The Art of Assisting: NBA’s Top Playmakers Share their Secrets
In the game of basketball, scoring points may be what attracts the most attention, but without the art of assisting, those points would not be possible. Assists are often touted as the unselfish acts that can change the momentum of a game and lead to victory. In the NBA, there are certain players who have honed this art to perfection, seamlessly providing opportunities for their teammates to score. Let’s take a closer look at some of the league’s top playmakers and the secrets they share when it comes to assisting.
Chris Paul, known as CP3, has long been revered as one of the best in the game when it comes to setting up his teammates. His court vision and ability to read defenses are impeccable, allowing him to make split-second decisions with pinpoint accuracy. According to Paul, one of the most critical elements of assisting is communication. In order to create openings for teammates, he emphasizes the importance of constantly talking, signaling, and encouraging his fellow players to move and position themselves effectively. Such communication sets the stage for successful assists, making it easier for him to find his teammates in the right spots at the right time.
LeBron James, the undisputed leader and floor general for his teams, considers patience as a crucial aspect of the art of assisting. He believes that knowing when to attack and when to distribute the ball is key. James possesses the rare ability to command attention from multiple defenders, which creates opportunities for his teammates to get open. By drawing defenders onto himself and then making the right pass at the perfect moment, James maximizes the potential of every player on the floor.
Ricky Rubio, well-known for his impressive court vision, highlights the importance of observation and anticipation. Rubio constantly studies opponents’ defensive schemes, enabling him to predict movement and develop a plan of action. By accurately anticipating how defenders will react, he can create passing lanes and execute precise passes to his teammates. Rubio’s ability to predict and deliver the ball is a testament to the hours he has spent studying and understanding the game.
Steve Nash, a two-time NBA MVP and one of the greatest playmakers of all time, emphasizes the significance of footwork and body control. According to Nash, being able to control your body and maintain balance while making a pass is crucial to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. Nash’s advice to aspiring playmakers is to work on their footwork relentlessly, as it lays the foundation for making quick decisions and precise passes.
The art of assisting is not just about finding open teammates but also about manipulating defenses and creating opportunities. The top playmakers in the NBA understand that the way they pass the ball can either lead to an incredible scoring opportunity or a wasted possession. Their ability to consistently make the right decisions and deliver the ball with precision is what sets them apart.
While each player has their unique style and approach to assisting, their shared secrets provide valuable insights into what it takes to master this art. Communication, patience, observation, anticipation, footwork, and body control are the common themes that emerge from their experiences. As fans, we can appreciate the beauty of their craft and take inspiration from these playmakers as we strive to improve our own basketball skills.