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Breaking ankles since (at least) 1986.
May 26, 2011 2:22 PM   Subscribe

The Crossover on Display, a fascinating short New York Times video, featuring interviews with Pearl Washington, Dwayne Wade, and Allen Iverson describing one of the most electric moves in basketball.
posted by googly (35 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's fun to see guys like that really talk about technique. A real expert in anything, it's always fun to watch their minds work on the fine detail. Some of the others may have been better, but you got to hand it to Iverson for pure viciousness...that clip where he skips over the fallen defender on his way upcourt and looks down at him, oh, man....
posted by Diablevert at 2:47 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn. That NY Times video player could use a lot of work, but cool video.

Unfortunately, my Thunder lost last night, partially because of our point guard, so this video is also killing me, but still very cool to see it all broken down.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:47 PM on May 26, 2011


I've got a devastating crossover move: I like to start out on the right wing, dribbling with my left hand. I jab left to force the defender to my left, crossover to my right, dribble the ball off of my right foot, and it rolls out of bounds. Generally, I'm left devastated.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 2:49 PM on May 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


The problem with the crossover is, as D. Rose is learning this week, you need to be able to do something with it after you get around one guy. Any good defense is waiting for you to head for the lane so, like Iverson, you perfect the pull up. But even a good shooter like Kobe only hits about 50-60% of his shots, so he prefers to shoot as part of a set play rather than shaking a man free and then lifting back.

It's a cool move, but a good point guard uses it to get free and pass that rock, except when he sees daylight and takes it to the hoop. It's also a dangerously seductive one. Look at the last seconds of the last Heat/Bulls game. Rose gets free from Lebron several times, but Lebron stays low and backs up with his arms high. Rose had to settle for a fadeaway jumper (just like every 76ers playoff run always ended) and missed.

If the Heat win this year, it won't be because of Wade's crossover. It'll be because of his fast break speed, Bosh's foul line jumper, and Lebron's insane three point shooting. Not to mention the only thing that really matters in the end: Defense, mostly played by second tier guys who pick themselves up, dust off their still-intact ankles, and stay in your face on the next play.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:49 PM on May 26, 2011


If the Heat win this year, it won't be because of Wade's crossover. It'll be because of ... Lebron's insane three point shooting.

Sorry, but no. Lebron's three-point shooting is far from insane. (I won't even mention D-Wade's abysmal range.) For his career he's a 32.9% shooter from beyond the arc and this year he's, shockingly, a 33% shooter. In the playoffs he's slightly worse--a 32.1% shooter. This year he's shooting 35.3% through 14 playoff games, but that's essentially a sample-size problem. If he missed one shot instead of making it he's back to exactly 33%.

33% three-point shooting is mediocre at best. Every time Lebron (or Wade, really don't get me started on him) takes a three over a defender, the defense has won.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fair enough on the stats. I guess I meant Clutch shooting then. He always finds a way to bury one within the last 5 minutes of a game. But yeah, fast break points caused by excellent defense is Lebron's big contribution right now.

Also, Udonis Haslem's emergence from the grave has been pretty key this series.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:05 PM on May 26, 2011


LOVE ai
posted by nathancaswell at 3:07 PM on May 26, 2011


Here's a cool video of Michael Jordan breaking down his own crossover move, which is, not surprisingly, a lot less flashy than Iverson's, but a hell of a lot more efficient and secure as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:08 PM on May 26, 2011


Finally a thread where it is appropriate to link to the greatest sports T-shirt graphic ever.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:13 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, my Thunder lost last night, partially because of our point guard

LEAVE RUSSELL ALONE!
posted by auto-correct at 3:15 PM on May 26, 2011


LEAVE RUSSELL ALONE!

I want to, I really do. I like Russell Westbrook and I think the team needs him. I just think he starts making bad choices when he's tired and under pressure, like he was this whole series (save for game 2, obviously.) His defense doesn't suffer so much (in fact, the inevitability of his rebounds is almost comical to me) but basically every game the Thunder lost this series were games they had in hand in the 4th quarter, and then lost on turnovers, especially in the last three when Westbrook had a greater and greater need to prove that he could play "clutch" and failed to do so.

I expect them to be back there next year. Westbrook, Durant and Harden are all still crazy young. They've got teamwork, energy, and the most insanely rapid fanbase in the NBA. All they need is a bit more experience.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:22 PM on May 26, 2011


rabid fanbase, of course is what I mean.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:23 PM on May 26, 2011


Breaking ankles since (at least) 1986 1980.

