What Are Some Advanced Basketball Moves When Driving to the Basket?
Prolific scorers earn the headlines in basketball, and for good reason. It's not that easy to consistently score points by the bushel. First, you've got to escape the quick guards and their attempts to block your path or strip the ball from you. Once you've accomplished that, you get to "the big trees" -- the opposing big men who want to block your shot, but often will settle for knocking you on your backside and sending you to the free-throw line rather than give up an easy lay-up. To be a great scorer, you need to master some advanced moves for use while driving to the basket.
It can be difficult to get past a defender if he knows which way you're going. If he's quick, he might be able to block your path and either force you to pass the ball or draw an offensive foul. But if you have a crossover dribble in your repertoire, you can keep him guessing. The crossover is a relatively simple move in which you dribble one way in an effort to get your defender leaning in that direction, and then quickly dribble across your body and head in the other direction. When done with precision, it can freeze opponents in their tracks.
The jump stop is a relatively recent, but highly used technique in basketball. It serves several purposes. It helps you avoid charging into a defender. It helps you quickly transport yourself into a better scoring position and it helps you lose a defender. A jump-stop can be done by picking up your dribble at the end of your drive and in the same motion hopping laterally toward another spot on the floor before shooting the ball. You must initiate your jump-stop immediately after you've discontinued your dribble, or you'll be called for traveling.
Up and Under
The up-and-under is a way of keeping opponents from blocking your shot. If you're driving full-steam toward the basket and you see a shot-blocker emerge, launch yourself into the air and begin to extend the ball as if you're going to attempt a lay-in. But as he reaches up for the block, bring the ball back down, ducking your body under his arm as you glide toward the basket. Then you bring the ball back up in a scooping motion and attempt to spin it into the basket.
The floater is a difficult shot to master because it involves putting a soft touch on the ball while you're moving at full speed. But it's also an effective way of creating the highest percentage shot possible. If you're driving to the hoop and you see the area beneath the basket become crowded, lift the ball over your head with one hand and gently flick it toward the basket. Focus on putting plenty of arc on your shot and shooting softly from your fingertips to avoid having it blocked or seeing it clang off the rim.
Jeff Herman began his journalism career in 2000. An experienced, award-winning sportswriter, his work has appeared in "The Washington Post," "ESPN the Magazine" and the "Boston Herald," among other publications. Herman has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from West Virginia University.