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The Evade Steal

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

This is perhaps the hardest concept to explain, especially on paper. However this technique will be important for a defender facing a bully-ball player or a downhill driver. Imagine the post technique of ‘pulling the chair out’ but transitioning it to the perimeter.

Take for our first example an offensive player preparing for a downhill drive vs a defender giving a cushion or staying within a defensive scheme. Instead of combatting the full speed drive with contact and angles to level it off, the defender will over-run the driver to the ball; hallowing out the body contact to get a clear shot at the ball side hand.

In our second example of this technique image the offensive player attacking. As the defender tried to cut the offensive player off, he/she will typically prepare their shoulder to take the contact. Now instead of trying to wall off that contact, the defender hallows out to avoid the shoulder and commits to getting to the ball side.

The same could be said if a perimeter player is trying to lower their shoulder and start backing down a defender. The defender can now evade that blow and slip to the ball. This technique will not only disrupt the balance of an offensive player but it will also expose the ball to the defender. If the situation was an attacking offensive player, they would not only need to gather the ball but move their gather; again disrupting their rhythm and timing.

Most offensive players will try to counter pressure by shielding with their back, using a spin move or lowering their shoulders. But, if the defensive player can avoid this sought after contact instead, they can get a good attempt at a steal.

Of course, not ever advanced technique will be 100% legal. Great defenders use hidden moments to gain an advantage all the time. For this technique, leveraging the opponent’s off-hand when being backed down can help execute the move. By grabbing the forearm and pulling it behind, the defender propers themselves at the ball while the offensive player is being dragged back towards the defense.

It is surely a difficult technique to adequately describe on paper, however the ability to avoid contact and slip to the ball side will be a great addition in the tool bag of any quick defender.

Thanks for joining us for steals week, see you next time!

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