I was a big slow center in high school. Went to a camp the summer of '80 and learned the crossover from the Chicago Hustle's then-star guard Janie Fincher. I rocked it that season. Back then nobody expected us big 'uns to have any moves, let alone a move facing the basket, or requiring [gasp!] dribbling.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:24 PM on May 26, 2011



Fair enough on the stats. I guess I meant Clutch shooting then. He always finds a way to bury one within the last 5 minutes of a game. But yeah, fast break points caused by excellent defense is Lebron's big contribution right now.


I think this also applies to "clutch" shooting. Even with the research I still have had time believing it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_hand_fallacy
posted by KaizenSoze at 3:29 PM on May 26, 2011


I have to admit, I've never had any interest (or understanding!) of basketball, but that video was COOL! I love seeing the artistry of it.



Anybody got a video for soccer?
posted by MeiraV at 3:38 PM on May 26, 2011


Tim Hardway (mentioned in the video) was the best I ever saw.

Man, I LOVED Earl the Pearl when I was a kid. He, Demetrius Gore (Pitt), and Michael Graham (Georgetown) were my 3 favorite non-Michigan college players ever.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:41 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


when I was a kid, I LOVED AI

He just had so much style and swagger and confidence
posted by Cloud King at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2011


Back then nobody expected us big 'uns to have any moves, let alone a move facing the basket, or requiring [gasp!] dribbling.

Growing up in Houston during the Olajuwon era really warped my sense of what centers were not just able to do, but supposed to do.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've gotta agree with KaizenSoze. Thinking Lebron somehow becomes a better shooter in clutch times--and definitely thinking that about Kobe--is a textbook example of confirmation bias.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 at 3:46 PM on May 26, 2011


Miami is winning because of defense, especially LeBron's. Bron-bron is the greatest athlete to ever play the game, and his offense is a study in how athleticism can trump good basketball decision-making. He dicks around on O most of the game, still gets his points because he's unbelievably good, then buckles down in the 4th and is virtually unstoppable. And all along, he's playing the best D of his life. He guarded Derrick Rose like a champ, and guess what--he'll do the same to 7' Dirk Nowitzki in the Finals.

When all is said and done, LBJ will be the only legitimate contender for Jordan's GOAT crown.

Until Greg Oden breaks out, of course...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:49 PM on May 26, 2011


Bron-bron is the greatest athlete to ever play the game

I missed the athlete part the first time I read that. Now I am all hyped up to fight, but I don't have anyone to disagree with.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 3:52 PM on May 26, 2011


Um I think being a big 4th quarter scorer is obviously different than being a big 3rd or 1st quarter scorer. It's not like every game is played back to back irrespective of fatigue, foul trouble, defensive lockdown, crowd pressure, referee bias, and so on.

Sheesh, frickin stat nerds.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:58 PM on May 26, 2011


That was lovely. Very clear for someone like me who doesn't understand the details of most sports. And I like how they showed the lineage of the move instead of endorsing the idea that one dude created it.
posted by serazin at 4:23 PM on May 26, 2011


Russell just needs time. I was listening to Dan Patrick on the radio earlier and he had Chris Mannix on and Mannix was talking about how terrible a point guard Billups was when he was with the Celtics long, long ago.. and his point was, he just needs time.

If I'm not mistaken, Russell never even played point guard in college. He got dropped in the NBA and he had to learn how to play the position and it's a really complicated one... so... you know, yeah, he's all over the place. But he's young. Give him 2 or 3 years, because the kid has serious, serious talent.

I can say that as Pistons fan. As an Thunder fan, it's got to be a much tougher pill to swallow.

However, I do think his not shaking hands was kind of bush after they lost.

I'm reading The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith right now. What an interesting look into the life of an NBA team!
posted by kbanas at 4:56 PM on May 26, 2011


There is such a thing as a hot hand in basketball. I saw the wikipedia article and I've seen posts by the awesome neuro blog The Frontal Cortex, but their methods are too simple, and don't take in to account the ton of things you'd need to. Clutch shooting and having a hot hand - not the same thing, but I think both exist.
posted by cashman at 4:57 PM on May 26, 2011


kbanas: I didn't really expect them to take it all the way this year. I pretty much expected them to get about as far as they did. I agree that not shaking hands was bush-league, but I think it all goes to what happened with Westbrook and the series and things getting way too personal for him. Durant and Harden may have been the ones going to the mic and talking about how they let their city down, but Westbrook knows he's going to be the one taking the blame for that, and he's still young. It was a dick move but having never been in that kind of situation I can't really judge him too harshly.

