IGN writes: "NBA 2K as a series has always been more about bringing out the finer points of the game of basketball -- from the intricacy of the animations to the little trinkets that help to authenticate the franchise mode -- and NBA 2K9 is no different. There's no "silver bullet feature" as Jeff Thomas from Visual Concepts put it, but there are several additions that are sure to advance the franchise.
For starters, there's now five-on-five online play. That means that every player on the court is now controlled by another human. I know what you're thinking, "How much fun can it be when you don't have the ball?" Well, 2K Sports put the time in to try and make sure that there is plenty to do. Players can use deny defense, but run the risk of having the player they're guarding push by them in a quick cut in the opposite direction. The push and the deny defense are totally user controlled and need to be used wisely."