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CharlieMurphy is offline Old 03-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...e=ScoutingPost

Quote:
Editor's note: This is Part 1 of a series on post moves and other fundamental techniques.

While we generally think of big men as post players, some of the most effective back-to-the-basket players are wing players, too. That's because the key to the post, besides size, is technique.

Here is my list of the best post players in the game today, with a breakdown of four primary post moves -- the jump hook, the turnaround jump shot, the up-and-under and the MJ move.

JUMP HOOK

The jump hook is a shot taken off two feet, as opposed to jumping off one leg (think Kareem's skyhook). It is used when the offensive player has a defender (or two) between him and the rim and fears his shot will be blocked if he shoots a squared-up jump shot.

A jump hook should be released with one hand stretched high while the body angle is perpendicular to the defender's body angle, thereby creating the space to get off the shot.

Another way to create that space is through timing, by releasing the shot at the moment the opponent can't get to it.

The first style is deemed "mechanical," while the second style is a "feel" shot. Both can be equally effective.

Players like Tim Duncan and Yao Ming tend to be more fundamentally sound on this move and exhibit the proper mechanics, while Al Jefferson and Zach Randolph are more natural scorers. Other players, like Elton Brand and Carlos Boozer, can use both methods.

THE BEST


Tim Duncan
The Big Fundamental has all the basic post moves down pat, including this one. He shoots the basic style of jump hook, and at 6-foot-11, his length and technique allows him to get it off with relative ease.

THE REST

Al Jefferson
Born to get buckets, Al Jeff is the modern master of the sneaky jump hook because he has an amazing sense of timing and feel for when to release the ball. He over-rotates his body on the release, which makes the move vulnerable if his timing is not perfect.

Zach Randolph
The left-handed version of Jefferson, with perhaps longer arms, Randolph is the kind of guy who leaves defenders asking, "How did he make that over me?" He's very effective at getting into his jump hook off the drive.

Elton Brand
With long arms and great touch, Brand can be textbook sharp but can "feel" it in, too. He's not especially tall, but long arms and wide shoulders give him ample space to get the shot off.

Carlos Boozer
Like his fellow Dukie, Boozer can beat you both with feel and mechanics. His massive body provides all the space he needs, and his ambidexterity keeps his defender guessing which way he'll turn.

Yao Ming
Not as robotic as you might think, he's a fluid athlete who uses fundamentals to take advantage of his height. He may telegraph that the hook is coming, but he protects the ball to the side of his body opposite his defender. And he's 7-6.


COUNTERMOVE: TURNAROUND JUMP SHOT

Countermoves are vital to a back-to-the-basket player. If the defender knows where you plan to turn or what shot you are looking to create, he can "sit" on the move and cut it off. Great post players have at least two counters to every move, but they get to the counter by first trying to execute the original move. When the defender repositions to cut off that move, the countermove is immediately executed. The proper counter is one that takes the best advantage of the defender's new positioning.

The key to the turnaround jump shot, a staple in NBA games, is the leg drive and the follow-through. Since the player's body flow is taking him away from the rim, he must use his legs and get a strong follow-through to ensure the ball reaches the target.

Most players use a high release point to ensure the ball gets over the defender's hands, but Elton Brand relies on bringing the ball slightly behind his head on his release. Players who grew up playing the post while a bit undersized often resort to this style, but they don't make the shot nearly as often as Brand. Smaller guys, like Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant, usually fade away on the release, demanding an even stronger leg drive and follow-through.

THE BEST

Kevin Garnett
KG is so quick that the defenders must react quickly to his moves, setting him up for the easy counter. And his release point is too high for defenders to block his shot.

THE REST

Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk is like a chess player, inviting you to commit and knowing when you will, then countering under control. As tall as he is, he'll even add a slight fade to his shot, eliminating any chance for the defender to bother his shot and allowing him to focus on making it rather than avoiding the block. Checkmate.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe has a great command of his post game, staying under control and going through his options like a quarterback checks down his receivers. He likes to fade a little too, and his quickness gains him extra space on the release.

