The aim-meter mechanic is really hard to grasp, but has led to NBA 2K Coins some quite satisfying one-on-one isolation successes. It's nice having the ability to use the right stick exclusively as a sculpting tool until I'm ready to pull back to get a shot. The ability to size-up, which can be tied to special dribbling animations for lots of the top players in the league, and isolate is much better than ever. I spent a couple of hours experimenting with different playstyles, like easing the pick-and-roll with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. It's tremendously rewarding to use Doncic's size and footwork to create space - something that I couldn't replicate with other guards around the group, such as Seth Curry. While it isn't entirely new, NBA 2K21's capability to emulate players' playstyles is outstanding this season.
That said, there are already a couple annoying gameplay issues I have come across, too. Fastbreaks seem slightly improved, but player spacing is still noticeably off. For instance, even my best three-point shooters will track inside the three-point lineup on fast breaks when they would be better off locating space in the corner. In general, it feels like NBA 2K21 hasn't fully adapted to the emphasis contemporary NBA basketball has put on the line. Quick catch-and-shoots are not as common as they should be, and final out is still far too easy on defense.
Likewise frustrating is the CPU's capacity to make problems for itself. It functioned as a jarring reminder that I was not, in actuality, experiencing a true game of NBA basketball.
From a cursory glance, MyLeague seems to have received nearly zero updates. The mode has a good set of Buy NBA 2K21 MT Coins features built into it already, but that is the second year in a row without noteworthy advancements. As somebody who loves to deep-dive into franchise building, it's really disappointing that there's so little effort being put into the mode.