Originally Posted by nathanjizzle
ive watched every d rose bulls game there ever was. he does do it on occasions but only when he feels like theres too much muscle in the lane and he has to power his way in for a layup. most of the time hes using his acrobatic ability to finish. cuffing everytime or most the time is no good. another good reason that cuffing is bad is that you actually lose explosion to lay in the ball. when you gather the ball in a cuffing motion the ball stays at a stand still or a gentle cradle, either at your waist or near your abdomen. but if you bring it up and over from waist to waist, you can gather energy off that movement and then lay it in any way you want. im a good penetrator myself and i only cradle when im not using my speed to hit the lane, when i need to force my way in the lane i cradle or grip the ball like a football.
I agree it should not be overdone. In my history, I don't have a conscious memory of deciding I wanted to cuff as I drove; it felt more like a reaction. I feel like when the time is right to cuff it like a football or however you want to describe it, you'll know.
In fact, I think all my ball protection moves are reactions as opposed to plans. I just treat the time I pickup my dribble as free reign to do whatever the hell I want with my body and the ball within those two steps prior to takeoff. If I'm attacking on the fast break and there's two defenders standing on each elbow, thinking they've got the middle blocked off because their arms are in the way, I'll pick up my dribble at the three point line, put the ball above my head, and blast through their arms in for a bucket. If I put myself in a position to power through a forest of people all wildly looking to rip it from my possession, I may cuff it as mentioned. Or, maybe a Euro-step is in order. It's an open book of opportunity when one drives.
As Burgh said earlier in this thread, if you feel you have a list of proper gathering techniques and you're still being stripped frequently, you may want to consider whether you're overdriving, i.e. putting your possession unnecessarily in trouble, to the point that no protection is adequate.