Dwyane Wade
D-Wade has a rapidly improving post game, one that he will go to more often as his game advances, just like Michael Jordan did.

Elton Brand
Brand's release point, over his head, enables him to get that turnaround J over anyone. And his excellent jump hook forces the defender to really commit to it, opening up room for the easy counter.

Yao Ming
Though he shoots the shot a little low in relation to his head, his size allows him to be very effective still, and he has a great touch.


COUNTERMOVE: UP-AND-UNDER

Great post players always choose to get an angle to the rim over a contested shot. Layups and dunks are what these guys want most, and they are hungry to get them (average post players too often settle for contested shots). So when they're making their moves and counters, the great post-up guys are always "feeling" their defender for a mistake, which typically comes by way of overcommitting to a move or a fake.

So if the offensive player senses an opponent's mistake, he will fake the shot attempt and take the newly created angle to the basket.

The "McHale move" -- performed to perfection by Kevin McHale -- is one where the offensive player fakes a shot while moving in one direction, then, keeping his pivot foot flat on the ground to avoid traveling, steps in the opposite direction to gain space from his defender while releasing the ball. This often ends up in a dunk or short running hook. Pau Gasol, Eddy Curry and Yao Ming have all become experts in this move.

THE BEST

Pau Gasol
Gasol is such a good shooter and a legit 7-footer, defenders must rise up to contest his shots, which opens up the angle for his up-and-under.

THE REST

Eddy Curry
Curry has become a very good "faker," duping defenders into thinking he's going up when he actually wants a better angle to shoot. They go up, he goes under.

Yao Ming
Classic "McHale move" guy, whose size and touch keep defenders lunging too often.


COUNTERMOVE: DOUBLE PIVOT

Michael Jordan, for a time the best back-to-the-basket player in the game, used to fake a shot while moving in one direction, then instead of stepping in the opposite direction when his defender bit on the fake, Jordan would pivot again in the same direction as he was moving and finish right at the rim.

Picture this: Wade is on the left block, backing his defender down with a right-hand dribble. He quickly pivots toward the baseline like he is going to launch a turnaround jump shot, keeping his body between the ball and his defender. As he starts moving the ball above his head, he senses his defender "stand up," which means he will not be as able to react quickly (try moving fast with straight legs). Wade then pivots again in the same direction, in a sense spinning off his defender and taking the angle that is now there to step to the rim.

That is the "Jordan move," my nickname for this crafty countermove. Wade, Kobe and Butler are the masters now.

THE BEST

Dwyane Wade
Watching Wade operate on the left block is literally like watching old footage of MJ. His double pivot sells best after he's just knocked down a turnaround fade. Next time down the court, his defender will most likely bite on the first pivot.

THE REST

Kobe Bryant
His turnaround J is so good defenders must respect it, and when they get too close he blows by them.

Caron Butler
Butler has tremendous footwork and quickness in tight spaces. Plus, he has great upper-body size and strength. Defenders just aren't sure what to take away, and Butler pounces on their confusion.

David Thorpe is an NBA analyst for ESPN.com and the executive director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Fla., where he works as a personal coach for Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat), Orien Greene (Indiana Pacers), Alexander Johnson (Memphis Grizzlies) and Kevin Martin (Sacramento Kings). You can e-mail him here.

Video scouting services used in this report were provided by Synergy Sports.
So far 3 out of 4 for Yao. Not bad. David Thorpe's becoming one of my favorite writers at ESPN. Dude knows what he's talking about and doesn't bs a lot. I'll post the other parts when it comes out. What do you guys think so far?

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durvasa is offline Old 03-10-2007, 12:35 PM   #2
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Yeah, that was a great peice. David Thorpe was an excellent addition to the ESPN writing staff.

