Inside the Move: Half-Spin Hesitation


An in-depth look at the Society’s Move of the Week.

This week’s move is the half-spin hesitation which is a swift change in motion to get past your defender. The purpose is to put your defender to sleep by slowing down your dribble and positioning your body as if you were going to perform a full spin move. Half way in to the spin, you then take off, back in your original direction right past your defender to get to the basket.

Keys to the Move

  1. With any hesitation, the set up means everything. Slowing down eases your defender and if you stand up a tad bit when turning your back it causes him or her to relax making them vulnerable.
  2. SELL IT! A hard dribble into that half-spin can shift your defender in the opposite direction, giving you a wide open lane.
  3. Change of speed. Like I mentioned earlier, the set-up is very important because as you slow down and your defender falls asleep, as you explode out of the move, the quick change in speed makes it nearly impossible for the defender to catch-up.

A move like this is deadly for small and very quick guards. It’s a useful move for getting to the basket or just getting past a defender in the open court to free up more options. There are plenty of variations that can be performed but two subtle variations that come to mind are:

  • Switching hands mid-spin: When doing this move, a lot of guys like to keep in the ball in the same hand during the half-spin but to sell the move even more, you can crossover in the spin and then switch hands coming back as you change direction. (i.e: Dribbling left, you turn your back crossing the ball over to your right, take a hard dribble to sell the move and then come back with the left hand.)
  • Half-Spin in the triple threat position: With your left foot as your pivot foot, you jab-step hard right and then cross-pivot left, turning your back and explode into the move putting the ball on the floor with your left hand. (the move can be performed vise-versa)

This move is done at all levels of the game and two of the best that I’ve seen do it, that use it often are Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics. Check them out below:



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