next level.

The Two-Man Game

Anyone that has played a game of basketball, from pick-up ball down at the rec center to college basketball, will be familiar with one of the most basic options to get some offense flowing on the court. These basic options usually center around a two-man game often referred to as the ‘Pick-and-Roll’.


In NBA 2K17, the player can call for a pick as the ball handler with the L1 button on PlayStation 4 or LB button on Xbox One. Simply pressing these buttons will allow the player to do a quick play call, but press and hold will call for a pick.

Once the pick is called, the designated big man will run over to set a pick on the player defending you. You can drive past the pick for an attempt at a layup with the ball handler.

If you don’t find success with a simple pick, try using the advanced pick control options. These can be activated while holding the pick button, then use R1 on PlayStation 4 or RB on Xbox One to choose between a roll or fade move on your screen. A roll will send the screener towards the basket looking for a dump off pass. A fade will send the screener away from the pick looking for a pass that will set him up with a midrange jump shot. You will want to take your big man’s skills in to consideration when choosing which move to use.

Another advanced control is to use the R2 button on PlayStation 4 or RT button on Xbox One to choose which side you want the screener to set the pick on. Try playing around with this control until you discover which side you are more comfortable driving on.


Quick Play Calling

If the two-man game isn’t working for you or you want to get more of your team involved, try using the quick play call option.

Press the L1 button on PlayStation 4 or LB button on Xbox One and select a play using the right joystick on either platform as shown below.


After pressing the designated quick play call button, you should see a pentagon shaped menu in the bottom right hand portion of the screen. You can select one of the five plays that are on this menu or choose the icon over the player you want to have the play focused on.

Let’s say you are playing with a team with a player that plays off the ball, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers for example. If you want to get him involved and select his icon, the menu will change to a square with plays designated for George.


There are tons of plays for you to choose from when considering the quick play calls and all the options for specific players, so you’ll want to have a play around to see which plays work best for your team.

Favorite Play Options

Below I give you a run down of my favorite plays along with how to use them.


This play is ideal for teams with a big, athletic wing. The type of guy with good speed and dunking abilities, like Paul George or LeBron James.

The play essentially sets up a give-and-go with a big man faking a backside pick to distract defenders. The athletic wing will pass the ball and roll around the pack of players for a straight cut to the basket. It is easy to get an alley-oop or layup out of the play. If the interior is jammed up, players can opt to swing out for a corner three.


A team best uses this play with a strong ball handler that’s good inside the paint, someone like John Wall or James Harden.

The play gets the ball handler an open lane to the basket by confusing defenders with a double pick. If the ball handler can get by both picks and clear of defenders, he should have an open layup. If the defenders hedge stick with you, you should be able to dump off to the second screener for a dunk or easy layup.


Given the fact that this play is in the Warriors playbook, you might be able to guess what type of team build this works best with – a team with plenty of superstars and ridiculous 3-point shooting potential.

The play is actually pretty complex and has a lot of moving parts, but multiple screens and cuts give the player an option to dump off to a pick-and-roll screener or swing the ball over to one of two 3- point shooters. Essentially, the only player that is not an offensive threat in the play is the non-rolling big.

Overall, implementing these offensive options in to your repertoire will make you a more dangerous threat when playing against the computer or friends alike. Getting familiar with certain teams and players will make you even more deadly when adjusting their offensive playbook.

Related articles:

NBA 2K17: Defensive Play Tips
NBA 2K17: Best Ways to Get VC