Before getting into the new play modes, let's look at the game mechanics - which have always been one of the series shakier, yet constantly improving elements. The best news to come out of NBA 09 is that the three-colored shooting mechanic is back. This has always been my favorite aspect of the game, especially since I'm not that great at knowing when to take a shot and when to try for a better angle. Just as you're about to shoot the ball, a ring will appear around the ball; if the ring turns green you've got the shot, while a red outline means you're not going to make it. The first time you use the ring it is confusing and it is tempting to turn the feature off. However, given some time it grows on you and becomes your best friend on the court.