Whether a player is 7”, 6’2, or even 5’8, it will always be to their advantage to have a strong post game. It gets you easy opportunities around the basket, and when the defense sends an extra defender to prevent these easy opportunities, it opens up your shooters for long range jumpers.
There are two basic ways to play the post – with your back to the basket, and facing up.
Generally players with a strong lower body, or a height advantage, favour posting up with their back to the basket. It allows them to establish position close to the basket, and to use their size as an advantage over the smaller defender. Think Shaquille O’Neal, or even Karl Malone.
A quicker, more skilled player will want to face-up and try to use their triple threat position to get the defender to bite on a jab step or head fake, opening up a lane that might not be there otherwise. More similar to someone like Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, or Patrick Ewing.
Of course, the deadliest players will combine both a brutal power game, and a smooth finesse game, so that they can take advantage of any defender’s weaknesses.
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Back To The Basket
There are three basic moves that you need to have a dominant power game, and you can work on all three from this drill. If the defender is on your high side, you’ll want to go to the drop step.
Slide your foot closest to the baseline behind the defenders leg, and power dribble towards the basket as you bring your other foot towards the basket. Make sure to use that first leg as leverage, using that strong lower base to move the defender out of position to affect your shot.
The other is what I call a ‘long hook’. Use the same technique as the drop step, but with your foot farthest away from the baseline, as you
are making your step to the middle on this move.
Try to take as big a step as possible, and keep the ball strong – the ball is quite a bit more exposed on a move to the middle.
The third is simple, if the defender is giving you any space, take it, immediately, with a power dribble right back into the defender, and lay it in to the basket with your best hand.
After catching the ball and facing up, you have a couple of options at your disposal.
If the defender does not close the gap as soon as you face up, take the jumpshot – not only is at a high percentage look, but it will make everything else you do out of the post that much easier.
Now that you’ve proven to the defender that they need to respect your jumpshot, throw in a pump fake, and look to beat him to the basket once he is in the air.
If he doesn’t bite on the head fake, this is where you will pull out your jab step. Sweep the ball low, below your knees, and make the defender react to the jab. If they stay in position, go to the hoop! If they slide back, then your faithful jumper will be wide open.
The defender has to pick his poison, and you have to make sure that you read them correctly, and give it to them.
- Remember to stress that players always use their outside hands when going to the hoop – left hand on the left side, right hand on the right side
- Perimeter players will be more akin to the face up game, and generally your post players will prefer having their back to the basket, but encourage them to try both, because you never know which they could eventually find more useful if their position ever changes
If you liked this article and are looking for more drills for your big guys, make you check out the Post Skill Development Drillbook today!