The good side
In my NBA Jam playing prime my friends and I often argued over "the good side". This stemmed from the discovery that it seemed a lot easier to block shots when defending the hoop on the left side of the screen. (Notice I say "discovery" as if we found a cure for cancer or something. I'm jackass). I attribute this to the fact that while playing alone people generally use the first controller and thus get accustomed to defending the basket on the left. And since the creators of NBA Jam did not make teams switch baskets after the half, few people get regular experience defending the basket on the right. Generally the better player should use the second controller as a handicap of sorts. I recommend using the second controller against the computer to get comfortable in all situations. Why? Well if you ever have to play the grim reaper in NBA Jam you know he's grabbing the first controller. And you don't want to be unprepared when your existence is on the line. Although on the plus side the second players gets the ball to start the game as well as the second and fourth quarters.