Developer Chat

Hoops Dynasty


Tuesday, April 5, 2005

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Tuesday, April 5, 2005 at 7:00 PM EST.

Here's your chances to ask questions and/or provide comments/suggestions about GAME PLANNING STRATEGY in Hoops Dynasty. I'll do my best to give you what I know from my own experiences although you have to keep in mind that there are much better coaches in HD than myself!

If you have questions about something other than game strategy, we'll be doing a series of chats to discuss different areas of HD. Please check the schedule.

How much does Stamina really play into the fall of a players rating? I mean there are games where I will play a team that has a1 or 2 dominant players but will have bad stamina ratings, yet will still put up 30 points and shoot over 50% even though there are in the red from the 8 minute mark in the 1st half. (rmj97 - Hall of Famer - 6:58 PM)

Stamina plays an important role in the performance of players and more than just shooting, but just to be clear those fatigue indicators in the play by play are NOT all or nothing, i.e. not all players showing green are 100% - there are various levels within each color level. Additionally, fatigue is only one part of the equation - there are numerous other factors which must be considered such as player settings, team settings, defensive positioning, double-teams, etc.
This is why we say that a fatigue advantage will certainly help your chances of winning, but it doesn't guarantee that someone will have a poor performance, much less a win for you.
We posted some analysis in the forums a while back, the results showed a change from an average 8 point margin of victory (normal fatigue) to an average 46 point margin of victory when one of the teams was green the entire game and the other was dead tired the entire game.

How much does Defense really affect steals? Cause I have had a guy with a 10 Defense do better then average, while a guy in his 60's in D has half as many.(These are all Guards by the way. (rmj97 - Hall of Famer - 6:59 PM)

As with most skills, you can't simply look at a single rating and be able to compare two players effectively. Defensive rating is important, but so is defensive IQ, speed and athleticism.

Can you explain the work ethic player attribute? Specifically, does work ethic only affect the ability of the player to improve their other ratings through practice, game time, and the like or does it also translate to intangibles, such as going harder after loose balls in games? Thanks, bistiza (bistiza - Hall of Famer - 7:00 PM)

Work ethic is used for more than player skill improvement - guys that have high work ethic will, all else being equal, be better rebounders (especially offensively) and better defenders.

Can you tell us more about the effects of fatigue on game play? If my guys are most green and the other team is most showing as brown and yellow, how will their performance change? I am guessing more turnovers, lower FG%, fewer steals and blocks....and can you say anything about rough order of magnitude of the effect? I look at fatigue in the play by play, but cant figure out how much it matters.... (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 7:01 PM)

Fatigue really affects every aspect of a player's game from shooting, to rebounding, to defense, to the propensity to commit fouls.

Please discuss the pros and cons of using the offensive distribution versus the default of "zero".... (nittany88 - Hall of Famer - 7:02 PM)

I would never use the default of zero. When you leave it in the hands of the sim, it only looks at your offensive skills - completely ignoring the defense and opposing roster that you'll be playing against. For example, the sim may still try to pound it inside to your big men even though you're playing a zone which is sagging inside.

At the Division I level, is the zone defense obsolete? It seems that players with high PE ratings would shred a zone at this level. (skelly's tea - Hall of Famer - 7:03 PM)

It's tough to say since there are very few coaches in DI at this time, but my answer would be no. I think the zone can be very effective - especially in DI (or any division) if you understand the strengths and weaknesses. You can't play a zone without good rebounders, otherwise you'll give up way too many offensive rebounds. You'll need quick and/or athletic perimeter players to be able to shift as the ball is passed around the perimeter. What you can sacrifice on is interior defense (you can hide a weak defender in a zone) and stamina.

There has been much talk lately on the death of the zone defense. Is it really dead? If not, why do so many veterans seem to think it is? (oldave - Hall of Famer - 7:07 PM)

No, the zone is not dead - in fact we get questions daily from coaches running every defense asking if their defense is 'dead'. As I mentioned in a response to a previous question about the zone, if you recruit the right types of players, any defense can be very effective. As the seasons go by, coaches are understanding more of what it takes to be successful against various defenses and if you (as a coach who runs a zone) don't make adjustments, it's going to be appear to be less effective than it was in previous seasons (that's true of all defenses).

