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NBA Jam Chronicles - Turbo and Assists

Wow big day. Double feature. Years from now we'll look back on this as a truely huge day.

Turbo

Turbo speeds players up and is helpful when trying to recover defensively or attack the rim.  In fact you have to hold down the turbo button (B in default settings) when attempting a dunk. Important points:  

  • A player's shoes light up with his team color when he is using turbo.  
  • A player has a limited amount of turbo, which is tracked by the meter at the top of the screen.  Once you let go of the turbo button however, the turbo builds back up.  Also while on fire a player has unlimited turbo.  
  • Once you get a feel for the game you know when to use and conserve/rebuild turbo.  There are few things worse than approaching the basket for a bucket, realizing the turbo is exhausted, and being unable to dunk.
Steals

Steals are a somewhat of a crapshoot in NBA Jam. Personally I always prefer to protect the rim - reject shots, catch jumpers and lay-ups, and block dunks. Occasionally I'll chase a player down but I find the risk is higher and the rewards less likely. For example sometimes I like to pressure the ball handler as he brings the ball up the court. However, if my pressure fails and he maintains possession, he often passes to his teammate down court. Now they have a chance at a relatively uncontested shot and I'm out of position.  To complicate matters I have a difficult time recovering unless I'm on fire, as a good deal of turbo was expended chasing the ball handler. And if I'm on fire it was even more of a risk. Bottom line - it's all about protecting the rim. But if you are going to try to steal the ball there are four basic approaches:  

  • The push. By pushing B and C at the same time you can shove your opponent. This is particularly effective when the ball handler is a small player, as he will go flying at times. Occasionally a ball handler will fall to the ground, somehow maintain possession, and then pass it to his teammate. Best-case scenario he loses the ball and it is up for grabs.  
  • The push (elite). I love to push (using B+C as before) and knock down the opponent without the ball, which can lead to a turnover if his teammate makes the mistake of throwing a pass.
  • Swipe at the ball. - By pushing only the C button you can swipe at the ball. This is annoying and often stalls any kind of progress by the ball handler. Furthermore, it can actually force a shot clock violation.  Otherwise it is not that successful.  
  • Get in the passing lane. - This is a pretty advanced move that the computer is more likely to use. On offense the turbo pass (B+C at the same time) helps prevent it. I find standing in the passing lane too passive. I'd much rather protect the rim (obviously) or push.