Imagine if Hakeem was playing today. He'd have to make every one of those categories.
 
thacabbage is offline Old 03-10-2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durvasa
Yeah, that was a great peice. David Thorpe was an excellent addition to the ESPN writing staff.

Imagine if Hakeem was playing today. He'd have to make every one of those categories.
He would have new categories made specifically for himself with himself as the only example.
 
Plowman is offline Old 03-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #4
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Excellent article!

Thanks for posting it.
 
Plowman is offline Old 03-10-2007, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thacabbage
He would have new categories made specifically for himself with himself as the only example.
So true.

And that's ONE of the reasons why Dream's the best ever.
 
Omer is offline Old 03-10-2007, 05:47 PM   #6
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T-Mac has a sick turnaround jumper, I don't see why he's not even listed in there.

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Kindger is offline Old 03-10-2007, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omer
T-Mac has a sick turnaround jumper, I don't see why he's not even listed in there.
The article is about post player, TMac is a guard.
 
popojj is offline Old 03-10-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
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rimrocker is offline Old 03-10-2007, 06:24 PM   #9
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Michael Jordan, for a time the best back-to-the-basket player in the game

The author must be talking about the 2002-2003 season, which was the only year that Jordan played with Dream out of the league.

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jaredg777 is offline Old 03-10-2007, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindger
The article is about post player, TMac is a guard.
Umm...DWade and Kobe aren't?.....I agree, Tmac should've made the list
 
tsunami is offline Old 03-10-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
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And why was Shaq not mentioned even once ?
 
Kindger is offline Old 03-10-2007, 07:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredg777
Umm...DWade and Kobe aren't?.....I agree, Tmac should've made the list
What? DW and Kobe are on the list? My bad, they are on my ignore list.
 
CharlieMurphy is offline Old 03-10-2007, 07:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunami
And why was Shaq not mentioned even once ?
Because all of those techniques mentioned above require having a shooting touch, all he can do is dunk the damn ball. It's only Part 1 of his article. I'm sure he will be mentioned in the next one.

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Uprising is offline Old 03-10-2007, 07:44 PM   #14
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tsunami is offline Old 03-10-2007, 07:50 PM   #15
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You can post replies, can't you?
 
NewYorker is offline Old 03-10-2007, 10:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durvasa
Yeah, that was a great peice. David Thorpe was an excellent addition to the ESPN writing staff.

Imagine if Hakeem was playing today. He'd have to make every one of those categories.
They'd have to make a new category - counter-counter-counter-move. They wouldn't have "the best" or "the rest", cause we all know there would just be one name, and one name only - one name in the history of the game - the move often called the best ever, and one that even Jordan himself studied from Hakeem.
 
CharlieMurphy is offline Old 03-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #17
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http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...=ScoutingPost2

PART 2
Quote:
Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a series on post moves and other fundamental techniques.

In our first part of this series, I talked about the best back-to-the-basket players and their pet post moves.

Let's move on to the players who excel at face-up moves from a post position, which can be either the low post, the mid-post or the high post.

Once again, we're talking about some of the superstars of the game, including Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James -- and a couple of names you might not expect.

SIKMA MOVE

The "Sikma move," otherwise known as the reverse pivot, is a simple square-up maneuver that calls for the player to move his non-pivot foot towards the basket (and the defender) as he squares up as opposed to outside and away from the defender. This prohibits the defensive player from stepping up into the offensive player and taking away valuable space. The reverse pivot clears space for an open shot.

THE BEST

Tim Duncan
Duncan's deadly jumphook off the dribble or spin also makes him more effective as a face-up shooter -- a defender has to choose which one to take away, leaving him vulnerable to Duncan's countermove. If you back off of Duncan to get better position to defend his drive, he'll kill you with a quick shot and the "soft kiss" off the glass.

THE REST

Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki has a slight hitch, or pause, in his release which actually enables him to shoot the ball at different parts of his jump -- on the way up, at the top of his jump or on the way down. I would not recommend that shooting style to most guys, but for him, it's just right.

