This game is outstanding. An Excellent simulation. The way it makes you work really hard with clever passing to create the space to get to the rim is brilliant, especially on the highest difficulty. The dunk stick is brilliant, letting you choose what style of dunk to do when you finally create the space, and if you get a classy dunker(Bryant or James for example) the results can be dazzling!!
The defending is very challenging, you need to keep them away from the basket, you can't just repeatedly press the steal button and hope to get the ball back, you will give fouls away if you do this.
The association mode is very in depth, with trades, contract renewals, training, player development. This all seems to be available in a potentially life consuming online mode, but i haven't been brave enough to do this yet!! I don't see much of the sun as it is! The street mode, is a completely different game, where there are no fouls and slightly easier routes to the basket.
One down side i found is the player likenesses, which are acceptable at best, but when it plays and looks this good(the sweat is particularly impressive!) the fact the face isn't quite right, doesn't really matter.
I've had this game since it's release and am still playing it, long after the fifa's and Gears of War of this world are gathering dust. If you want a simulation get this, if you want a game with easy dunks and easy steals, get this and just play the street mode! It really has got something for everyone, except people who don't like basketball...