Some basics (of need): You need a focus mind set. It can and does step up levels according to the situation. Now, it is important to understand that levels are not only vertical, but horizontal. No player will be successful at this level with a standard mode that does not understand the rhythm of certain game situations and how they react toward an internal forward movement. It is also important to expand this integral value toward its' opposite. What I mean by this is that you can be trained to recognize the reactions against your reaction. How does the opponent react toward or in what pattern from your direction? If a Stuckey or a Bynum drive hard toward the hoop, how does everything flow from this reaction? Recognition can be taught (via teaching), but application is understanding the flow of constant tipping points. You need to be an athlete. Flexibility is of utmost importance. This of course should transfer over from the defensive to the offensive side. Foot speed and feet coordination is a must as you dig deeper into the front line. This allows constant and quick adaptation to the situation; especially on defense, since you know not whether your opponent has his habitual flights of fancy. On the latter point, one would hope that some opponent film clips will be to your advantage. I mean, would you be upset upon knowing that you might have to guard someone like Tay? Which leads us to... An intelligent study of the game. Since the average intelligence level (occurring from cognitive understanding at basic commutative thought levels like reading and writing), is at the 8th grade level throughout the U.S., it might not be a great leap of faith (with appropriate coaching, of course) that some osmosis of perception might occur for those young basketball professionals under the age of 25. Since they have had repetitive ability patterns that has been reinforced at least within the last 15 years of their life. This is where psychology come in. Which leads to... Coaching...more on this later.