When running a Fastbreak Offense - How important are Speed & Athleticism as compared to Perimeter, Low Post, & Defense. I used to think very - until I looked at how unimportant they appear in your recruiting at Stony Brook thanx (jake_marley - Hall of Famer - 7:10 PM)

They are important, certainly more in a press than in other defenses, but what basketball player wouldn't want to be faster or more athletic? I took over Stony Brook in Rupp last season and they were already playing a pressing defense when I got there - the reason we had such a good season was that we played 10-11 guys every game and they all played between 15-25 minutes. So while we played even with most teams in the first half, we wore them down in the second half and won on fresh legs. BTW, we got screwed by the WCAA Selection Committee. We should have been a higher seed.

Can you talk a little about end of game substitution for free throws? If I play M2M for example, I don't want the sim replacing my best defender just because some bench guy shoots FTs better. (Weena - Hall of Famer - 7:13 PM)

This is something we're actually in the process of changing. Currently the sim will look for better free throw shooters on your depth chart if the other team begins to intentionally foul you. A couple of changes that you'll see shortly will a.) not bring in better free throw shooters until you have at least a 2 possession lead and b.) make sure the replacement's equitable (meaning we're not going to replace a 75% free throw shooter with an 80% free throw shooter if the 80 has a 1 defense and the 75 has a 90 defense).

What can you do to get a player to cut back on turnovers or fouls? (starr226 - Hall of Famer - 7:16 PM)

Fouls are normally related to a player's defensive IQ, defense rating, speed, and athleticism. On top of that, you'll have more fouls if you are pressing and/or playing your defense inside or double-teaming. To get them to reduce their fouling, you'll need to increase those ratings by spending more time on team defensive practice (IQ), footwork (defense), conditioning (speed/athleticism). Turnovers are similar - you'll need to practice team offense (IQ), passing and ball handling.

I've been getting killed by teams that press me. When I run a slow offense am I just playing into their hands? (andyhager - All-Star - 7:19 PM)

Of course each situation is different, but from what little I know here, I would slow the tempo down (especially if you don't have a deep bench) which will reduce your turnovers. You'll also want to give more playing time to your better ball handlers and passers (think about moving your back up SG to SF for example) and/or players with better offensive IQs.

When will we be able to place bets on our HD teams? (tzentmeyer - Hall of Famer - 7:20 PM)

Soon, but not on your team, only on other teams.

Does the 3 point frequency setting really matter? I had it set at -3 but my guys still attempted 29 threes. (brampton1 - Hall of Famer - 7:23 PM)

Yes, it certainly matters - you have to remember that what you want to do on offense is only half the equation. If you're playing against a zone you're by default going to have more open 3s and if they're sagging inside then that will present even more open shots. You also can't look at the total FGA3 because if you were losing at the end, your team is going to be putting up 3s trying to get back into it. On a side note, individual 3 point shooting settings will be one of the upcoming enhancements to HD (either this season or next).

Regarding Offensive Distribution, which does it affect more: Scoring or being active in the play? Should a PG that dishes the ball but doesn't score much have a low OD or a high OD because of assists? (gbgentry - All-Star - 7:25 PM)

If you think of it as a coach, it's who you'd be calling plays for, not who's making passes leading up to a shot. For example, if I see I'm playing against a zone, I'm going to want my better perimeter players to get more shots, if I'm playing against man to man, I'm going to look for their weakest defender and make sure my opposing player will get more shots for that game.

How do you feel about the effectiveness of double teams? If they are useful, when? Ex: If the other team is too dependent on two or less scorers I usually double. (firedog - Hall of Famer - 7:31 PM)

We've had a lot of questions about double-teaming. Before I get into that answer, I just want to reiterate that these are just my opinions, there is no black and white with the sim - there are just too many variables at play to say that X+Y= success. My own philosophy on doubling is that I'll only double-team always if the opposing team is completely dependent on 1 guy (think Jordan and the Bulls mid-80s). I don't care if the other guys are getting open shots, they're still not very good so that's not going to hurt me. I'll double-team if leading scorer if I feel like the the opposing team is stronger in one area than another but has a guy that could get hot - e.g. if I see that 70% of the offense is coming from PF and Cs, then I'm going to sag inside but if they have a SG with a high perimeter rating, I'll double-team him if he's the leading scorer (just covering my bets).

