NBA 2K23: Who are the biggest snubs in the game’s ratings? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It’s a common theme that happens in every NBA 2K game: Some ratings aren’t always on par with a player’s production from the past season.
While Thompson’s 3-point rating (88) and Brown’s overall player rating (87) are worthy inclusions on this list, let’s omit them for others.
Here are five of the biggest snubs from NBA 2K23, the latest installment of the gaming franchise:
Pascal Siakam – 86 overall
After being an 87 overall in NBA 2K22, Pascal Siakam dropped one point to 86 in 2K23. Though he and the Toronto Raptors endured a sluggish start last season, Siakam was at the heart of the team’s charge up the Eastern Conference ladder. That included a 16-game stretch in March where he averaged 25.9 points per game followed up with 28.4 points per game in five April contests.
The 28-year-old sustained solid shooting, rebounding and playmaking numbers despite playing 37% of his minutes at center, the most in his career by far. Toronto’s small-ball, wing-heavy lineups brought them to fifth place, and though a disappointing first-round exit ended its season, Siakam’s overall should not have gone down as a result – if anything, it was quite the opposite.
Mikal Bridges – 83 overall, 82 perimeter defense
The Phoenix Suns, by an extremely thin margin, had the third-best defense in the regular season last year; they could’ve very well been first. A collective team effort is required to sustain such quality over the course of 82 games, and fourth-year forward Mikal Bridges played a vital role in that. Not only did he play all 82 games but he was arguably the most instrumental defender on the squad.
However, that’s not reflected in his 2K23 overall or perimeter defense rating. His overall rating did not increase from 2K22 – it stayed at 83. And his perimeter defense rating is 82 (A-minus), which is second on the team behind Chris Paul’s 90. For someone who finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last year, both of those ratings should be higher.
Kenrich Williams – 63 perimeter defense, 77 3-point shot
Moving on to one of the most underrated players in the NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams comes next for two different reasons. One is the perimeter defense, where the 27-year-old has made a reputation in Oklahoma. He’s aggressive, tough to beat at the point of attack, strong in one-on-one situations and is just generally much better than he gets credit for. He ranks ninth on the team in perimeter defense behind players like Ty Jerome and Aleksej Pokuševski, which shouldn’t be happening.
On the other hand, he has the fifth-best 3-point rating on the team despite being 10th in 3-point percentage last season at 33.9% with 0.8 makes a game. Williams’ profile is not completely accurate, but his 75 overall is a fair starting point (even though it should be 77).
Russell Westbrook – 78 overall
Russell Westbrook’s homecoming season with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go as planned. He started 2K22 with an 86 overall but slowly declined after uncharacteristic form throughout the season. The former league MVP is now 78 overall, third-highest on the team and where he ended on 2K22. You won’t get many arguments that he’s still the player he once was back in 2016, but it seems pretty harsh to drop him all the way to 78 within a season. His shot IQ is also 25, which is tied for the lowest in the game, but not exactly surprising.
For comparison’s sake, other players rated 78 overall include Patrick Beverley, Westbrook’s new teammate, Cole Anthony, Jakob Poeltl and rookies Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr. Surely Westbrook should’ve started off somewhere between 80-83?
Kristaps Porziņģis – 85 overall
This one isn’t exactly a snub, moreso a “How does he keep getting high ratings?” type of snub for other players. Porziņģis’ numbers are solid, but when you watch him, it’s evident he’s a shell of his pre-ACL tear self. That’s why the Dallas Mavericks moved on from him. But after posting intriguing numbers (22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists on a 48-37-87 shooting split) in 17 games with the Washington Wizards, Porziņģis has jumped to an 85 overall in 2K23 after starting 2K22 at 84 overall.
Westbrook got hammered for one subpar season, but Porziņģis is still going strong after one 17-game run. And as aforementioned, Siakam fell despite achieving things that carried more substance. Porziņģis also has higher ratings than Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Fred VanVleet and De’Aaron Fox just to name a few players. We’ll see how this rating bears as the season progresses, but plenty of stars got snubbed from a potential better rating.