The NBA’s 10 Best Kill Moves

By: 08.05.11

Dwight Howard

7. Zach Randolph Baby Hook
If you watched any of the Memphis vs. San Antonio series, you were involuntarily spoon-feed a healthy dose of Randolph-baby-hook. Randolph dominated the Spurs frontline with his customized baby hook. But just when you thought you had figured it out, he’d turn over his right shoulder and hit you with an up-and-under. Randolph’s baby hook isn’t flashy, but it’s effective. It’s one of the last fundamental “kill moves” in the league, a page out of the Duncan School of Post Moves.

6. Dwyane Wade Euro-Step
Though Dwyane Wade put the move on a national stage, Sarunas Marciulionis – a Lithuanian player – is credited with bringing the step to the NBA. Marciulionis played with four teams in the NBA before international players like Manu Ginobili started perfecting the step. Regardless, Wade is unstoppable when using this move. As he attacks the basket, he takes a wide step with his right foot, then jumps over to this left, a zig-zag type contortion. Once on his left, he explodes to the basket, usually resulting in two points.

5. Paul Pierce Step Back
It’s nothing special, but it’s effective. Pierce uses his size and frame to create separation from his defender when performing this move. Once at his spot – most often the elbow – Pierce uses a number of hesitation dribbles to get his defender off balance, then steps back for his jumper. It’s almost impossible to block and quite useful when an crucial bucket is needed.

4. Dwight Howard Put-Back Slam
I’m not sure if it’s really a “kill-move,” but when he does it, players scatter. Because of his size and strength, Superman is nearly impossible to block out. Once his position is established, the ball is almost always his. And once it is, the following occurs: Dwight comes down with the rebound, gathers his feet, spreads his elbows, and explodes to the rim. Once in the air, Howard – as vicious as possible – throws the ball through the cylinder, equally two points and an ear-piercing roar.

3. LeBron James Drive
This one’s pretty simple. LeBron gets the ball on the perimeter. LeBron throws out a couple jabs. LeBron choses an avenue. Then LeBron zooms down the lane. Because of his size and quickness, he doesn’t have much trouble after that. The result is either a hellacious dunk or free throws for the King (cue every stale LeBron joke there is).

2. Kobe Bryant Fadeaway
Kobe’s fadeaway is difficult to describe because there’s so many variations. Whether or not he copied MJ, the move is unguardable. We’ve been watching this mosaic for the last 13 years, and at the grizzled age of 32 (soon-to-be 33), Kobe gets it off whenever he pleases.

1. Dirk Nowitzki Fadeaway
The single most unguardable-unfair-video-game-esque-stop-it-or-I-quit shot in the entire NBA. Dirk put on a show in the playoffs, proving why he’s not only one of the best players in the game today, but one of the best players of all-time. His one-foot fallaway has been researched, documented, calculated, and examined. Hell, I think even Doctor Oz took a crack at it. Regardless, this shot is the single best “kill move” in the NBA today.

What is the best kill move in the NBA?

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