When setting target minutes if you give every guy 19-23,the total comes out between 186-234,will my players be dead tired by the end of the game? (turtle5169 - All-Star - 7:33 PM)

Depends on their staminas, what defense you play, what tempo you play at, what defense the opposing team plays and their offensive tempo. In general, most guys should be fine (little to no fatigue) playing 20 minutes a game if they have staminas 60+.

A lot of coaches will play 2 SGs instead of a PG & SG or 2 PFs instead of a PF & C. Is there a way to determine who is actually playing which position? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 7:34 PM)

Yes, in the play by play, the players are listed by position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C). If I want to know where my next opponent plays his guys, I'll look at their prior game boxscores.

I've noticed teams that run Fastbreak and Zone combination are giving up turnovers and offensive rebounds battles, is this in line with normal espectations? (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 7:39 PM)

It all depends on your personnel. If I was playing a zone, I'd be out recruiting the best rebounders I can find knowing that a weakness of the zone is giving up offensive rebounds. Too many times, coaches get caught up looking for the highest total rated recruit they can get, not THINKING about how it ties into their offense/defense. With the fastbreak, if you're giving up the ball too much, move to a normal tempo. As an aside, I think the fastbreak/zone is the worst combination you can play. It requires two different kinds of players to be successful.

I have some good perimeter shooters at the 1 and 2, yet when I turn up my 3-pt frequency, My big guys, who cant shoot from very far, start jacking 3's often, and always at crucial moments...How, if at all, can I control this? (dczarum - Pro - 7:42 PM)

It may seem odd when you see it in HD, but it happens nearly every game in real life - coming down the stretch, the defense is simply not going to let your best 3 point shooters take the shots if they can help it, so they'll overplay them leaving your less desirable 3 point shooters open. In the near future, you'll have more control with individual 3 pt settings, but it still won't eliminate completely what you're referring to.

If I overplay the perimeter (+3/+4) will that focus on stopping the guards all together, or will that just stop them from jacking threes? If guards are the opposing teams leading scorers, but they are really not three point shooters then how do I account for that? (bennyp420 - All-Star - 7:44 PM)

That will limit their 3pt shots (both number and accuracy), doesn't matter who's out there. If their guards don't take a lot of 3s, they'll end up driving right around your defense either for mid-range jumpers or lay ups.

What is the one thing that most HD coaches fail to look at when looking at coaching strategy? Conversely what, if anything do we put more value on than we should be (dherz_263 - Hall of Famer - 7:53 PM)

Good question - complete guess here, but I'd say that most coaches don't look at their upcoming opponent in depth. They may see they're playing against a zone and they'll want to shoot more 3s, but they're not looking at past boxscores to see that this team really overplays the perimeter which could leave the middle and inside wide open. Or, they may be playing a pressing/fast temp fastbreaking team and yet they don't adjust their target minutes to compensate for the fact that their guys are going to be tiring quicker. These are the kinds of things game planning strategy is all about.

The other question is much easier - coaches place WAY too much emphasis on a single rating, e.g. perimeter. "Why can't this guy score, he's got a great perimeter rating?" Well, there's more to scoring than shooting - you have know how to get open and when to take a shot (IQ), and you have to be able to do it (speed/athleticsm).

I am not sure if this is the right place for this, but is strength somehow involved in the sim. It seems like a pretty important part of real basketball (dabears307 - All-Star - 7:54 PM)

We lump stength into athleticism.

I'm sure you have seen the many expieriments for teams in the forums: all SF, just recruit a starting 5 and play them max, all Big Men. Which do you consider the "gimick" that is most successful? (dabears307 - All-Star - 7:55 PM)

Can't really say - I'm more of a traditionalist and have had a lot of success by having both a good inside and a good outside game.

