Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing With Those Who "Know"

Many times when I'm playing pickup games, I get stuck on a team of strangers and we struggle because there is no chemistry since we don't know what to expect from each other. I really hate it when that happens. Occasionally I encounter a new player whose style is compatible with mine and things just seem to click.

Some players are obviously more talented or athletic than others, but some have an intangible ability to communicate and play on a different level with their teammates. It's almost like they on a higher plane or have telepathic abilities when it comes to communicating with those they are playing with.

I refer to these people as guys who "know". Their understanding of the game and experience allows others to put their trust in them. These players don't have to bark out orders to their team or design planned plays to get the job done. Sometimes their communication is conveyed with just a glance, subtle gesture, body language, or just giving off vibes. These players are sometimes referred to as having eyes in the back of their head. Their anticipation, court awareness, and ability to see three or four steps ahead of the present make them very effective. Guys like Bird, Magic, and Nash fit this description.

These kind of players are known for taking advantage of their opponent by running the give and go, making  unexpected passes, or quick outlets. That sort of play is expected from guys who have played with each over time, but one of the most beautiful things about the sport is when two strangers get put together on the same team and have instant chemistry. It's rare when this happens, but I love playing with those kind of players.

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