Ballhandling is one of the most essential attributes in basketball. Everything from the crossover to the Euro Step is valuable and used by a variety of different players in the NBA. Ballhandling is sort of like poetry in motion, from the way the ballhandlers dribble in-between their legs to the deceptive no-look passes to fake defense out. Regardless how you look at it, if you can handle the rock, you don’t need anyone to get you a shot… and if you don’t need anyone else to get you a shot, then that’s going to make you pretty good.
Here are my top 10 players with the best handles in the league today.
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10. BRANDON JENNINGS
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane…
Who remembers the 2006 SoCal All-Stars AAU team? Now do you remember what Brandon Jennings was doing to defenders on the summer circuit that summer? Destroying is the answer, and it goes without saying his ballhandling skills have gotten even better and more ankles have been taped up as a result. I mean, even Stephen Curry (who was very close to making this list himself) had to learn the hard way. Brandon Jennings puts his Compton flavor in his ballhandling skills — from his version of Tim Hardaway’s “UTEP 2-Step” between-the-legs crossover to the between-the-legs spin to get defenders off him. One thing’s for sure, is he is no amateur anymore.
One-on-one, Jennings is a flat-out nightmare, and with a plethora of moves, he is one person you don’t want to be caught against on the isolation play. Brandon Jennings can not only dominate you, but his teammates also benefit from his elite ballhandling skills with his 6.5 assist a game.
Now that Jennings is in the Motown, it is going to be exciting to see who is gonna catch his wave of crossovers. With Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith on the team, he has to give his flashy passes to one of them, right? Can you say alley-oop central?
9. JAMES HARDEN
James Harden is a man of many talents, wouldn’t you agree? Harden has an array of offensive threats he uses to neutralize defenders, from the iconic Euro-Step to his crazy crossover or even his knack for splitting defenses when driving to the hoop, no matter which angle you want to look at it from, James Harden is among the elite ballhandlers in the league. Despite being a two-guard, it is clear as day that his ballhandling skills are spectacular — and they have to be included here since he might be the NBA’s very best at driving to the rim and getting to the line (league-leading 10.2 attempts a game last season).
James Harden’s crazy ballhandling skills are on full display when he is driving to the basket for an easy bucket. Without warning, when Harden decides to use that Euro-Step, you are in trouble. This Euro-Step happens when he rocks from side to side in a smooth motion and leaves you dazed and confused. Ask Luol Deng about that one. The 24-year-old dynamic skills should be even more incredible now that he has Dwight Howard drawing attention away from him.