Originally published on 15 Jan 2013 on Sportskeeda
Here’s another move broken down into steps through a slideshow. Watching these players on TV, I bemoan their speed at times. It’s aesthetically pleasing to watch but a lot of subtle nuances are missed when you see them move at the speed they do. Take this move of Allen Iverson‘s for instance. It looks pretty straightforward – just a routine crossover with change of direction. But the amount of space it has created between him and his man is a testament to its effectiveness and suggests that there is more to the move than what meets the eye.
In this case, Iverson is coming off a screen and the defence has switched on him. He goes hard at an angle towards the far end of the basket, getting the defender to pace up with him.
Watch as Iverson stops on his left foot here. He doesn’t just stop. While moving at a good speed, he plants his foot ahead of his body and applies the brakes with it.
Take a closer look at the feet of the players. The defender has his closer foot planted but his momentum is still carrying him away. He has to move the other foot away from Iverson. That creates some more space between them.
Now this change of direction is accompanied with Iverson getting into the runner’s stance. Like a sprinter at the starting block, he crouches down low, ready to power ahead. Look at how efficiently he gets into it. First he pulls the ball back between his legs, then with his left foot, he crouches down low while simultaneously pulling his right leg back.
Normally, one would move one of the two feet forward when wanting to move forward. Iverson gets off the block with uber efficiency. Instead of moving ahead, he gets down low and ploughs ahead while lowering his shoulder.
Take a minute to muse on the plight of the defender at this point. First, he thought Iverson was driving to the far end of the basket. Then he thought Iverson may pull back for a jumper. Now he’s absolutely convinced that Iverson is going to drive in for a layup.
Iverson just takes two steps ahead before fading away for a jumper. The defender has overcommitted to prevent the drive, when he sees Iverson pulling away for a fadeaway, all he can do is watch as AI gets it.
You can see this move at the 2:15 mark in this video.https://www.youtube.com/embed/v8pXwYH_cL8
You ought to play the move out in your head before applying it. Play it back in your mind over and over, to the point where you can anticipate the defender’s movement even before executing it.