The Mikan Drill

To love the game is the greatest of all…

Kawhi Leonard’s jab step

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The jab step is a simple move but I believe it is underutilized in the college game. If used at all, it is often a token move without any benefit for the offensive player. Which is why I was happy to see Kawhi Leonard show such a strong jab step in the game against Gonzaga. As I talked about earlier, Kelly Olynyk is going to be matched up against quicker offensive players alot of the time. He is guarding Leonard in this clip and is at a major disadvantage on the defensive end.

When Leonard catches the ball, Olynyk is guarding him close. He will be able to alter any jump shot Leonard because of his height advantage (picture 1). Leonard recognizes this and gives a quick jab step. Since Olynyk must be wary of Leonard driving by him, this puts him on his heels (picture 2).  This gives Leonard the space he needs to get the jump shot off and he collects himself and buries it (picture 3).

The key is that Leonard gives Olynyk a quick jab step that makes it look like Leonard might try to drive. However, Leonard quickly gets his feet square for the jump shot before Olynyk can recover. A smart play that relies on the fundamentals to work.


Written by Joshua Riddell

November 18, 2010 at 3:24 am

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