Originally published on 25 Feb 2013 on Sportskeeda
Right now, Kyrie Irving probably has the best crossover in the NBA. While Mr. Fourth Quarter’s heroics to close out games have been the talk of town, in the all star weekend, he reminded us what he’s capable of as he laid waste to Brandon Knight’s ankles. But he’s been doing that all season long. Here’s a look at one of the moves Kyrie pulled out of his bag of tricks vs the Lakers. For want of a better name, I’ve called it the Kyrie Irving Spin Cycle. Irving uses this move to free himself up for a spinning turnaround jumper after thoroughly confusing the defender.
First, Kyrie gets the ball at the top of the key and does a pump fake. Then, he pulls one foot back as if to drive ahead with the other, as I’ve pointed out here earlier with Iverson. But he pulls the same foot ahead and drives in.
He takes one dribble to the left, stops and whips the ball behind him to the right and pushes off with his back foot.
As he lands on his front foot, he plants it hard and pushes right back with a spin.
While spinning, he’s gathering the ball and turning his head to get a look at the rim for his jumper.
The move has given him a clean look at the basket, which he converts with a jumper.
A lot of the moves the scorers pull off are not designed to get to the rim, but to just get their opponent off balance for a moment which allows them daylight for a jumper like Kyrie did here. Getting defenses to respect your outside shot will make it easier for you to drive in for higher percentage shots.
To sum up:
- start with a pump fake.
- make one hard drive towards the baseline.
- stop and whip the ball behind your back.
- lower your shoulder and take one hard step ahead, and plant your front foot for a spin back.
- as you spin back, either elevate for a turnaround jumper or complete the spin and rise up for a clean jumper.
Here’s the move in action, at the 40 second mark in this video -