Your mid-range game is fire. You consistently make shots from deep, but you just don’t have that move to get you closer to the basket for an easier shot. You want to be well rounded. You want to be a scorer, not just a shooter. You want to be able to score from anywhere on the court.
What move is missing from your arsenal?
The move you’re missing could be the Kyrie Irving cross spin move. Kyrie Irving has used this move throughout his career, and it has helped him score bucket after bucket. He puts defenders on a spin cycle with this move. He has them at his mercy.
How does he do this?
First, he identifies the defender overplaying him. He then may execute a half spin and come back right away. He may also completely spin 360 degrees and go all the way to the basket. He plays with the defenders and chooses his move based on how the defender tries to stop his move. They try. Oh, they try, but they rarely stop him.
Follow these steps below to learn how to use the Kyrie Irving cross spin move to blow by defenders on your way to the basket to score.
As you dribble, you must take your defender to one side or the other. Dribble purposefully to the right or to the left. You MUST go in either direction. A spin move does not work when you drive straight into your defender. You need to create space for your spin move.
How does the move begin?
You are coming down the court towards the top of the key, and the defender is waiting for you. You know the defender is going to try to cut off your drive to the right, so he/she is overplaying you. You take your first dribbles to the right knowing you are going to use the spin move to get by the defender going to the left.
As you take your last dribble to the right, you must PLANT with your left foot. This will allow you to pivot and swivel towards your backside. When you pivot, you want to pivot on the BALLS of your feet. By using the balls of your feet, you will have less friction which will cause you to go even faster on your spin/pivot.
Crossover -> Spin Move
You can set your spin move up with a crossover, through the legs or behind the back dribble. Remember, you want to take the defender in one direction. By crossing over, you are establishing the direction you want to go. The defender will think you want to go to the right because of your INITIAL move. When the defender jumps in front of you to stop the move, you IMMEDIATELY plant, pivot, and spin away from the defender going to the left.
As you execute your spin move to the left, your right foot should drop DIRECTLY to the basket, so you can attack. You want to execute your drop step quickly, so the defender will not have time to recover and get back in front of you.
What if the defender doesn’t jump in front of me when I dribble between my legs?
Keep GOING to the hoop. If you can beat your defender with just a quick change of direction move like an in between the legs move, use it. The spin move is there as a progression if the initial move is not there. Do not force it.
While you are making your spin move, it is important not to put your palm under the ball. This will result in a CARRY and a PALMING call. You also don’t want to change hands too early in your spin. If you change hands too early, the ball is left unprotected from the defender. The defender may be able to swipe it away from you.
When do I switch hands?
This takes practice. You should change your dribble hand when your back is to the basket. As soon as you change hands, you can immediately get into your move and attack the basket.
You could also do a DROP dribble. This allows you to get into your shot a little quicker. It also allows you to advance the ball up and create more space.
Both dribbling techniques work well. As soon you spin by your defender, use one of those techniques and go hard to the basket or pull up for a nice jump shot.
Remember, the purpose of the spin move is to get by a defender who is OVERPLAYING you to one side. It takes practice getting used to the move. Once you feel comfortable using the move, it will become an EFFECTIVE weapon for you on the court.
Drill #1 Ball Control (20 reps w/each hand)
This drill is one of the BEST drills to improve ball control, and you can do it anywhere. You don’t need a gym. All you need is a hard surface and a line. If you don’t have a line, you could use tape. You could even use a string.
You stand with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart. You will POUND dribble on your right side and then bring the ball over to the left side with the same hand. You will pound dribble on the left side and bring the ball over with the same hand to the right side. You will continue this pattern for 20 repetitions. Then you will complete the drill using your left hand.
Is this just a v-dribble or a windshield wiper dribble?
This is NOT a v-dribble or a windshield wiper dribble!! The ball is not going to bounce on the line in the ground between your legs. The ball will bounce in front of your leg, and you will CARRY the ball over the line to bounce in front of your other leg.
While you are doing the drill, make sure you stay LOW. Squat slightly as you dribble. Make sure you are keeping your eyes up as well. As you get more comfortable, spread your legs wider and wider. Your body will sway with the ball it goes over to each foot.
You want to smash the dribble down. Soft dribbles will not allow you to bring it all the way to your other foot. You need to use force.
