Originally Posted by OhNoTimNoSho
To make the distinction between streetball ballhandlers and NBA ballhandlers and why one does not succeed as the other is simple.
Streetball ballhandlers are east-west dribblers. They can make lots of fancy moves and move side to side but as long as the defender shades them they cannot get to the bucket.
NBA ballhandlers are north-south ballhandlers. Their only goal is to get to the bucket. While being able to go side to side is useful its not necessary. The big part of this is the stop n go game/change of pace/ timing and rhythm, which incidentally, streetball players suck at since they are iso ball hogs.
Crawford sort of combines both but in the NBA generally there are few east-west ballhandlers as that is highly frowned upon by coaches.
And what Crawford excels at is baiting the defender into reaching for the ball or overplaying one direction or the other.. and he then makes them look foolish. The problem is, he usually does it side to side (as you mentioned) or ends up farther away from the basket. He has great moves, he just doesn't use them as effectively as other star PGs use their moves.
Thus why Irving and CP3 (along with many other players) are more successful with their moves off the dribble.