True Hoops

True Hoops

Monday, April 4, 2011

Variation on a theme

It's great to see a professional application of the step-back jumper case study, especially so soon after the  previous post.

Kyle Lowry must have been reading up on Kemba Walker's move, as he used used it the other night to take the Spurs into overtime. Check it out for yourself.
The whole check list seems to be in order:
1) Set-up the step-back by coming off of a screen, having the defender(s) chase you.
2) Mechanics - right handed shooter, dribbling to his left. Pushing off with his right foot with his body in proper alignment to shoot the ball.

Nice job Kyle. 
Thanks for checking out True Hoops.

Since we were fortunate enough to learn from the soon to be NCAA tournament MOP, Maybe we can move to the NBA and learn something from the soon to be NBA MVP, Mr. Derrick Rose himself.

Check out this move from the other night:

An isolation play setting up the defender for a cross-over to create space for a shot.
Pretty nice piece of ball handling, don't you think?

The great thing about this move is that it was fairly simple, as most go-to moves should be. 
Each move that is executed by an offensive player should have a function, and in most cases it is to create space to get your shot off (as is the mantra here at True Hoops).

The one thing that we should notice by now is that all of these functional moves are really just variations of one another. How different is this cross over by D. Rose really from a step-back?
He is using his speed to make the defender play catch up and then crossing it back over in the opposite direction to create space by using the defender's momentum against him.

The break down:

1) Two dribbles between the legs.  
This is more to flash his swagger and let the defender know he his is in trouble.
But don't downplay the significance of it getting Rose into rhythm.
This is really a set-up to his cross-over.

2) Bounce and hesitation
The second between the legs dribble is really what's important.
Notice how Rose takes a little bounce in his step as he gets the ball back in his right hand.
It's subtle, but substantial.
This bounces is giving Rose the needed momentum to go into his next move.
It also serves as a slight hesitation before changing speeds.
After the bounce/hesitation Rose doesn't even take another dribble. Once the ball actually gets into his right hand,  he uses it's momentum and continues to go right, putting the defender on his heels.

I always tell people, once you can establish this bounce in your step, you pretty much have the defender at your mercy. At this particular point you are dictating what happens next and can go into any number of moves. It's a little pause/hesitation that leaves the defender having to guess what you'll be doing next.

Think about how fast Rose is playing at one speed.
Now imagine him taking a little pause and having you guess when he is going to turn it on.

3) The cross-over
This is the real change of speed.
Just when the defender thinks they are able to stay in front after Rose goes between the legs, Rose is going back in the other direction......with a lot of space between the defender and him.
And dig this.
To change speeds and direction so quickly Rose is pushing off with his lead foot, his right foot.
Sound familiar?

If you listen, the commentator is actually wrong.
Rose doesn't take a hard dribble to the right.
He pushes off with his right foot to take a hard dribble back to his left, yanking the ball back with his cross over.

What's cool about this particular cross is that it is more north to south rather than side to side.
Remember, making a move from north (going to the basket) to south (going away from the basket) is the optimal way to create space because you are changing direction by 180 degrees and thereby make it harder for the defender to recover.

And as you might have guessed, as Rose pushes off with his right foot and crosses back to his left hand, it still leaves his body in proper alignment to go right up into his shot.

Different move.
Similar mechanics.
Same result.

1 comment:

  1. The announcer was right about one thing: That was nasty. My goodness.

    Change of speed is as important as change of direction. Keeps the defender on their heels. Knowing you're only going really slow or really fast makes you that much easier to guard. Maybe not so much if you always go fast but at this point your defender is already building up steam to move with you while making your move to the goal. A young Jason Williams (the white one, for clarification purposes) was told by a then (more) respected Stephon Marbury that you can't go 100 mph all the time. It just won't work after a while. Why? If you're setting up your defender for an offensive outburst, what are you actually going to change once a move is made. Direction? Sure, but that's expected. But you're already half beat cuz I know what speed you're going when you get there. I may already be there waiting to block your shot. Or steal the ball. And to make matters worse, I'll then show you on the other end of the floor how its done.

    Going back to the MVP's move, oh man, what a beauty. It essentially was a step back with the dribble as opposed to his feet. The set up was important because the defender knows how fast Rose is, but the between the legs was at a much slower pace. Offensive brilliance. I may have to incorporate this move into my own repertoire for further defender exploitation.

    That really was nasty.