Who Has the Quickest First Step in the NBA?

September 25th, 2012 by Rob Mahoney Leave a reply »

After decades of strategic evolution, the most effective methods of shot creation in the NBA still stem from simply being quicker than an opponent. Dribble penetration is the modern era's weapon of choice, and though screens, ball-handling and playmaking all play a role in shot creation from the perimeter, there's simply no replacement for the power of bursting toward the rim without aid. The first step allows players to generate points and draw fouls, and it matches its substantive gains with aesthetic value.

So naturally, those who are able to trigger their drives more quickly than others have incredible value in the NBA—for production's sake, if not for style alone. Here are a look at the players who could realistically claim to have the quickest first step in the NBA (in no particular order):

Russell Westbrook

Westbrook is categorically slammed for all that he does wrong, but there's no denying his incredible athleticism and ability to explode to the basket at a moment's notice. It's an aspect of his game that's inarguably native, and yet has been enhanced by his gradual development.

Though Westbrook may ...

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