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#94 | SimCBB | Gameplan Update


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Hey everyone,

I appreciate everyone with their patience with many of the updates that are going on for basketball with the SimCFB and SimNFL seasons just around the corner. The past few weeks I've been working on a series of updates, and would like to formally announce the following updates:

  • Gameplan pages for CBB and NBA are now available
  • The 2023 SimNBA Draft lottery will be next week


The Previous Gameplan

Last season, the gameplan page only allowed customization in terms of the team's pace, team shot proportion, and minutes. Positions were considered positionless, as players could be given as many minutes up to their stamina, with nothing regarding their current position. The biggest constraint was that shot proportion was allocated across the entire team, and users could not control who was shooting 3s, which resulted in many confusing plays such as the lowest rated 3pt shooter attempting a game-winning shot for the final possession.

The New Gameplan

There's a lot to unpack; but before we begin, I want to give a shoutout to @Ezaco for putting together the SimBBA v2 engine, and for desigining the new gameplan features that we will be going over today. With that said, I advise everyone to read this dev diary thoroughly so that they can become familiar with the new gameplay features, and understand how to strategize their team. To start, here is the new gameplan page:



Starting from the top, users now not only can control the pace of their team, but also the formations and the style of play their team will inhibit on the court.

Offensive Formations:

There are five offensive formations: Balanced, Motion, Pick and Roll, Post-Up, and Space-and-Post. Each formation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Formations also control the overall shot proportions allowed for your team.



A balanced offense is the current, traditional offense and has no bonuses or maluses to any skills. Limitations:

  • Inside: Min 20%, Max 60%
  • Midrange: Min 20%, Max 60%
  • 3 Point: Min 20%, Max 60%


A Motion offense focuses on ball and player movement, spacing, and passing for a good open shot. This means the ball is often being passed around quickly, which can lead to drops or steals. It also often results in a player in the outside range being open more often.

  • Bonus: Inside Shooting, 3 Point Shooting
  • Malus: Ballwork, Rebounding
  • Inside: Min 10%, Max 20%
  • Midrange: Min 10%, Max 20%
  • 3 Point: Min 30%, Max 70%


A pick-and-roll offense focuses on setting screens for offensive players to open up a dribbling lane or cut off a defender for an open shot. It focuses on getting players closer to the basket for their shot, often by setting a pick around the free throw line or beyond.

  • Bonus: Inside Shooting, Ballwork
  • Malus: Midrange, Rebounding
  • Inside: Min 20%, Max 60%
  • Midrange: Min 20%, Max 60%
  • 3 Point: Min 20%, Max 60%


A post-up offense focuses on the shots down in the near-basket area, backing up a defender for close layups, hooks, and turn shots. Players are concentrated in the basket area, leaving the longer range shots bare but placing players in better rebounding position.

  • Bonus: Inside Shooting, Rebounding
  • Malus: Midrange, 3 Point Shooting
  • Inside: Min 40%, Max 80%
  • Midrange: Min 5%, Max 15%
  • 3 Point: Min 5%, Max 15%


The space-and-post offense focuses on the players on the outside wings of the court, leaving one offensive player in the near basket area, and providing spacing for the ballhandler to make their own shot.

  • Bonus: Midrange, 3 Point Shooting
  • Malus: Ballwork, Rebounding
  • Inside: Min 10%, Max 20%
  • Midrange: Min 30%, Max 70%
  • 3 Point: Min 30%, Max 70%


Defensive Formations

There are five defensive formations: Man-to-Man, 1-3-1 Zone, 3-2 Zone, 2-3 Zone, Box-and-One Zone. Each formation focuses on a different portion of offense to be strong against, but can open itself against others.


Man-to-Man defense is the traditional, current defense. Every player has an assignment to guard on the other team and sticks with defending them. There are no bonuses or maluses to this defense. However, new in V2 a Man-to-Man offense can designate a player on the opposing team as a double-team focus. This double-teamed player will receive a malus to shots from any range, but all other non-double-teamed players will receive a bonus to shots from any range. A double-team designation is optional and not required.

1-3-1 Zone

A 1-3-1 Zone defense prioritizes the middle portion of the shooting area. One player is designated on the outside zone, one player in the inside zone, while the other three players roam designation zones in the midrange area to defend those shots.

  • Bonus: Turnovers, Opposing team Midrange malus
  • Malus: Opposing team Inside and 3 Point Shooting bonus

3-2 Zone

A 3-2 Zone defense prioritizes the 3 point arc shooting area. Two players roam designated zones inside of the arc, while the other three defenders roam their designated zones on and outside of the arc to prevent 3 point shots.

  • Bonus: Opposing team 3 Point shooting malus
  • Malus: Opposing team Inside Shooting and Rebounding bonus

2-3 Zone

A 2-3 Zone defense, in contrast, prioritizes the inside shooting area. Only two players are designated to the three point area, while the other three are designated to closer to the basket.

  • Bonus: Rebounding, opposing team Inside malus
  • Malus: Opposing team 3 Point Shooting bonus

Box-and-One Zone

A box-and-one zone defense is a combination defense. Four players are designated to zones around the shooting area to defend, while the fifth defender is dedicated to a specific player on the opposing offense to guard. This focuses the defense on that player. In a box-and-one zone, the defense must designate a player on the opposing team as the focus player.

  • Bonus: Focus player malus to all shots
  • Malus: Non-focused player bonus to all shots


Offensive Style

New in V2 are offensive styles. Offensive styles dictate which positions take the court for your team, and can help you if your team is stronger or weaker in certain positions. Each style changes the total minutes required for each position in a regulation game.