Carmelo Anthony
Anthony is just a nightmare to guard on his face-ups. His combination of quickness, explosiveness and shooting skills make him one of the top face-up guys in the game.

Pau Gasol
Like Duncan, Pau is so effective with his hook and using footwork to gain angles that defenders tend to back off of him in anticipation of a move. Though his release point is lower than ideal, he has the feel to get it off and the touch to finish it. How do you say "The Big Fundamental" in Spanish?

Chris Bosh
Bosh has a few things working for him. Being a lefty is one, and his length and quickness are the others. Guarding him is a little like being an offensive lineman lined up against a fearsome pass rusher on an obvious passing down. When the defender rocks back onto his heels, the shot is delivered.

Yao Ming
Yao appears on almost every list because he is so good at all of these basic skills and has the size and touch to deliver them effectively.


FREEZE FAKE

Maybe the least-used but most effective face-up move, the freeze fake is a slight shot fake (the ball moves from the shooting pocket to the chin) that either freezes the defender or causes him to jump.

In either case, the shooter can take advantage of the defender's action or inaction to get his shot off.

In most situations, a defender needs perfect timing to block a shot. A proper freeze fake throws off the defender's timing and allow the shooter an easier shooting angle.

THE BEST

Dirk Nowitzki
The reigning "fake" king. His size and ability to release the ball at varying points of his shot make him a difficult shooter to contest. Add in his amazing freeze fake and he's nearly impossible to stop.

THE REST

Kobe Bryant
All great scorers need to have this move in their repertoire. Kobe's knack for elevating, fading and finishing on his shot forces defenders to be extra alert, and he often uses that to his advantage. He'll get them to jump early with a great freeze fake, then lean in to draw contact and the foul, or move away and shoot.

Dwyane Wade
Wade has improved as a "quick release" shooter, and uses a freeze fake to trigger a quick reaction from his defender. If the defender stays low, not biting on the fake, Wade shoots his easy fadeaway jumpshot.

FIRST STEP

Nothing can put a defender, even a good one, into jeopardy faster than a great first step.

The key for an effective first step is not pure quickness -- though quickness is important.

Rather, timing is Priority 1. That is, sensing when the defender is not ready to slide and compete for the all-important angle to the rim.

The importance of timing -- and upsetting the defender's timing -- is why the ability to shoot and fake contributes to having a great first step.

THE BEST

Carmelo Anthony
Anthony might be the most underrated athlete we have in the league. Since losing some serious weight last year, he is now incredibly quick and explosive off the triple threat. His timing is perfect as well, so all he needs is a blink of his defender's eye and he's at the hoop, often inflicting harm.

THE REST

LeBron James
Almost a mirror image of Anthony, but 20 "good pounds" heavier. LeBron is so strong that he doesn't have to beat his man as much as others might in order to get the angle. His body does much of the work, then his ability to explode seals the deal.

Chris Bosh
You know you're quick when you can beat your man going left even though the defender is positioned to force you right. Bosh's improvement as a passer out of double-teams causes teams to sometimes defend him with one man. Big mistake.

Dirk Nowitzki
You might be surprised to see him here, as he is not known for quickness, but timing and feel are extremely valuable as well. He's such a prolific shooter and he's so tall that defenders often have to guard him closely to contest his shot. Dirk uses this to his best advantage with a strong first step to the hoop.

David Thorpe is an NBA analyst for ESPN.com and the executive director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Fla., where he works as a personal coach for Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat), Orien Greene (Indiana Pacers), Alexander Johnson (Memphis Grizzlies) and Kevin Martin (Sacramento Kings). You can e-mail him here.
Yao's 1 for 3 on this one, and 4 for 7 overall. He's tied for the most number of appearance so far along with...believe it or not, Dirk (one in which he leads in). How'd that happen? Any idea on how many parts there are to this series?

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