Da_Czar, formerly of Operation Sports now part of the NBA 2k team & writer of his own blog called Sim Citi (which can be found here), has put up his latest blog about the roll and fade, along with how the new changes to the game relieve pressure on the defenders in unprecedented ways in 2k’s upcoming release NBA 2k12. Here is what he had to say:
Besides the many large scale improvement’s to the play-system in NBA 2K12. There were a number of minor improvements recommended to help with the overall flow of the game on the offensive side of the basketball.
Some of these improvements will provide much needed relief against high pressure defenses. As well as create secondary scoring opportunities off of primary action.
When talking about screen and roll/fade opportunities most people are only concerned with the on ball pick and roll/ pick pop situations. This simplified view of the screen can lead to a powerful advantage for the defense in video game basketball.
Let’s look at a basic double screen on the tail end of a floppy play for the 2 man (Shooting Guard). When you don’t have the threat of any roll / fade action on your off-ball screens the defense holds an advantage. Especially once they become familiar with the play !
A savvy defender will switch to the 4 ( the red 4 is on defense) and have him jump the passing lane.
With no roll/ fade from the 4 and 5 on offense the defense has the advantage. They have their 2 trailing the offensive 2 to keep him from fading to the corner. They also have the 5 defender able to cover both the 5 and 4 on defense because of their close proximity.
This has been a standing issue in most video game attempts to replicate the sport we love. Almost games all have suffered from a mild to severe case of CSS syndrome. ( Czarism… chronic statue screen syndrome). Here is a video of NBA 2K11 demonstrating classic CSS.
A similar play diagram in NBA 2K12 might look like this
As you can see immediately after his screen the 5 offensive player is cutting to the basket. This will serve to hold the 5 defender and keep him from hedging or helping on the screen. The 3 on offense set’s his screen and then fades a bit to create separation.
Now if the 3 defender attempts to shoot the gap, the point guard has the alley to the 5, the dump off to the 3, or the pass to the 4 if the defense wants to rotate.
All of these options naturally come about by simply adding intelligent fade or roll’s within the context of the play design. If it works correctly it gives the user a basketball solution to fix a basketball problem ( In the words of the wise and talented @nelsonblake2 )
So while not every screen in every play will provide you the protection of the Roll and Fade. The threat alone, combined with a successful execution of it early in the ball game; are enough to relieve some of the pressure.