Friday, April 10, 2009

Between The Legs

Many basketball purists consider the between-the-legs dribble a flashy bit of showmanship that detracts from the overall quality of the game- a classic case of style over substance. Others think the maneuver's an effective way to escape pressure, a change of direction when the defender is playing too tightly to risk a crossover.

Since the NBA doesn't keep track of this stat (I mean, why the fuck would they?), I decided to document it myself in last night's contest between LA and Denver.

Based on my unofficial tally (watching the game on TV, I might have missed a few while the camera wasn't on the ballhandler), here are the results for most between-the-legs dribbles:

The Winner

Chauncey Billups- on 24 different occasions, Mr. Big Shot went between the legs, including one possession where he did it five times in a row. Ironically, most fans would label Billups a 'blue collar player' who 'plays the game the right way.' You might expect Allen Iverson to go BTL 24 times in a game, but Chauncey?

Runner Up

Kobe Bryant- given his penchant for flair, I fully anticipated Bryant winning this thing outright. Imagine my shock when he went BTL a mere 11 times. Granted, the Lakers were in control most of the night so maybe he didn't feel the need to exert much energy.

Bronze Medalist

Jordan Farmar- went BTL an astonishing 8 times in 14 minutes, mostly just to look cool. Fucking show-off.

Anthony Carter (3), Luke Walton (3), Carmelo (1), JR Smith (1) and Shannon Brown (1) all did it, too. Dahntay Jones, who I'm convinced is the worst player in the league not named Kwame Brown, also tried it once, resulting in an immediate turnover and bucket for the Lakers going the other way. Stop dribbling, scrub. Stick to fouling.

Incidentally, Denver won the overall BTL battle, 30-22. And lost the game by double digits, of course.

Random notes:
Andrew Bynum looked strong, if somewhat rusty, in his first game back; Cheryl Miller's fashion sense continues to be as clueless as her commentary. Did you see her tie-dye/braids outfit? Wack. Scott Pollard was probably watching on TV, laughing his ass off; LA showed some nice pressure and trapping with their second unit; Without a true center, Denver ain't winning shit in the playoffs.

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