LaMelo Ball

Breaking down LaMelo Ball’s NBA 2K23 rating

lamelo ball dribbling
Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski -- USA TODAY Sports

LaMelo Ball is entering year three with the Charlotte Hornets and expectations are through the roof. With early whispers of a rookie max contract extension north of $200 million in the works, many pundits believe this is the year LaMelo takes the next step.

In looking at his NBA 2K23 rating, I’ll analyze each category to determine whether LaMelo is rated appropriately or not. Based on reactions from fans, the current rating is quite polarizing.

Per 2kratings.com, “On NBA 2K23, the Current Version of LaMelo Ball has an Overall 2K Rating of 87 with an All-Around Threat Build. He has a total of 19 Badges.”

I will take a line-by-line analysis of each category, and state whether I agree or disagree.

Related: Breaking down Lonzo Ball’s NBA 2K23 rating

OUTSIDE SCORING

Overall Rating: 87 Outside Scoring
  • 83 Close Shot
  • 76 Mid-Range Shot
  • 82 Three-Point Shot
  • 86 Free Throw
  • 98 Shot IQ
  • 98 Offensive Consistency

LaMelo’s overall outside scoring rating is 10 points higher than older brother Lonzo’s 77. That in and of itself, I agree with. There’s little to no debate that LaMelo is a much more talented scorer than Lonzo. Looking at the overall score, it’s hard to disagree solely from a gut perspective. LaMelo doesn’t have much of a mid-range game, but does possess a very nice floater. I believe over time, his free throw percentage will continue to increase, which will raise his rating in the 2K series as well.

Final Verdict: Agree

INSIDE SCORING

Overall Rating: 69 Inside Scoring
  • 89 Layup
  • 45 Standing Dunk
  • 75 Driving Dunk
  • 52 Post Hook
  • 58 Post Fade
  • 52 Post Control
  • 82 Draw Foul
  • 98 Hands

Based on the category name, I can certainly understand the low rating. LaMelo, who stands a legit 6-foot-7, does not have a back-to-the-basket game, which would immediately elevate his overall scoring prowess. I’m struggling with the 89 layup rating however. Since the age of 16, when I first closely observed LaMelo, I had never seen a player with the dexterity he possesses with both hands. The other attributes can be nitpicked, but there’s no way LaMelo deserves less than a 92 layup rating.

Final Verdict: Disagree

DEFENDING

Overall Rating: 72 Defending
  • 45 Interior Defense
  • 79 Perimeter Defense
  • 73 Steal
  • 51 Block
  • 83 Lateral Quickness
  • 79 Help Defense IQ
  • 89 Pass Perception
  • 75 Defensive Consistency

If this rating were a few years ago, reaching a 60 overall may have been a stretch, if 72 is where he is now. LaMelo has grown leaps and bounds from a player so indifferent about defense, to one who has embraced it as a major component to his game. The encouraging part about this area of LaMelo’s game is due to his body still developing, his defense will naturally get better as he gets stronger. His length and natural defensive instincts give him a leg up already. Don’t be surprised to potentially see LaMelo make an All-Defense team sometime in his career.

Final Verdict: Agree

Related: Fans react to LaMelo Ball’s NBA 2K23 rating

ATHLETICISM

Overall Rating: 80 Athleticism
  • 84 Speed
  • 84 Acceleration
  • 50 Strength
  • 79 Vertical
  • 93 Stamina
  • 89 Hustle
  • 82 Overall Durability

In comparing LaMelo and Lonzo, this category is disappointing. I made mention in the previous breakdown it appears the raters of this game tried hard to subtract points in certain areas to prevent from increasing an overall rating. Lonzo is rated a 78 in this area. Let me put this bluntly: Nobody believes LaMelo is more athletic than Lonzo. LaMelo was given an 89 on hustle compared to Lonzo’s 70. The mere notion of this is asinine to say the least.

Final Verdict: Disagree

PLAYMAKING

Overall Rating: 90 Playmaking
  • 92 Pass Accuracy
  • 88 Ball Handle
  • 84 Speed with Ball
  • 92 Pass IQ
  • 92 Pass Vision

Playmaking is arguably the strongest part of LaMelo’s game, and the NBA 2K23 raters certainly agree. This is the highest rated category for LaMelo, and I emphatically agree as well. Coming into the NBA at 19 years old, LaMelo made an immediate impact as a playmaker. With no-look passes, pinpoint full court dimes, between the leg alley-oops — he seemingly had it all in this area before legally able to purchase alcohol. With two years under his belt, I expect this rating to skyrocket by NBA2K25 to a 99.

Final Verdict: Agree

REBOUNDING

Overall Rating: 58 Rebounding
  • 48 Offensive Rebound
  • 68 Defensive Rebound

I’ve already had my gripe session in the previous breakdown, so I won’t go in too much detail here. Again, if lowering certain categories to prevent giving a higher rating is what has to happen, so be it. LaMelo averaged 6.7 rebounds last season, and recorded several double-digit rebounding games, including grabbing a career-high 17 boards against the New York Knicks, but I digress.

Final Verdict: Disagree

Final Analysis

LaMelo is a star on the rise. His God-given abilities are transcendent, and he has yet to fully reach his potential. He is still learning the nuances of the NBA game, and as he gets stronger, and even more confident, he will be one of the top five players in the league until he’s ready to hang it up.

As for his NBA 2K23 rating, I pegged him for anywhere between 85-88. The 87 for me is an accurate assessment of where LaMelo is currently, as well as where he is headed.

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