NBA Live 19: Best Backcourt Defender Build and Traits

How do you create a lock down defender with enjoyable offensive capabilities using NBA Live 19's new Icon system?


Defense isn’t everybody’s favorite part of basketball, but if you make the right selections when you create your player, the backcourt defender can be an extremely enjoyable to play with. To start The One career mode, click on the ‘character select’ option on the right of your main screen.

Following that you’ll be given the choice of 11 different types of players; to make your elite defensive guard, select the backcourt defender playing style. These guys all start with the same basic skills. His or her dribbling and on-ball defense will both receive a 74/95 rating, while passing, mid-range shot and steal will all start at 74/88.

There are also two traits which are specific to this playing style, and more that you can unlock as you progress. The first of these is the ‘corner three’, a trait which gives a slight boost to your shooting accuracy on corner three’s. The second is ‘relentless defender’, which means that you’ll get a slight reduction to fatigue and a slight boost to speed when playing off the ball on defense. 

Once you’ve chosen backcourt defender, you’ll be presented with a choice of two different icons. These icons possess the traits of one current star and one former star, with each of the two icon options offering up different skill sets, and significantly changing what your player can and can’t do. Both of them have their own pros and cons, but which is the best backcourt defender?

After you choose your gender (we’ll use male height and weight for simplicity) and backcourt defender as your play style, two icon options are offered up: The Wizard – who emulates John Wall – and The Glove – who emulates Gary Payton.

Best Backcourt Defender Icon

The Wizard

The Wizard’s specialized icon skill is the dunk, which means he or her can reach a rating of up to 85 for this skill, and he or she can boost their 3-point shot, inside shot, free throw, shot off-dribble, layup, speed and stamina. Picking up defensive stats like blocks and steals will also give your 3-point shooting a boost. The Wizard at his best is a lockdown on-ball defender with the ability to hit an outside shot at the other end of the floor; the quintessential three-and-d guard.

The Glove

The Glove’s specialized icon skill is the layup, and he or she can boost each of their 3-point shot, free throw, shot off-dribble, steal, contested shot, speed, stamina and strength. When you closely guard your opponent at the defensive end with this player, you’ll also get a boost to both shooting and finishing. As you advance, you’ll develop into an elite defender with an ability to score, take it inside and score at the other end, and a decent outside shot.

Of these icons, I prefer the Wizard. The backcourt defender archetype isn’t for everybody, but plenty of gamers enjoy locking down on the defensive aspect of the game, and both of these do that. At the other end of the floor though, the Wizard provides a little more enjoyment through his ability to knock down long range jumpers, giving you a greater opportunity to have a significant impact on the game at both ends of the floor.

Best Backcourt Defender Build

Strength and size is important for the backcourt defender, so the best build is a relatively solid 190cm and 91kg. This size ensures you’re an intimidating defensive threat who is difficult to get around, while also maintaining an element of light-footedness needed to defend those quickest guards. With this size, your speed comes in at 82 while your strength will sit at 73. This should allow you to defend a variety of different players, and give the Wizard an ability to get open at the offensive end to knock down three’s.

To summarize: for a backcourt defender, the best icon choice and build for your player is a 190cm, 91kg Wizard. This solid Wizard is able to defend the more fleet-footed guards, while also being able to contain strong offensive wing players. The more you rack up the stats on the defensive end, the higher percentage of 3-pointers you’ll be able to knock down, helping you to stay engaged at both ends of the court.

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