True Hoops

True Hoops

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kevin Durant's Pre-game post work

A little while ago I wrote a post about Kevin Durant using the Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fade away jumper in a preseason game. At the time it seemed that play was simply an ode to a great player that KD respects. However, really it was an indication that the two-time reigning scoring champ added yet another layer of skill to his game.

At 6'9" with over a 7 foot wing span, having a post game certainly seems like the thing to do.

The amazing thing of course, is how quickly and seamlessly KD seems to have incorporated a post game into his offensive arsenal. Therefore, from a practice perspective, it certainly would be nice to look at what sorts of things KD focuses on - from mechanics to footwork - to have efficiently developed this part of his game.

Well, it just so happens a couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to see KD actually work on his post moves before his game against the New Jersey Nets.

Take a look for yourself:

Just a synopsis of KD's routine (at least for this game):
1) Durant was the first person on the court to workout. But this was for good reason, as you can start to see, the court gets rather crowded (it got even worse after the video ends). You can imagine how hard it is to practice when you have 6 to 8 people all shooting on one basket. Therefore, to get in good work, you have to get on the court early!

2) KD did not warmup. This was amazing - considering how cold it was in the the arena. He literally walked onto the court and just starting shooting from the corner. I guess that was his warmup.

3) After going "around the world" from mid-range, KD then went back "around the world" working on his post moves. After that, he went "around the world" a third time - getting up three point shots. He finished (not pictured here) shooting pull-up three pointers, dribbling from half court.

Attention to detail. 

Kevin Durant is tall - even more so when you see him in person. So, notice how for every post up he has his knees bent before receiving the pass. This was the first thing that stuck out to me when when I was filming. This actually serves a critical function. Being in a lower position allows KD to make a move once he catches the ball - without delay. You can actually see KD making a lot of quick moves and even moving (his feet) with the momentum of the ball from the right block when he starts (closest to the camera). In all, posting up in this knees bent position enables him to move faster, preventing a would be defender from setting up. Think of it as a "triple threat" position for post players.

Beyond posture, this is really a great video to look at his foot work. 
Almost all of the time when KD catches the ball he establishes his left foot as the pivot. This allows him to face up the defender and place his right foot - which is his strong side being a right handed shooter - closer to the basket and dictate his move:


What KD is great at (along with Carmelo Anthony) is facing up the defender and then hitting them with a quick "rip through" to swing the ball through to his right side and blow by the defender. In turn, KD often counters this with a jab step with his right foot - in essence to fake the rip through - and then go in the opposite direction. Of course, lately KD has added the step-back/fade-away jumper after his initial jab step (check out the 5:30 mark). Keep in mind, any time KD posts from the right block, with his right shoulder closest to the basket (like the picture above) - he is naturally in a position to facilitate this process. However, you'll also notice even when KD catches the ball with his left shoulder closer to the basket, he still uses his left foot as a pivot. In this case, KD will swing his body 180 degrees either to go right into his shot or get his right foot/shoulder is in front to make a move. 

One of the only times KD uses his right foot as a pivot is on the left block (away from the camera). You'll notice here that he turns away from the middle and towards the baseline for a fade-way jumper. Still, he ends up having his right foot/shoulder closer to the basket in a position that favors him going up into his shot.

So, you got all that?
Sure you do.
You'll be a scoring champ in no time!

No comments:

Post a Comment