A traditional offense utilizes all 5 positions evenly. No position is prioritized over any other and is best for well-balanced teams.

  • PG - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • SG - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • SF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • PF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • C - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48

Small Ball

A small ball style removes the center position in favor of another shooting guard to prioritize shooting skills.

  • PG - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • SG - SimCBB: 80 / SimNBA: 96
  • SF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • PF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48


A microball style removes focuses on the smaller guard positions, often best for longer shooting and ball movement.

  • PG - SimCBB: 80 / SimNBA: 96
  • SG - SimCBB: 80 / SimNBA: 96
  • SF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48


A jumbo style focuses on the big men of the roster, taking out the small point guard entirely. Best for inside offenses and rebounding.

  • SG - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • SF - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48
  • PF - SimCBB: 48 / SimNBA: 96
  • C - SimCBB: 40 / SimNBA: 48


The Player Table

When going over the player table, you will see a row of data separate by the position's minutes, and the shot proportion. These are crucial and dependent on the offensive style and offensive formation set. As you fill in the shot proportion and minutes, these numbers will update. Based on personal experience, I advise filling in the shot proportion first before taking care of your minutes.


With the new features on the engine, there are a wide variety of attributes and options available for individual players. Depending on how each team wants to strategize, not every user will value each attribute the same. To allow flexibility and preference on the gameplan page, users are able to toggle on/off certain columns on the gameplan page from view.



With that said, the columns which will always be shown are the Overall Column, the shot proportion columns (Inside, Mid Range, and 3pt), total minutes, stamina, and playtime expectations.

Shot Proportions

Each individual player can now be allocated and told which shots to take. Inside Proportion represents shots made inside the paint; Mid Range proportion represents shots taken behind the 3pt line and outside the paint; and 3pt Proportion represents shots on and outside the 3pt line. The attributes associated with each shot have been named as such, and are represended in the following columns: Inside Shot, Mid-Range Shooting, and 3pt shooting. Any player can be allocated any number of proportion, so much as long as it's within the offensive formation's limits. If you want someone taking all the three point shots, now you can do that. If you want your team to experience pain and give your worst shooter all of the shot proportion, you can do that too.


Position Minutes

With the addition of Offensive Style, each style now requires a specific amount of minutes for each position. Not every team has the same number of point guards or centers; and with each player, they can play certain positions flexibly. Players will always be able to play their designated position; and depending on their designated position, they will also be able to play out of position in order to meet the required minutes for an offensive style. For the full list of which positions can be assigned or preferred, see the list below:

  • PG - 1 (can play PG, SG)
  • SG - 2 (can play PG, SG, or SF)
  • SF - 3 (can play SG, SF, or PF
  • PF - 4 (can play SF, PF, C)
  • C - 5 (can play PF, C)

To add minutes to a certain position for a player, first set the position that you want the player to play, and then allocate the minutes at that position. This can be done for up to 3 positions per player. See this player line as an example:




Total minutes will always equal the number of minutes allocated to a player at all three positions. If you're running into issues as far as hidden minutes, please make sure to toggle on/off the Position 2 and Position 3 columns. As was in the previous engine, players cannot play more total minutes than what their stamina allows.


Playtime Expectations

This is a friendly reminder; with the new progression update, players now care about how many minutes they play. As long as players meet their required minutes, they are happy. If a player does not meet their required minutes, there is a chance they will regress (in College; in NBA, guaranteed), and will enter the transfer portal.


AI Gameplans

AI Gameplans have already been set, and minutes have been allocated. Any new users picking up a new team, I highly suggest to adjust the minutes and gameplan for your new team immediately.

On a note with AI gameplans... a lot of the new teams are going to play very wonky. There aren't a lot of good players on the new teams, and so there will be some teams banking on certain players to perform well, and there will be... ugly games. With each passing season, this will likely change since a number of the players generated for these teams specifically are not good. Give it a few recruiting cycles, and the AI gameplans and shot proportions will look normal.


What's next?

The SimNBA Draft Lottery. The full list is of draftable players is now available, and there's some work ahead of me that needs to be done so that we can do the SimNBA Draft on the interface. For the full list, click here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GXlejf3KYclOM6aySL6wcGOrqLi2rBsbGAFOlueRuyg/edit?usp=sharing


You may also notice that the potential column is missing in the file. This is intentional, as the following information can be confirmed on the list:

  • Potential is hidden, but will be discoverable
  • The attribute grades are slightly fuzzied
  • Because the attribute grades are slightly fuzzied, so is the overall

Don't fret. This is related to the SimNBA Draft page work that's ahead. It's going to be a busy couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that with thorough development and testing that we can move forward with this.

I'm also hoping to make the announcement on the secret project that I've been working on fairly soon, as it will be somewhat related to the SimNBA and to the large list of SimNBA draftees.

That's all I have for now.




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  • TuscanSota changed the title to #94 | SimCBB | Gameplan Update

As someone who is not familiar with IRL basketball: will there be penalties for switching formations in between weeks?  Or can we freely mix it up based on our opponent?

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Just now, Piercewise1 said:

As someone who is not familiar with IRL basketball: will there be penalties for switching formations in between weeks?  Or can we freely mix it up based on our opponent?

I don't have penalties planned for this season. If there's any future work on the engine, it will be to either implement injuries or fouling out players. That and maybe adding flavor to the play-by-play text. We need some dunks in this sim.

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