True Hoops

True Hoops

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kevin Dirk-rant

How meaningful is one move in a preseason game?

Well, let's just say that the NYtimes wrote about it. wrote about it.
And of course,  the Oklahoman had to write about it.

Did you see it?
The move Kevin Durant pulled out of his new bag of tricks during the 2nd quarter of the Thunder's innocuous first pre-season game against Dallas the other night?
Even if you did, it's worth taking another look:

Yes, that's KD pulling out the Dirk Nowitzki one legged fall-away step-back jump shot.
As if this kid didn't already have enough ways the score the ball.

If case you're new to True Hoops NY, I'm a pretty big fan of the step back jump shot.
And you have to know that I gave a shot out to Dirk and his shot before.

What I love about this is that here you have the two-time defending scoring champ still looking for ways to get better and add layers to his game. That is what greatness is all about. It tells you not only about the dedication that Durant has to the game - but also about his intelligence.

I once heard Steve Nash (who should also get credit for taking one legged jump-shots) say "as a basketball player you are always watching other player's games. Half the time to try to prevent them from doing something - the other half to add some of their elements to your own game." 

There is something truly sublime about considering the evolution of the game and a great basketball player. One that is an amalgamation of countless great players before them - but with their own creative nuances as well.

And after what he did in last years playoffs, why wouldn't you want to add Dirk's game to yours?
And KD has been working on it too.
Game recognize game.

Here are some of the major points to executing KD's Dirk step-back:

1) Catch the Ball in the post. Keep the ball away from the defender and protect it with your body. Establish your left foot as your pivot.

2) Using your left pivot, rotate your body so your right foot and shoulder (shooting side for righties) is closest to the basket. Continue to protect the ball.

3) Use your dribble (so it's not a travel) to shift to your momentum to your right foot.

4) Lean into and jab into the defender. As you plant your right foot, use this momentum to push off your right foot and step-back to your left

5) Don't wait until your right leg comes aligned with your left. Once your weight is back on your left foot, lean back and elevate into your shot. This doesn't allow the defender to recover and keeps the space you just created.

6) Keep your right leg in front of you and raise your right knee to face the basket. This serves two purposes: It aligns your body to the basket/guides your shot to the rim. It also serves as a shield between you and the defender. If they try to get to your shot, the defender will have a knee in their chest.

Delonte West never stood a chance. And he played pretty good defense as well.

To make things scarier for potential defenders, think about this: KD executes this move much quicker (with his jab step) than I've ever seen Dirk do it.

It's just the (rapid) evolution of the game.
A jab-step, step-back, one legged fade-away.
KD is mixing and matching different parts to construct the perfect move.

And make no mistake, this is a variation of his jab-step move.
If you feel bad for West, look at the move KD put on LeBron using similar mechanics in a summer league game.

Yes, this was just one move in a meaningless pre-season game.
But really, it was a real-time snap shot of a great artist honing his craft.

1 comment:

  1. Scheim................. LOL..what's up boy?? Great read!! You definitely might have multiple career paths in the works.
    I'll defintiely continue to follow your post here on truehoopsny.

    BTW... i caught the game live. it was a goodie, to say the least. Glad the league is back in motion

    later boy,