You know a move is good when even announcers are confused by it.
This was the case last week, when Washington Wizards point guard John Wall pulled out his new "cut dribble" in a nationally televised contest against the Chicago Bulls. With the Wizards up by 10 points late in the third quarter, Wall drove by Derrick Rose and tried out the move. He then sank a 15-foot jumper.
The trick was so smooth that ESPN's Mike Breen assumed Wall had lost control of the ball:
It's scary to think that Wall, already one of the league's elite point guards, has added a move like this to his arsenal. But Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post got to the bottom of the story and, lo and behold, it is true.
Wall calls the move a "cut dribble," and it looks to be a mix between a pass and a juke. Another appropriate name for the maneuver is a "yo-yo dribble" because Wall puts a backspin on the ball such that it returns to him after he lets it go.
Whatever you call it, the move is virtually impossible for opposing big men to stop. Wall's teammate John Gooden III, who claims to be one of the co-creators of the cut dribble, told Steinberg the story of its creation.
“That big might react to that pass -- AH! -- and [then the ball] comes back to him and he's in rhythm with his right hand to shoot,” Gooden told the Post. "Just playing around in practice we started doing it, and then he took it to the game."
Wall pulled the move out Tuesday against the Spurs. The ensuing bucket was two of Wall's 25 points in his team's first victory over San Antonio in a decade.
Here's another look at the cut dribble, this time in a game against the Indiana Pacers:
William Scott Davis of Business Insider astutely notes that Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague has pulled off a version of the cut dribble in the past. But Wall appears to be the first player to perfect the move.
Wall is having a phenomenal season in his fifth year in the NBA, and he is tops in the league with 10.2 assists per game. He leads all Eastern Conference backcourt players in All-Star voting and is a big reason the Wizards were 26-12 as of Wednesday and sitting in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.