Video Breakdown of 10 Top NBA Stars' Bread-and-Butter Plays

Brendan BowersContributor IIDecember 6, 2012

Video Breakdown of 10 Top NBA Stars' Bread-and-Butter Plays

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    Every star in the NBA has a bread-and-butter play.

    Whether it's offensively, defensively or both, each star has a go-to play that they are confident will end in a positive result for their team.

    These plays have come to symbolize the players who've perfected them.

    This list includes those plays from 10 of the NBA's top stars. It is not a comprehensive list of this season's All-NBA team.

    It is, however, a combination of those top stars along with the most signature bread-and-butter plays in the game.

Kobe Bryant

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    Bread and Butter: Pump Fake, Spin Move, Jump Shot

    Kobe Bryant's bread-and-butter play starts with his signature pump fake.

    Once he has his defender in the air, he is then able to pivot or spin away to create a shooting lane to the basket.

    On this particular play against the Knicks, Kobe's fake gets his defender off-balance.

    Bryant then spins away from his defender and into an open 15-foot jumper. He knocks it down, making the play look much easier than it actually is along the way. 

Kevin Durant

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    Bread and Butter: Crossover, Fade-Away Jumper

    Kevin Durant crosses over as quickly as most guards.

    There isn't anyone in the league his size that can stay with him off the dribble.

    With the game on the line in the video above, Durant goes to his bread and butter. He crosses over once in front of him.

    Then again behind his back.

    This leads into a fade-away jumper that he is simply too tall to defend.

Dwight Howard

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    Bread and Butter: Shoulder-Tap Rebound

    Dwight Howard has become known for a certain method of rebounding that combines the cunning tricks of a 12-year-old with the brute strength of the most physical athlete in the NBA today.

    He starts off tapping, or touching, his defender's shoulder on the side opposite of the direction he intends to go for the offensive board.

    In the video above, Howard begins his assault of the rim by tapping Jason Maxiell on his right shoulder.

    Howard then fights his way back to the left side to secure the rebound before going back up for the finish. 

Carmelo Anthony

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    Bread and Butter: Jab Step, Step-Back Jumper

    Carmelo Anthony has been scoring out of the one-on-one isolation for his entire career. 

    He does so by going to his bread-and-butter play, the jab-step, step-back jump shot. 

    As a member of the Denver Nuggets in the video above, Anthony uses the initial jab step to create space. 

    He then steps back and knocks down the jumper. 

Tony Parker

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    Bread and Butter: Floating Tear Drop In the Lane

    When Tony Parker comes down offensively looking to execute his tear-drop floater, the San Antonio Spurs come away with two points.

    Parker's bread-and-butter play typically begins with a crossover at the top of the key.

    After he begins his attack, as illustrated in the video above, all he needs is a sliver of space to get this shot off.

    He gets into the lane against the New Jersey Nets on this play, leans forward and releases the ball with his right hand.

    The tear drop falls in from there for the score.

LeBron James

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    Bread and Butter: The Chase-Down Block

    LeBron can beat defenders in a variety of ways on offense. Most often, he uses his supreme athleticism to finish at the basket.

    But while "athleticism" isn't technically a play, the chase-down block he's become synonymous with is.

    In the video above, James explodes out of nowhere to chase down Raymond Felton's pursuit of the basket.

    He then emphatically blocks Felton's layup attempt, possibly leaving a dent on the backboard.

Chris Paul

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    Bread and Butter: In-and-Out Crossover Spin

    Chris Paul uses his in-and-out crossover move to multiple ends. 

    It can be a play he goes to in order to create for himself as well as one used to create for others.

    In the video above, Paul uses this play to attack as a passer. He leaves not only his defender off-balance but the entire defense guessing behind him.

    After forcing help, Paul finds then-teammate David West for the open jumper.

Tim Duncan

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    Bread and Butter: The Bank Shot

    Tim Duncan has been working to make the bank shot cool again ever since he broke into the league.

    As a seven-footer, releasing the ball at a trajectory designed to collide with the backboard, this is an unstoppable play for Duncan.

    While demonstrating a series of bank shots in the video above, Duncan and others discuss the overall effectiveness of the play.

    It's one that has come to symbolize his fundamental game.

Deron Williams

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    Bread and Butter: The Double Crossover

    Deron Williams can get past most people with one crossover.

    When he really needs a basket, however, he'll come down the floor and use two.

    In the video above, Williams goes to that bread-and-butter play against Matt Barnes and the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Out of the isolation set, Williams crosses Barnes over once. Then he comes back and crosses him over again going the other direction.

    Barnes nearly falls down, Williams is left open and he converts the jump shot.

Dwyane Wade

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    Bread and Butter: The Euro Step

    Dwyane Wade has turned Euro-stepping into an art form.

    His bread-and-butter play begins in transition against Kevin Garnett in the video above.

    Wade first hesitates out near the three-point line. Then, as he approaches Garnett, he attacks the basket to the inside of KG. 

    Just as he does, Wade then steps back to the outside of his defender to convert the easy layup.