I think next year is the year that the Thunder make the point that they have to be taken seriously. Sports analysts seem to not want to talk about them at all, which is weird with a team that's a clear play-off contender with the league's leading scorer. But they're small-market and there's only so much you can say about them, I guess: young, talented, need a bit more experience, collegiate, upstanding, backpacks. It doesn't make for good headlines.

But the experienced players know what they can do. I think it was Kobe in the off-season who said that the Thunder were the only team in the west they were really nervous about. And you could see it with Dirk in this series, one of the top 25 players of all time playing the best in his life and still coming away with squeakers that felt more like chokes than well-earned victories.

The Thunder will be back, and whenever Blake Griffin goes free agent he wants to be there, it seems. So no, I'm not worried. Last night was just heartbreaking, is all.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:10 PM on May 26, 2011


Remember guys, no such thing as the hot hand or clutch shooting.
posted by cashman at 8:33 PM on May 26, 2011


Maybe not, Cashman, but I think subjecting such things to the obvious tests misses the point of the concepts. There's definitely choke shooting, and we can make some sense of that. We know that some players fold under pressure more than others. If I define "clutch shooting" as being the most impervious to that pressure, does that make the idea more legitimate?

Similarly, while we can look logically (and perhaps even empirically) discredit the idea that a "hot hand" will keep producing, it's harder to arrange a test that looks at those who allowed a particular set of players to keep their rhythm going for success versus those who changed up the field while things were still going well.

Just saying that they might not be fallacies, so much as they aren't fully understood.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 PM on May 26, 2011


I was being completely sarcastic, given what happened last night.
posted by cashman at 6:02 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got it man. And yeah, consider my point made. In the playoffs everything but the last 5 minutes is practice. And then you'd better hope for something more substantial than high percentage shots. And once again in the final seconds Rose crossed over again and again trying to get free but they just swarmed him and stayed high. Brutal to watch really, like seeing a bunch of ants kill a wasp.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:10 AM on May 27, 2011


as a celtics fan who watched ray allen go like 15-17, then 0-18 from range last year during the playoffs i refuse to believe players don't get hot and cold. i don't care what the stats nerds say.

shooting basketballs is not flipping coins.

to switch sports, some days a pitcher's curve is biting and his fastball pops. some days not.

refuse to believe it.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:20 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


also, see bird in the "finger point" 3 point contest... just use your eyes. he found his rhythm.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:22 AM on May 27, 2011


There is such a thing as a hot hand in basketball. I saw the wikipedia article and I've seen posts by the awesome neuro blog The Frontal Cortex, but their methods are too simple, and don't take in to account the ton of things you'd need to. Clutch shooting and having a hot hand - not the same thing, but I think both exist.

airball!
posted by srboisvert at 10:26 AM on May 27, 2011


Miami is winning because of defense, especially LeBron's. Bron-bron is the greatest athlete to ever play the game, and his offense is a study in how athleticism can trump good basketball decision-making. He dicks around on O most of the game, still gets his points because he's unbelievably good, then buckles down in the 4th and is virtually unstoppable. And all along, he's playing the best D of his life. He guarded Derrick Rose like a champ, and guess what--he'll do the same to 7' Dirk Nowitzki in the Finals.

When all is said and done, LBJ will be the only legitimate contender for Jordan's GOAT crown.

Until Greg Oden breaks out, of course...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:49 PM on May 26 [+] [!]


Or not...
posted by erikgrande at 10:29 PM on June 12, 2011


In the playoffs everything but the last 5 minutes is practice.

I would bet that 100% of the teams up by 25 points or more with 5 minutes left in the NBA playoffs have gone on to win those games.

When all is said and done, LBJ will be the only legitimate contender for Jordan's GOAT crown.

The problem being that it's apples and oranges. Kobe Bryant is already objectively a better player than Jordan was. The NBA is much more skilled now than it was in the 80s and 90s, just as the 80s and 90s were much more skilled than the 60s and 70s.

There is a flattening of the improvement curve as the game ages so that rule changes and other tweaks affect the game more (see baseball), but basketball is still rising pretty steadily in terms of quality of play, I think.

I would guess that Lebron has missed his window of opportunity. He's already 27 or so. He could win a championship or two, but he'll never be considered the GOAT, despite perhaps having the greatest promise. Kobe just needs one more to make a pretty good case.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:40 AM on June 13, 2011


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