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Playing and Learning

This week, for the first time in years, I've been playing an NBA video game. How I came by the game (and which one it is) is a story for another day. But while I've been pouring time into trying to get better, I realized that it wasn't just the controls I was attempting to master, it was the X's and O's too.

The last time I went video game crazy was way before I joined PtR. And while I'd been watching basketball since I was a youngster, and even played for my high school team, it wasn't until I started reading and commenting here regularly that I realized that I didn't really understand the game half as well as I thought I did. Now, going back and playing again is a new experience, and I'm thinking about entirely different things than I used to.

All I used to care about on offense was whether the point guard was fast enough to beat his man off the dribble and break down the defense for an easy layup, or passing out for an open three pointer. As long as I had two of those guys (a speedster and a bomber) then I could score all the points I needed. But the games are designed better now, and I'm challenging myself to compete in the same way that an actual NBA team would.

And, in the same way that I learned more about the game from blogging, the time I've spent playing a video game is also informing my ability to better comprehend what I see when I watch the Spurs. Which makes me wonder about those of you who play NBA video games. What have you learned from playing? What kinds of things do you see while watching a game, that you learned to watch for while playing? And what kinds of things do you notice while watching, that help you play better?