Every player, or at least good player, kind of has a couple go-to moves. Kevin Durant showed off a few last year in Nike’s “Signature Moves” series. And now it’s Russell Westbrook’s turn.
Now I just expected Westbrook’s to maybe be three different takes of him cramming over a guy taller than him or just running super fast by someone, but he actually showed off a couple legitimate moves. I was disappointed though that one of his signature moves wasn’t his patented double-spin move. That one’s a killer.
No. 1 — Shake and Bake
No, it’s not a pick-and-roll with Ricky Bobby. It’s Westbrook’s favorite attack-the-basket move. He crosses, hesitates, flashes his eyes real huge and then blows by you. It’s simple, but complicated. It’s really all in the face fake. Really, it is.
No. 2 — Between the Legs Pull-up
This move is probably the one that has driven Thunder fans the most insane over the first two years of Westbrook’s career. But last season, Westbrook actually came around and started consistently knocking this down. What makes this so effective and a huge part of Westbrook’s game is a) he makes it pretty often now and b) everyone is absolutely terrified of his drive.
No. 3 — Split the Defense
My favorite move Westbrook has. I still think about how sweetly he split two Miami defenders last season for a dunk. It’s such a subtle, simple looking thing, but it’s all about the setup. And the quick first step. When a big man over-hedges on Westbrook, he’s going to cut right through. If a third defender rotates over, he’s going to drop off to an open man. Two years ago, this play wouldn’t happen for Russ because he’d be completely out of control. Now it’s a signature move.