In NBA 2K19, players can use a variety of different methods to try and score or stop an opponent. You can either freestyle and run around until you get open, run a basic pick-and-roll offense, man-on-man defense, or you can use plays available to you in the game.
Generally, you can run plays through any player on the court. You can scroll through play options until you find one you like and select it to get the play rolling. I would advise practicing these in the NBA 2KU practice area to see what you like.
Offensive Money Plays
We've got a list of the top 5 money plays on offense for each individual position.
Point Guard Play
Fist 81 Out
This play starts with a double pick from both your power forward and center running at you from the left side. I like this play because as a point, you want as many options to make a play happen. The power forward will fake a pick and roll to the basket, the center will pick and pop to the outside (great if you have a center with range) and you generally have room to pull up for a midrange jumper or pass.
Shooting Guard Play
Fist 24 Horns Flex
This sets up the shooting guard as a playmaker here, so may not be the best play for all shooting guards. That being said, I like the movement by the entire team and chaos it causes for the defense. The point guard gets you the ball at the elbow and you essentially get to decide from 5 different options on whether to shoot or pass.
Small Forward Play
Quick 52 Box Flare
This is a quick hitting play that is designed for small forwards that excel in catch and shoot situations. The point guard sets up on the right wing, the center sets a back pick on the opposing small forward, and your small forward will run to an open 3-point shot that's a simple dump pass away. If you do not have a good shooting small forward, the small forward should still have enough time and space to drive to the basket before his defender is ready.
Power Forward Play
Fist 15 High
This is a good play to get your power forward out in space, but get a nice line to the basket. The Center sets a pick at the top of the 3-point arch, the rest of your team clears the lane and you get a free lane to dunk. The worst case scenario, dump it back to your rolling center for another scoring opportunity.
For centers, having space to operate is usually the toughest problem to solve. This play allows the big man to isolate the opposing center without those pesky guards swiping at the ball. An easy pass to the low block, then your center can go to work with post moves.
Defensive Money Plays
Unlike offense, your defensive plays are mostly just schemes to slow down the offense and to try and shut down your opponent. Here are the top 5 defensive schemes.
Man to Man
This is your most basic level of defense. Each guy on your team guards the opposing player of that same position. This is great to make sure no one is left open, but it is weak if any opposing player is clearly better than your player. This leaves a weakness in the defense.
Zone defenses are rarely used in the NBA, because pros are so good at exposing the gaps. In a 2-3 zone, the defenders have 2 players up high on the perimeter and 3 down low. This is generally used to stop teams that like to drive inside to score. The weakness is that it leaves shooters open outside at times.
This zone is more used against 3-point shooting teams that lack interior presence. The defenders guard the perimeter and make the opponent try to work the ball inside. If the offense is good at interior cuts, your defense could be exposed.
In practice mode, it is only halfcourt. In a full court game, you can set this to full court press. Essentially, you use this when behind and trying to force turnovers. It will wear out your players, as they are expected to play hard defense for the entire length of the court.
This defense is designed to double-team the player handling the ball. By trapping them in a corner with 2 defenders, the hope is that they make an errant pass before you foul. The weakness is that one player is always wide open. Get the turnover and fast break the other way for a score.