The viral crossover dribble videos posted on social media are wrong! No player should do all that work to take a step back three-pointer.
They are so talented that they get where they WANT on the basketball court. But do they know where they SHOULD be going?
Should they use their crossover to get TOWARDS the basket or AWAY from it?
Any move made on the basketball court will yield no result if there is no plan behind it!
Some players use the ball and endless head fakes while dribbling to try to fake out the opposing defender…
That’ll only wear down the player with the ball!
In fact, all the defender has to do is to look is to look at their torso and the offensive player will go NOWHERE!!!
All the quickness in the world DOES NOT MATTER if you only go side-to-side and not straight to the basket.
What should you be doing instead?
Let me give 4 simple tips to an effective crossover dribble to get past the defender and to the basket!
Step #1: Change the defender’s eye level right before you crossover
The intent of your crossover should be to blow by your man.
What is the easiest way to do that?
Get the defender out of a defensive stance!
You can do this by going up for a shot or a pass while dribbling WITHOUT leaving your feet. Arguably THE greatest shooter in NBA history uses this move to get by his man.
You can make this move too!
A tip to execute the shot fake crossover: use your eyes and shoulders to subtly hint at a pass or a shot (like Curry did), which will convince the defender that you intend to shoot or pass off the dribble.
You will always be one step ahead since the defender has to react!
Step #2: Dribble it as far downhill as possible when crossing over
You hear a lot of coaches telling their players to go downhill. What they mean by going downhill is that players should take a direct path to the basket as opposed to going side-to-side.
Watch this video to see what attacking the basket downhill looks like while doing a crossover.
Use your hips and feet to quickly change direction. All you have to do is to just dribble it with your other hand to execute the move!
A rule of thumb when attacking the basket: the fewer dribbles, the better.
Step #3: Use your off arm to keep the defender behind you
You got by your defender.
Now what? How do you keep your defender at bay while figuring out what to do next?
Use your off arm to shield off the defender!
Elite NBA guards such as Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard use their opposite arm to keep their defender at bay.
Be careful not to grab the opposing defender or to visibly push off while dribbling – both are offensive fouls. Otherwise, you have every right as the dribbler to use your off arm to maintain space.
Step #4: Plan the next move for the next defender
Very rarely will you blow by your man via a crossover and get right to the basket without going through another defender. Any move to get to the basket should have another move already prepared for the next defender.
My advice would be to master one finishing move and a countermove when the defender takes that away.
An example could be to master the pull-up jump shot from your off hand then use Stephen Curry’s shot fake crossover (outlined in Step #1) as a countermove. If you are a threat to make a jump shot off the dribble, then the countermove will be that much more effective.
Also, you might want to learn how to make short passes in traffic if your teammate is open under the basket.
Score More Points with This Strategy
Keeping these four things in mind when you need to get by your man is very important.
The endless dribbles on viral social media clips are unnecessary.
What is necessary is getting to Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. And at the end of the day, if your Point B is at the basket then you will get rewarded with two of the easiest shots in the basketball…
Layups and free-throws.