Manu’s Eurostep, Tony’s teardrop, Duncan’s banker, Aldridge’s turnaround, Gervin’s finger roll, Robinson’s double-handed cock-back jam.
The great San Antonio Spurs players have had the move. The one that defines them. The one that comes up in the memory bank when someone mentions their names.
DeMar DeRozan is still relatively new to the Silver & Black, and is still working on becoming as beloved as the aforementioned. But, he has absolutely has the move.
Before we study it in depth too much, let’s go back to a different move made famous by Kevin Durant; one that has essentially been outlawed now.
Durant’s rip-through was one of the most frustrating plays for opposing defenders and coaches. The premise was that Durant would be in a triple-threat position with the ball on one side (let’s just say the left for this demonstration). The defender has been taught since childhood to stand with his closest hand up to stop a pass or shot, and the other hand in a lower position ready to defend the crossover.
Durant would spot that this the defender’s lower hand is closer to his body, sometimes even touching his hip to slow him down a second. But instead of driving, Durant would rip the ball across to the right in a split second, moving it below the defender’s arm, then bring the ball up through the arm and claim he was taking a shot.
The move can’t really be done now. It won’t be treated as a shooting foul if the referee dubs it as going from left-to-right rather than straight up, but it laid the foundation for something that DeRozan would later build upon.
The former Toronto Raptors guard has long been considered one of the last remaining footwork experts. In the first stage of his career in Canada, people marvelled at the pivot-spins that he picked up watching Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Alex English. But since moving to Texas, another move has been added to his arsenal.
In a half-break or with the flood spread and DeRozan’s defender on his heels, you might as well just blow the whistle before anything else happens and give the Spurs three points.
Little does this defender know, he’s already fouled DeRozan.
The move involves dribbling to the right, then on the second dribble, fake like you are going right by using a low, hard single bounce.
The hard bounce makes the defender commit, while DeRozan’s left hand is already coming to the ball.
Then, DeRozan brings his left hand across to confirm the deception. They think he is going right, so they switch their positioning into what is considered a good defensive stance; left hand up to stop the shot, right hand down to stop the crossover – except, of course, DeRozan’s left hand is already on the ball.
“Oh, crap. He’s doing the move coach told me about” – the defender, probably.
Therefore, when DeRozan crosses over, or swipes from right-to-left, he puts the ball below the defender’s arm and then brings it up. DeRozan also incorporates one of Manu’s now league-wide Eurosteps and goes left to get off a left-handed layup.
He always gets fouled, and more often than not, he makes the left-handed shot.
That is the move. That is DeRozan’s move. Like many other Spurs greats before him, he has perfected something that is truly his, and will be remembered.
Now all he has to do is continue this run of good form, take San Antonio back to the playoffs, and he might even become as beloved as the others.