True Hoops

True Hoops

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Doing the Durant

Hey, want to get lessons in scoring form the world's best, Kevin Durant?
Do you?
I mean, why wouldn't you?
For the month of January he did average 38 points on 55% shooting from the field and 44% from three (to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists) while leading OKC to a 12-4 record. Not to mention a 10 game winning streak that included a thrashing of the two-time defending champs on their home court. And oh yeah, all of this done without Russell Westbrook.

I've said this before (at least two years ago): Kevin Durant is the best offensive player in the world. Right now, you can even say that he is the best player in the world period.
But sticking with the offense, it truly is mind boggling the battery of moves Kevin Durant has in his offensive repertoire to choose from.

For instance, take a loos at this move he put on the Kings:

Now, for educational purposes, why don't we break it down.

1) Catch the ball at the of the key facing the defender and the basket. Notice how Kevin has his left foot planted as a pivot while starting to swing his right towards the defender. By the way, is this an isolation play? How can any team in their right mind allow Durant an iso on only one defender?!?

2) Now with his right foot fully swung around - look at how Kevin's right side of his body, including his shoulder, serves as a shield to protect the ball in his left hand. And notice how tall Kevin is.

3) This is where he starts to execute his move. As Kevin bounces the ball on the floor, he starts to lean in lower into his defender, yet jabs his right foot into the ground and actually uses it to push off in the opposite direction (see insert). if you go back to the video, this is a fairly quick all-in-one motion.

4) Kevin's initial move, leaning into the defender while bouncing the ball, is towards the basket. And in reaction to this dribble move, the defender's momentum is carrying him in that direction (red arrow). BUT, having pushed off with his right leg, Kevin starts to raise up (along with the basket) and steps back into the opposite direction.

5) Even if it only takes a second to execute his move, look at how much space Kevin has managed to generate between him and his defender. Also, notice how Kevin has managed to swing his body and right foot around, while stepping back, to face the basket again. You can also see that Kevin's left foot is slightly off the ground. This is because after his dribble, Kevin release it from being a pivot and actually uses a little hop to back into this shooting position.

6) Did I say shooting position? Off a dribble/jab-step/step-back from the three point line?
Yep. Too much space. Too much skill. All kevin has to do is rise up into his shot.

First thing to
Second thing to note......many of these moves run parallel to the one's displayed by LeBron when he did the Dirk. Go ahead, compare and contrast. But this move is different. It's Kevin's own that combines many mini-moves: Face-up, pivot, jab-step....of the dribble, step back....all from three. 
Think about the evolution. Dirk (face up, pivot, fade away), Melo (jab step), and LeBron all can perform different components of this entire move. But here, Kevin is packaging all of them.

And just to let you know, this is something Kevin has worked on for a while now.
And it's something he is able to perform on even the best defenders/players in the world. 

So, now that we've gone through all of that, are you ready to do the Durant?

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