Kareem terrorized the NBA with his skyhook for two decades, Tim Hardaway buckled knees with the killer crossover and The Big German patented the fade away with a knee in your throat. But what are the most unstoppable moves in the NBA today? I took a trip Downtown to break down my top tier.
James Harden’s Euro-Step
Almost as perfectly constructed and delivered as his world-famous beard, James Harden’s Euro Step will sit you down and have you scratch what stubble you dare to call a beard, saying “What?… but how?”
Time and time again, whether in traffic or on the break, Harden will send you packing for Budapest while he’s headed for London.
A quick, long step with his left foot, high rip through and dart back to the right (or vice versa) for the easy finish and that slight contact you made while trying to work out where he was going, just earned him the and-1.
The euro step is such a tough cover. If you don’t react to the first step, Harden can easily continue on that path for the finish. But if you do, he darts back the other direction leaving you no time, space or opportunity to do anything about it.
Potentially this season’s league MVP, James Harden takes the trophy for the owning the league’s most unstoppable move.
Anthony Davis in the Pick & Roll
The pick and roll, when executed correctly, is one of the more effective pieces of offensive action in the game. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin ran it to perfection last season but this year there are some new kids on the block.
Anthony Davis has almost perfected his half of the P&R game and, along with Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, has been giving opposing coaches headaches all season long. Combining a capable, aggressive ball-handler who is not afraid to attack and can make the right read with the league’s most athletic big (who can also pick and pop), has given the Pellies a go-to option that can simply pick you apart.
More often than not teams get caught trying to help their guard slow down Holiday/Evans coming of the pick. That gives The Brow a half-step advantage on his opponent and when you’re talking about this kind of athlete, half a step may as well be a football field. A pinpoint lob and you find yourself in the background of an Upper Deck collector’s addition.
Steph Curry’s Pull-Up
How the hell does a pull-up get into the most unstoppable moves bracket? Because it’s invisible!
Defenders simply can’t see it coming. It’s inevitable, they know that, but they have no idea when or where it’s coming from as the second Steph gets a meter over half court he’s within range.
Curry’s ability to shoot the ball is ridiculous. However, what amazes me most is his ability to shoot just as effectively off balance, off the dribble, coming over a pick, with staggered feet, from a meter behind the arc or in practically any situation.
His ability to make these kinds of crowd-pleasing shots reminds of a younger Kobe Bryant; the confidence and ability to stop on a dime in transition or off a pick and light a team up from outside.
Apart from some Blake Griffin good ol’ fashioned Mozgoving, there’s nothing more exciting in today’s game than Steph Curry heating up from deep.
The LeBron James ‘Steam Train’
The ‘euro-step’, ‘pick and roll’ and ‘pull up jimmy’ are all terms we’ve become familiar with over the journey. LeBron James, however, is an athlete like few others. For this reason I’m coining his most dominate current move, the ‘Steam Train’!
Once LeBron gets out on the break or takes it off the rim and sparks the Cavs’ offensive transition there’s not a lot opposing defenders can do about it bar pray to the gods for some reprieve.
LeBron’s combination of enormous strength and athleticism is unmatched across The Association; he can either beat you with quickness or power. Or both!
When LBJ is coming at you with speed and has you retreating, keeping him off the line for the bonus free throw is a positive result.
LaMarcus Aldridge’s Midrange Jumper
With the increase in advanced analytics influencing all aspects of the game, the midrange jumper has become a dying artform in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge, however, has managed to turn the midrange into his patented move, using it to drive the Trail Blazers into the postseason.
Whether it’s out of the pick and pop, an elbow catch or his baseline turnaround, LMA has proven to be one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA at the offensive end.
Standing at 6’11, his shot is already tough to contest, but when he gives you a little bump to create space and spins into the turnaround to create even more room, suddenly you find yourself in some deep shit. Just ask Terrance Jones and Omer Asik….
OK… so you’ve done your research and guessed correctly – somehow you’ve managed to stay with LMA despite all his wheeling and dealing. Even if you’ve managed to stay on his hip, Aldridge’s release is so high – from well above his head at almost full extension – even the NBA’s primary shotblockers struggle to change his shot.
Kyrie Irving’s Crossover Series
Kyrie owns arguably the best handles in the league and he’s not afraid to show you (well at least show you and then take it away).
In the confines of this season, there doesn’t seem like much opposing defenders can do when Kyrie starts to put them in his mixtape. We saw glimpses of it last season but his potency from beyond the arc this year has turned what was a tough cover into one hell of a nightmare for even the league’s best defenders.
Kyrie is hitting over two triples a game at over 40 percent this season, both career highs. As a result, defenders are having to get up in his space to take that away. This, of course, plays right into Uncle Drew’s hands, allowing him to use his myriad of dribble moves to get to the rim.
Once he has a step on you the game is over, as even longer defenders who can usually contest from a step behind have found that Kyrie’s ability to finish in traffic at the rim has elevated to the next level.
- Tim Duncan’s Face-up Bank Shot
- Kyle Korver’s Turnout 3-ball
- Boogie Cousins Bully-ball
- Monta Ellis’ Late-game Elbow Jump Shot
- Kevin Durant’s Size-up Dribble J
Got some other suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below.
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