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Everything Lakers fans should know about NBA 2K21

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If you can believe it, Alex Caruso still has a sub-80 rating in NBA 2K21.

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NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 hit shelves — both virtual and physical — on Friday, and this year’s edition feels different. Sure, the face scans are practically the same as they were last year, but there are no rookies because the NBA hasn’t held its draft yet, and the latter of those two things is why NBA 2K21 feels different: it feels incomplete, much like the 2019-20 season.

That being said, there are a handful of new things in NBA 2K21, like the revamped shot meter, the MyCareer storyline (which might be the best MyCareer storyline since NBA 2K17) and, of course, the ratings.

The Los Angeles Lakers are tied for the third-best team rating in the game with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors, despite finishing their 2019-20 regular season campaign with the best record in the Western Conference (81). The LA Clippers and Brooklyn Nets have the highest team ratings (83), followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (82).

Here are the overall ratings for the players on the Lakers’ roster, which is the same roster they brought with them to Orlando.

Overall ratings

LeBron James: 97

Anthony Davis: 95

Dwight Howard: 78

JaVale McGee: 78

Danny Green: 77

Rajon Rondo: 76

Kyle Kuzma: 76

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 75

Markieff Morris: 75

Alex Caruso: 75

Avery Bradley: 74

J.R. Smith: 74

Quinn Cook: 73

Dion Waiters: 73

Jared Dudley: 73

Talen Horton-Tucker: 71

Devontae Cacok: 69

Kostas Antetokounmpo: 68

NBA 2K21

It should come as no surprise that James has the highest rating on the Lakers, considering he’s the team’s best player. James’ 97 rating is tied for the highest in the game with Giannis Antetokounmpo. James Harden (96), Kawhi Leonard (96) and Stephen Curry (95) round out the top-five.

James is also ranked in the top-five in pass accuracy (5th), pass IQ (T-1st) and pass vision (1st). That’s pretty impressive for someone that’s been in the game for 18 years.

Here are a few other things I found interesting while navigating the Lakers’ ratings:

  • Kyle Kuzma’s overall rating dropped eight points from the start of last season. Meanwhile, Alex Caruso’s improved by two points.
  • Jared Dudley has the highest 3-point rating (88) on the team, followed by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (83) and Markieff Morris (82). Three Lakers have a 3-point rating of 81: Quinn Cook, Dion Waiters and Danny Green.
  • LeBron has the best perimeter defensive rating on the team at 89, followed by Danny Green (87) and Avery Bradley (84). Rajon Rondo has the same perimeter defensive rating as Anthony Davis (80), which is the same defensive rating as Luguentz Dort and is two points better than Alex Caruso’s defensive rating. Sure!
  • Anthony Davis has the best interior defensive rating in the game at 97 despite not having a top-10 block rating. JaVale McGee has a higher bock rating (94) than Davis (89) in NBA 2K21. Additionally, Davis is ranked second in help defensive IQ, only trailing Kawhi Leonard.
  • Devontae Cacok still doesn’t have his face scanned.

Just like every 2K game for the past decade, these ratings will change as the season progresses, as will the game itself. That’s especially true since there will be new consoles coming out during the holiday season and 2K is famous for making substantial leaps with next-gen consoles. But for now, you shouldn’t go into 2K21 expecting it to be much different from 2K20 just yet.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.