3. Uncanny feel for the game
Feel for the game.
We throw that phrase around quite often, but I rarely hear about it elaborated upon. I define “feel for the game” with a combination of processing speed, advance pace and eye manipulation, and execution.
You can see young players improve their feel of the game when they begin to realize the game is slowing down for them. The game isn’t slowing down, it’s their processing speed getting faster.
This was my biggest concern about Amen Thompson going into the draft.
I was not convinced that Overtime Elite could produce a point guard prospect that could process the speed of the NBA. Then he showed out in front of the world, Amen put his feel for the game on display in his sole Summer League game.
Letting the game come to him, and affecting the game in a way that keeps his teammates in rhythm. Upon writing this article I also watched his game in The Basketball Tournament, a league filled with grown men who have either NBA experience or play overseas.
Amen routinely made heady plays and created advantages for his team, pump faking a pass or shot, waiting for the defense to shift, and finally making an explosive and decisive move for a shot or pass attempt. Watching the game, it is easy to imagine Amen’s effectiveness with more talented teammates.