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On offense, there is no more important aspect to playing
basketball than playing in the post. Getting the basketball into
the post is the most essential part of any offense in that the offense
can score more points per possession and have a lower turnover
percentage. However, many coaches still do not realize the
importance of great post play.
Post play involves several fundamental aspects that can
be taught and incorporated into any offense. This article will
present moves for your big men as to how they can get open and moves
they can use to score the basketball or get other teammates involved.
The article will also present different ways bigs need to play in
offenses that involve dribble penetration by perimeter players and how
post play works in four around one and three around two offenses.
Moves for Getting Open
There are six basic moves that can be used to get open
in the low post. Namely, these moves will work when the post is
isolated inside by himself. Three of the moves will help him get
the ball when he is a help-side post and three others when he starts out
as a ball-side post.
The first of these moves is to call for the lob pass
from help side (Diagram 1). This happens when the defensive man
guarding the post has overcompensated on help defense and is on the
ball-side side of the basket. When this happens, the big man, who
is help side puts up his outside hand and calls for the lob pass.
The next two moves deal with a help-side defender
who requires contact to get open. When playing help-side
defense, the help defender will either play the man below the
passing lane or will be above or at the passing lane. When
either of these happens, we will be prepared to get our big man open
so that he can catch the basketball. These moves are only be
used when the ball-side post is vacated and we need to get a player
to the ball-side post.
Diagram 2 shows what happens when the help-side
defender is playing below the passing lane. Here, we want the
big man to make contact with the defender using his chest and
spinning over the top to post. The reason is twofold: we do
not want to use our hands because that will attract the attention of
officials who are looking to call fouls and we want to seal
defenders whenever possible.
Meanwhile, Diagram 3 shows what happens when the
defender plays on or above the passing lane from the ball to the
help-side post player. This time, the same maneuver is used as
in Diagram 2 except that we are going to spin low and post.
Next, this article explains the three ball-side moves that must be made by the
low post if he is going to get open to receive the basketball. The post
player will have to work even harder to get the ball on the ball side than on
the help side. The resistance will be greater because of the post player
being on the same side as the ball.
The first maneuver to get open is called "working the
'C'". This is a move that I got from Danny Manning and it is
designed to help the big man set up his man for either a post entry pass
from another perimeter player or for a post entry. The big man
works up the floor in a semi-circular motion as shown in Diagram 4.
If the defender is not careful, we can get the entry pass. If not,
we can pass the basketball to another perimeter player and use a
different move to get open in the post.
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