Boston Celtics

Heat Check: Who has the best handles in the NBA?

It's #NBAHandlesWeek, and while many of the league's bright stars impress with their ballhandling abilities, only one can be crowned the best. Is it Steph, Kyrie, Kemba? The experts debate…

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): Give me Kyrie Irving. There's a reason nobody can stop the five-time All-Star in isolation. Being able to shoot as well as he can from 3-point range and midrange certainly helps, but he's mastered how to break defenders down off the dribble to create shots for himself all over the court. A simple crossover often does the trick, but nobody combines moves as smoothly as Irving does when defenders cut off his first option.

Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): I have to go with Kyrie Irving. On a nightly basis, Irving keeps defences on their heels with his book of seemingly endless combinations of moves. Irving's balance, pace and footwork make his arsenal of moves that much more effective; there is never a moment where a defender has appeared to speed him up or make him uncomfortable. You can't force Kyrie to do anything, either - he's just as effective with his "off" hand.

Kyrie is the perfect balance of flash and substance - each of his difficult moves serve a purpose. Whether it's an in-and-out, crossover combination, or a hard hesitation move, he is working to create a shot for himself or one of his teammates.

Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13): James Harden's handles - predicated on changing pace, lulling defenders to sleep and impeccable footwork - can make defenders look downright silly. If you don't believe me, google "James Harden Wesley Johnson."

He doesn't dance or finish with both hands quite like Kyrie, but there's no denying that his elite ball skills set the table for perhaps the league's best signature move. It's what Harden does with his handles that makes him the best in the league. Though he's been the league's single most prolific player at getting to the line for several years, Harden took his off-the-dribble game to new heights last season, unleashing a step-back 3 that's become the league's single most unstoppable move. Not only did he attempt for step-back 3s than any other TEAM, he canned a ridiculous 44.6 percent of them. That's the exact same percentage that Stephen Curry shot on 3s with no defender within 4 feet.

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James McKern (@jLmcKern): James Harden's ability to lull his opponents before exploding with a vicious crossover is incredible, Steph Curry can create space in the blink of an eye and Chris Paul has a never-ending bag of tricks he can call upon to get to his spot. But nobody leaves defenders more nervous in one-on-one situations than Kyrie Irving. As soon as he's isolated fans eagerly await a dazzling display of moves and Irving never fails to disappoint. His tricks don't stop when he leaves the ground either as he's got an ever wider array of finishes at the rim with either hand.

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