Drill #2 Back Pivot (10 reps)
Another good drill to help with the Kyrie Irving Cross Spin move is the back pivot drill. You will be incorporating your ball handling with your footwork. Your focus is going to be on your PIVOTING.
If you are on a court, face the sideline so you are PARALLEL. If you are at home, in a garage, or even outside, make sure you have at least 10 feet of space. You will be continuously moving in one direction, so you will want to make sure you have a big enough area to allow for this movement.
To begin the drill, pound dribble in front of your right leg. Then execute a back pivot. Upon completing the back pivot exchange your dribbling hand by using a LATERAL dribble. Immediately pound dribble with your left hand in front of your left leg and execute another back pivot. Again upon completing the back pivot exchange your dribbling hand by using a lateral dribble. Continue this pattern four times, or until you run out of space. You can continue this drill going in the opposite direction.
A key thing to remember is you need to transfer the ball QUICKLY using the lateral dribble. When your lead leg hits the ground after your back pivot, the ball needs to already be exchanged from your initial dribble hand to your receiving hand. The ball should be transferred by the time your body is parallel to the sideline after your pivot.
This drill helps you with THREE important things:
- Ball Handling
- Timing of Ball Exchange
You should complete 10 repetitions of this drill. You will practice your back pivot, ALTERNATING using your left and right hand four times. That would count as 1 repetition. Complete this pattern 9 more times. If you are ambitious and you really want to master this move, complete 20 repetitions. That will only make you better!
Drill #3 Spin and Drop Step (10 reps)
So now you are going to COMBINE your between the legs dribble with the spin and drop step move. You will complete many repetitions, so you will build muscle memory.
To start, dribble the ball with your left hand. JAB step to the right and complete a through the legs dribble. Immediately go into your spin move exchanging the ball from your right to your left hand.
On your drop step, check your FOOT PLACEMNENT. You want to make sure you spin far enough so that your foot is directed towards the basket. If you do not spin far enough, the defender will be able to recover and stop your attack. You want your drop step foot to point to the basket with your shoulders squaring to the basket as well.
You also want to check where the ball is when you are drop stepping. Do not have the ball out in front of you. The ball should be PROTECTED by your body because you have switched your dribble hands using a drop dribble.
When you are finishing with the spin move and drop step, spin back to your starting spot and execute the move again going in the opposite direction. You will complete the move 10 times going in each direction. At first, make sure you are going slower to ENSURE you are completing the move correctly. As soon as you know your technique is sound and you feel more comfortable, begin to move faster. Be strong with the ball and quick with your footwork.
Drill #4 On the Move Spin (10 reps)
Now you are going to start this drill by being on the move.
You are going to dribble up and use a crossover dribble to being your spin move. Place a chair at the top of the key. Dribble towards the chair with your right hand, execute a crossover dribble to your left hand, and immediately go into your spin move. You do not need to completely attack.
Once you complete your dropstep, you dribble back to your starting position. You will repeat this move, but you will begin with the ball in your left hand. You will complete 10 repetitions to your left side and 10 repetitions to your right side. It works well to alternate which hand you use when you are starting the drill.
Instead of using the crossover dribble, you will use a between the legs dribble. It sis the same pattern as the first progression. Make sure you use the proper technique, quick footwork, and strong ball handling.
You will complete 10 repetitions going to your left side and right side. Alternate the hand you begin with after each repetition.
The next progression will having you using a behind the back dribble. This is a little more challenging and complicated, but it can become very effective once you become comfortable using it.
Once again, you will complete 10 repetitions going to your left side and right side. Alternate the hand you begin with after each repetition.
Drill #5 Spin Move Down and Back (10 reps)
In this drill, you will play with different VARIATIONS before getting into your spin move. Begin by using a crossover dribble to start the spin move. On your next repetition, use the between the leg dribble. You could always use a behind the back dribble. Mix it up. Be versatile with which move you use as you transition to your spin move.
You can carry this move all the way to the baseline like you are attacking the basket. As soon as you get to the baseline, TURN around and execute the move going in the opposite direction.
When you are completing all of these drills, always remember to stay LOW. You want to master how to protect the basketball at all times. Be quick and explosive. You want to use this move to blow by the defender.
Keep practicing this move to become more than just a shooter. You want to be able to get to the rim, and this move will HELP you get there. It just takes 5 minutes a day. 5 minutes a day that can IMPACT your basketball career for a LIFETIME.