Follow up to your response to Weena - I don't see anything in the play by play or boxscores that specifies player positions. (hermrats - Veteran - 7:56 PM)

In the fatigue bar, they are listed in order of position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C).

When trailing late in a game, will players attempt to foul the weakest shooter? (brampton1 - Hall of Famer - 7:56 PM)

Yes, but by the same token the opposing team is going to try to get the ball to their best free throw shooter.

How much does an individual's poor defensive rating get exposed when playing a man-to-man defense. I try to exploit certain guys when I see a low defensive rating, but I have gotten mixed results. (ctown heroes - Newbie - 7:57 PM)

I do the same - but you can't just look at defensive rating alone - you also have to look at IQ, speed and athleticism.

When setting your defense, is it better to look at your opponent's IQs and skills or his actual player performance? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 7:58 PM)

I look at ratings - performance can be misleading based on who they've played.

Is Athleticism a major factor in a players performance? It seems that players with high stats in other areas do not do as well as players with much lower stats but high Athleticism. (roknman - All-Star - 8:00 PM)

It's a balancing act - athleticsm is important on both offense and defense, so it's an important part of the game, but I wouldn't go after a 100 athleticsm player who was low in other areas - that goes back to my "I'd never want Carl Lewis on my team" statement.

What if I would rather base a comeback on good 2pt shots. How can I prevent the sim from tossing up all those 3s? (bristolduke - Hall of Famer - 8:02 PM)

In your losing game late settings, set the 3pt frequency to -5.

Are there some offenses/defenses that naturally are effective vs. each other? Ex: all things equal a triangle ususally works well against a zone or if I run a man I should worry about a certain offense. (firedog - Hall of Famer - 8:02 PM)

Not really, they're designed so that no one offense or defense has an advantage in and of themselves. Of course you can change that by recruiting players that fit well into both your offensive and defensive styles.

What does a team who runs a fastbreask do when the there is no fastbreak. Is it just first open guy shoot? (bristolduke - Hall of Famer - 8:05 PM)

Practicing fastbreak is all about filling lanes, positioning, passing, etc. When there is no fastbreak opportunity, they will play a much sloppier, less patient motion offense (which is why you can get into turnover problems if you play fast tempo).

WHY DOES MY TEAM SUCK IN THE SECOUND HALF?????? (wildcatfever - Pro - 8:06 PM)

Check your target minutes. You need to make sure guys aren't getting tired.

How do you limit offensive rebounds given up. (andone - All-Star - 8:10 PM)

If all you are concerned about is limited offensive rebounds, you can do that in a couple of ways. First, you'll want to move your defense more inside. Next, you'll want to play a 'bigger' lineup - what that means is you may want to move your backup C and play him at PF and move your PF over to the SF spot, etc. You'll also want to adjust their target minutes accordingly so maybe your stud SF with a 1 rebounding won't play as much this game.

How do you know what you should change on your game plan when preparing for a certain oppenent? (dodgerblue15 - Hall of Famer - 8:17 PM)

Good question to end on. Here's what I do (again, there are smarter coaches than me out there, so take it for what it's worth). First, I check to see how the team distributes their offense - is the bulk of their shots coming from inside (SF, PF, C)? Outside (PG, SG, SF)? or balanced? If it's outside, then I'll check to see their team stats to see if their guards are taking a lot of 3s or just a lot of shots. Based on that I'll usually move my defense inside or outside or neutral. I'll make doubling decisions based on what I discussed in an earlier response. As for my offense - I first look at the type of defense we'll be playing. If it's a zone, I'll check previous boxscores to see if they play inside, outside or neutral. Based on that I'll set my 3 pt frequency and my offensive distribution to go more to my better perimeter players. If I'm playing against a man defense, I look for the weakest defenders and try to take advantage.

Are the coaching dilemas ever going to happen or is that just an urban legend? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 8:20 PM)

Yes, Sasquatch is doing final testing now.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a question. Hopefully I've been able to at least give you some other things to think about when it comes to game planning strategy! Best of luck coaches!

If we were unable to get to your question, we apologize. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and thanks for supporting WhatIfSports!

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