Conclusion: NBA 2005 is described by one word:brilliant. The improved gameplay with playmaker control is brilliant. The one thing that stands out for me is the new All-Star Weekend. Bringing back the 3-Point contest was a major upgrade, if it's not broke then don't fix it.
Conclusion: NBA LIVE 2005 may not have the presentation that ESPN 2k5 has, but it makes up for it in other areas. The most attractive aspect of NBA LIVE 2005 is its Dynasty mode, which put's ESPN's franchise mode, "The Association" to shame. I love both games, and i think both are worth the money.