The NBA has elite players that have mastered the art of the step back. The move has had such a sweeping impact in the league and has changed the facade of the game over the years. Smaller players finally found a way to beat high-pressure defenses without necessarily having to take low percentage shots. Let us go through the top 5 elite players who have perfected the art of the step-backs.
5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard’s stepback jumper is so effortless. He relies a whole lot more on the jab-step and his stutter-step hesitation move than actual step backs to create separation. These combinations keep his defenders on their toes without knowing what will hit them next.
4. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry has turned the improbable step-back into the routine. Whether a defender is on him or not, he might just hit a step back jumper. Combine his range and the advantage gained from the step-back and we have the best shooter in NBA history. Curry led the field with 33 step back jumpers attempted in last postseason.
3. Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics
Irving’s dazzling displays of electric dribble moves as he gets to the basket with trickery render him unstoppable. In the 2016 NBA Finals, he made one of the most famous step-back 3s in NBA history that sealed the win over the Golden State Warriors.He remains the best ball handler in the league.
2. Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets
Kemba combines speed, hesitation moves, crossovers and a nasty step-back to drop his defenders almost always. His step back is a very potent weapon that leaves him with more options while also creating distance between him and the defender. He takes advantage of it to break his defenders’ ankles while incorporating his filthy step back.
1. James Harden – Houston Rockets
James Harden gets more points off step-back jumpers than any other player. He does it with ease and a little trickery that allows him to shake off defenders that are too eager to reach. He has the versatility to do it off a pass or off the dribble. The fact that there’s a never-ending argument whether it’s a travel or not tells its story. Harden has become an offensive freak show whenever he has the ball in his hands.