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Learning Ball Handling Moves with NBA Players

Here is a video of Stephon Marbury and his “killer” crossover from the show “Sport Science.” Try to ignore Marbury’s banter.

A couple points to consider:

  1. The comparison to Maurice Jones-Drew changing directions and “juking” a player on the football field: one argument that I have made recently in blogs and books is that basketball players have great technical skill with the ball, but they lack the evading or “juking” skills to use the technical skill because they do not develop this skill in touch football games or tag. The football comparison illustrates another way that players benefit from playing more than one sport.
  2. Much of the time is spent with Marbury showing an in-and-out dribble, not a crossover. Around 2:18, Marbury shows the in-and-out move in slow motion. Notice his left leg and the angle of his leg. Most kids focus on the ball with their moves. But, Marbury puts his leg in position to change directions. He gets his knee outside his hip and his foot outside his knee so he can push laterally and explode past a defender. When players legs are straight up and down, the fake is not as good, but more importantly, they do not put their body in position to explode.
  3. When looking at the defender (around 4:47), the defender does not get his knee outside his hip and his foot outside his knee. His upper body sways which limits his change of direction and causes his ankle to buckle. Defensively, you need to get your foot outside your knee and knee outside your hip to create the proper angle to decelerate and change directions. It might take a split-second longer or you may have to step several inches further, but this movement saves time and protects your joints. You cannot play the game straight up and down. You have to be able to “meet your momentum” as Lee Taft says and accelerate and decelerate properly, especially when moving laterally.
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