What’s going on Sports Gamers and today I’ll be going over with you what all the defensive settings in NBA 2K19 mean and the ones I favor. So your defense can play like some of the best coaches in the league today.

NBA 2K19 Defensive Settings Tips & Tutorial

On Ball Pressure

On Ball Pressure determines how much room the AI defender will give the ball handler. So, this will only come into play when your willing (and why should you not) to let the computer control the on-ball defender. It’s instantly noticeable the on-ball pressure the defender will be applying based on how far past the 3pt line he sets in his stance as you come up the court. On Gap and Moderate the defender will be parked below the 3pt line, while on Tight and Smother he will creepy further and further up ultimately bumping you well beyond where the 3pt line is.

So you can see how this can come in handy depending on the ball handler. Against a Ben Simmons type its perfect to have you’re A.I. controlled defender set up in his stance around the free throw line. While against Steph Curry who’s a threat as soon as he passes half court, the higher pressures work here. But obviously not every 3-point shooter is created equal. Steph Curry can beat you off the dribble, while Robert Covington is a strictly catch and shoot guy, so Tight and Smother should be used strategically. For the guys who can hit from deep AND beat you off the dribble Tight is your play, while the guys you want to put the ball on the floor Smother is your choice.

On Ball Screen

Now I’m going to go over your On-Ball Screen settings next as I always like this and On Ball Pressure to match. If you’re playing Tight or Smother on a player, you want to have the defender guarding them to go Over screens as well (to not give him any space to work with. As for the guys you aren’t such a threat from deep, going Under screens to meet them on the other side of it is ideal.

You want this setting to be the same for both On Ball Screen and On Ball Screen (Center)

Hedge and Hedge (Center)

Now for Hedge and Hedge Center like last year I put both on Catch Hedge by default with some adjustments. Catch Hedge is the perfect neutral as he stays downlow and plays both the roll man and the ball handler until your opponent commits to one. Now there are weaknesses to this coverage (gives up the mid-range jumper), but that’s better than a layup/dunk or alley-oop.

Now when the screener can shoot, and they run a pick and pop, Catch Hedge becomes exposed as it allows a lot of wide open jumpers for the big man. So that’s when you want to utilize Soft Hedge, so your big will pop out around the screen to disrupt the ball handler while getting back in time. And if he surprises you and rolls to the rim you can easily click on and user defend it yourself.

Off Ball Pressure

For Off Ball Pressure, I put everybody on Moderate (that’s about average depth), then adjust according to how well a shooter they are. Now I lump both types of shooters (Steph Curry, Robert Covington) into 1 category here and play them all on Tight. On Tight along with the Help Rules I’m going to go over will keep our players glued to their man while anybody on moderate or below will be able to help off to defend drive to the hoop. So be sure who u have on which as that will be the difference between sticking to your man on a drive and leaving Kevin Durant wide open in the corner.

Force Direction

For force direction like every year you want to force everything baseline, as its harder to hurt you when their being funneled towards the sidelines

Stay Attached

For stay attached you put this on no

Double Team Perimeter/Double Team Post

You always want to keep these on Manual so you can double team when you feel like it.

Switch Rules

For Switch Rules, this allows you to be better prepared to defend off ball screens

Switch All does what it says and no matter the positions involved in the screen your team will switch. Now this is valuable if you have the players to do it like a Boston Celtics who can throw out Irving, Brown ,Hayward, Tatum and Horford. With that roster there isn’t a matchup your uncomfortable allowing in the switch to prevent the off-ball action.

Switch Bigs is no point in using

but the one more teams are suited for than Switch All is Switch Guards. This will switch every guard to guard screen. Now if your PG is Isaiah Thomas this might not be too cool to do, but most teams are equipped properly. In general, this creates the least trouble for your defense and I would put your setting on this unless your roster is of the caliber of a Golden State Warriors where Switch All makes more sense

Off Ball Screen

For Off Ball Screen I waited till I did the Switch Rules so it makes sense how these work together. If you picked Switch Bigs or Switch Guards, then this will deal with everybody else on your team.  What I mean by that is if you switch all guard to guard screens, this will deal with the rest of the roster or every other combo that is NOT guard to guard. And it’s the same if you selected a different Switch Rule. Now If you have your Switch Rules to Switch All put it to Switch All here as well.  Now if you have your Rules set to Guard to Guard or Big to Big, I tell everybody else to go over every screen , because off ball screens usually are set up for a catch and shoot and you don’t want to give any space to allow these.

Pre Rotate

For Pre-Rotate, you want to set this to NO globally. This is for guys who like to go 1 on 1 a lot, and you counter by packing that side of the court with an extra defender to be in better position if they drive. But, this comes at a price of allowing a weak side defender to be wide open.

Screen Help Rules/Drive Help Rules

Now for Screen Help Rules and Drive Help Rules you want both set to Help and No Rotation. Because if you look at the play art for automatic the help defender comes over then another defender comes over to help pick up their guy and usually that ends up with the defense leaving a guy wide open for 3 and we don’t want that!

So Help and No Rotation is the way to go. It will mainly be guys you are guarding moderate, gap, or leave him that will help so if your Tight on J.J. Redick they won’t leave him just because you have it set to Help and No Rotation. You must put the player in position to help, by the setting his off-ball pressure is on.

Extend Pressure

And Lastly, for Extend Pressure I like to mix this in the beginning of the game against human opponents if I have an amazing defender on my team (Kawhi Leonard, Beverley etc.) just to see how they react and if I can get a couple steals. This is the only setting you have to go to the individual player in the Defensive Settings tab to set and where you can put the defender you want on that player as well.

Now these aren’t the be all end all settings for the game, but these are the ones I’ve had the most success with and I hope I’ve explained all of them in detail enough that you can go out there for yourself and try to get the results you want.


Want to talk sports and/or games with the fastest growing community in gaming? Join the conversation by registering at the official Sports Gamers Online Forums, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel.