NBA 2K21: Beginner’s guide to dribbling

A beginner’s guide to dribbling and handling the ball.

Knowing how to dribble the basketball in NBA 2K21 can help you out in big ways. Not only will good dribbling make you a better ball-handler, which should lead to fewer turnovers, but it can also be an aid when it comes to fighting off and faking out defenders. So what do you need to know about dribbling in NBA 2K21? Let’s go over our tips for beginners.

The controls

Before we you do anything with dribbling, you should know the basic dribbling controls in NBA 2K21. There are a lot of different moves you can perform in NBA 2K21, and the majority of them use some sort of combination that includes a trigger button (LT/R2 for Xbox, L2/R2 for PlayStation) and the right stick.

Here is the full dribbling moves list for NBA 2K21:

  • Sprint – Hold RT/R2 + move left stick in any direction
  • Signature Size-up – Move and hold right stick up from a stand dribble (use left stick to drift forward, back, or laterally while sizing up)
  • Signature Park Size-up – Repeatedly tap LT/L2 from a stand dribble (must be equipped in Signature Animations and playing in The Neighborhood or Blacktop)
  • In and Out – Move right stick up right then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Hesitation – Move right stick right then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Momentum Hesitation – RT/R2 + move right stick then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Hesitation Escape – Move and hold right stick right when dribbling with right hand
  • Crossover – Move right stick up left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Momentum Crossover – RT/R2 + move right stick up left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Crossover Escape – Move and hold right stick up left when dribbling with right hand
  • Between Legs Cross – Move right stick left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Momentum Between Legs Cross – RT/R2 + move right stick left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Between Legs Escape – Move and hold right stick left when dribbling with right hand
  • Behind the Back – Move right stick down left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Momentum Behind the Back – RT/R2 + move right stick down left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Behind the Back Escape – Move and hold right stick down left when dribbling with right hand
  • Step-back – Move right stick down then quickly release
  • Momentum Step-back – RT/R2 + move right stick down then quickly release
  • Spin – Rotate right stick clockwise then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Half Spin – Rotate right stick in a quarter-circle from right to up then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
  • Hard Stop /Stutter – Tap LT/L2 while driving for a quick change of speed to break a defender off and set up an open shot
  • Hold Off Defender – Holding LT/L2 allows you to use your body to shield off defenders while dribbling
  • Triple Threat Side Jab – Move right stick right then quickly release (with left pivot foot established)
  • Triple Threat Front Jab – Move right stick up right then quickly release (with left pivot foot established)
  • Triple Threat Quick Jab – Move right up then quickly release
  • Triple Threat Mid-Step-over – Move right stick up left then quickly release (with left pivot foot established)
  • Triple Threat Full-Step-over – Move right stick left then quickly release (with left pivot foot established)
  • Triple Threat Pump Fake – Move right stick down then quickly release
  • Triple Threat Side Hesitation – Move and hold right stick left or right
  • Triple Threat Attack Hesitation – Move and hold right stick up left or up right
  • Triple Threat Size-up – Move and hold right stick up
  • Triple Threat Step-back – RT/R2 + move right stick down then quickly release
  • Triple Threat Spin-Out – Rotate right stick clockwise then quickly release (with left pivot foot established)
  • Triple Threat Cross Spin-Out – Rotate right stick counter-clockwise then quickly release

Watch your opponent carefully

There are a few reasons as to why you need to watch the opposition carefully when dribbling the ball. First off, gauging the distance between the ball-handler and the defender will help give you a good idea as to what type of dribbling move you should utilize. For example, if an opposing defender is right on you, perhaps trying a Hold Off to try to reset and break away from the player.

Also, watching the opposition can give you a good idea as to what that player likes to do. If you see that the opponent likes to play close to the ball-handler every time, try a variety of dribbling maneuvers to shake off the defender. If one works, keep that in mind and then see if the opposition plays the same way again. Only this time, you know how will have a way to easily beat the match-up.

Be responsible when dribbling

While doing fancy dribbling moves can look guide, be mindful that you need to be responsible when dribbling the ball. Making a poor decision with the ball could lead to a turnover and the opponent going the other way with the basketball. Try to limit the moves that you use in NBA 2K21, and don’t do the same move on every occasion. Diversify the moves that you utilize so that the opponent doesn’t expect the same move every time.

In addition, keep your options. Using a spin or a stutter is not the only way you can beat the opponent. Good ball movement can also be an effective tool to shaking things loose and getting players option.The key is to stay disciplined and be patient. Don’t be afraid to wait things out, as it can pay big dividends if you do.