What is an Escape Dribble?

If you’re like me, you were probably pretty confused to learn that there are two types of escape dribbles. I break down both in this article in an effort to clear up the confusion.

I was watching a Boston Celtics game and after this one Jaylen Brown play, Candace Parker brought up an interesting term that I had never heard before.

She said, “Boy, does he have that escape dribble down.”

Watch it here:

This was when my curiosity hit me.

I thought, “My, gosh! What’s an escape dribble? How have I never heard of this before?”

Initially, like a few plays after the play and the quarter was over, I thought that it was a dribble move that’s used to get out of trouble when you’re trapped in the post.

But after re-watching the clip after the game, it wasn’t. I got my plays mixed up and was wrong.

(I am sorry. Sincerely.)

Thus, I still didn’t know what it was. So, I searched the trusty YouTube.

But after I typed in my query and pressed enter, there were two different types of escape dribbles that showed up, which didn’t help.

But I was eager to know, so, I watched and tried to understand both of them.

“h” Escape Dribble

One talks about how to escape a trap as you take the ball up the court.

For instance, let’s say you’re bringing the ball up and the opposing team tries to trap you on the sideline near the half-court by double-teaming you.

You’re probably going to pick the ball up out of fear and anxiety of having it stolen.

But if you do this, you’re screwed. You will lose your dribble and will just be cornered, which can lead to the ball getting stolen or you violating a clock rule.

The better way -or the correct way- according to the video is to dribble your way out of traps.

It says that instead of freezing like a scared cat, you should dribble backwards and then cross hard and away from the trap, and sprint out of harm’s way.

If this is difficult to envision (which I know it is), this might help: the move forms an “h.”

You can also watch this video:

Additionally, a good drill to work on this move is the half Stockton Drill. You can learn about it here.

ISO Escape Dribble

The other type of escape dribble that showed up is a more advanced move; the previous one is a fundamental move.

The advanced “escape dribble” is an ISO move that’s used to create space between you, the ball-handler, and the defender.

There are many ways to pull this move off and you can make it as complex as you’d like. But at the core of it, it’s really just a side-step.

Here’s a compilation of Chris Paul doing it:

And here’s a tutorial of how to do it, if you’re interested:

When Should You Use Which Escape Dribble?

So, you’re probably wondering when you should use which move.

Well, if you ever find yourself trapped by a double team as you bring the ball up or as you set up a play, use the “h” escape dribble.

And if you ever find yourself wanting to get a defender off of you as you play a little one-on-one, use the advanced escape dribble(s).

Final Thoughts

Both of these moves are good to have in your handles package (though, you should learn the “h” one first because it is a fundamental move).

I hope I was able to clear up the (potential) confusion between the two so that you know which one is which and which one you need to learn.