Basketball Tip: Keep a hesitation in your back pocket

CJ McCollum basketball
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 11: C.J. McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

The hesitation is one of those moves that I believe doesn’t get enough credit in the game of basketball. We yell and holler when we see an ankle breaking crossover but a hesitation is just as embarrassing. There are multiple ways to perform a hesitation but they all share the same purpose, and that purpose is to freeze the defender. I’ve seen three different hesitations this week that got me out of my seat and it’s only right that I give them their just due.

1.) Seth Curry

As soon as Ersan Ilyasova switched out on to Curry, he immediately knew he had the advantage. It’s every guard’s dream to have a big switch out on them off of a pick-and-roll, and as a result, it was just as Shaq would describe it, “BARBEQUE CHICKEN!

Seth Curry backed up to size up Ilyasova but then he hit him with a slight hesitation to blow right past him. The minute rise in Curry’s dribble forced Ersan to react and that created the exact amount of separation that Seth Curry needed.

2.) Stephen Curry

When you have a shot like Stephen Curry, the hesitation becomes your best friend. With the ability to shoot from anywhere, the slightest hesitation/head fake combo will make any defender react, and as you can see in this video, it didn’t take much. Stephen Curry came off the screen and gave Marvin Williams a mini-hesitation which dropped him to his knees. We often see ankles broken by crossovers but like I said before, do not sleep on the hesitation.

3.) C.J. McCollum

Last but not least, C.J. McCollum gave Draymond Green one of the cleanest hesitations that I’ve seen in a very long time. First I have to shed light on the crossover that he gave Kevin Durant that can’t go unnoticed. But then he finished it off with a hesitation that had Green off his feet. Understanding McCollum’s candid scoring ability, Green had no choice but to react on his drive. However, McCollum did a good job selling the possible jump shot that left Draymond Green in the wind.

The hesitation is one of the deadliest and most useful moves in basketball that often goes unnoticed. It’s just as deadly as the crossover and just as eye-popping. With the moves that I’ve seen from Seth and Stephen Curry as well as C.J. McCollum, it was only right that I shine some light on the hesitation. It’s a move that every player needs to keep in their back pocket if they’re looking to be a dynamic scorer.


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