Post Pass – Offensive Fundamentals

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Post Play

There is a long list of offensive fundamentals required to complete a successful entry pass to the post followed by a Laker Cut.  The partnership between the perimeter player and the post player is vital to offensive success.  The coordination of these two players’ skills will make big differences in a team’s ability to create easy offensive opportunities.

Posting Up

Getting position is critical for successful post play.  Maintaining position is key as well. How do I get position initially? What if I’m fronted? How do seal for the lob?  What if the ball is passed, how can I use any previous disadvantages to gain an advantage? How should I post up if the ball is in one position versus another position? Some players will naturally understand getting position and keeping it.  Most players will have to be taught. Once they understand the general concept, they should be able to apply it to multiple situations.

Bounce Pass

The traditional two-handed bounce pass probably won’t work very well if there’s a defender guarding the ball.  In this case, the ball handler may have to throw a bounce pass around the defender. At the same time, they must recognize where the post defender is so that they pass the ball to side of their teammate that is away from the defender.  They may also need to incorporate a ball fake in order to set up the pass.

Overhead Pass

Many players try to feed the post using an overhead pass, but they never get the defender’s hands down in order to make the pass and it gets deflected. Or they telegraph the pass only to have it stolen.  Or they throw it too hard for the post player to be able to catch.  It’s perfectly acceptable to feed the post with an overhead pass, as long as it’s the right pass to make.

Lob Pass

I don’t know why players have such a hard time making good lob passes, but this might be the best reason to front post players.  Many offensive players can’t make this pass.  They throw it too hard, too short, or too high.  Teaching players to throw good lob passes puts extra pressure on interior defenses.  No post defender is ever comfortable in their position if they know the offense might try to lob it over their heads.  This also puts extra pressure on help side defenders.


Post players must learn to snatch the ball out of the air. It must be more than a catch. It must be a strong aggressive snatch to minimize the opportunities that other defenders have to get their hands on the ball.  This aggressiveness is an active proclamation that the ball is under control by the post player and no one else.

Laker Cut

The Laker Cut is a pretty simple cut.  It’s a cut into space and then to the rim. As long as the cutter maintains space between themselves and the post player and finishes the cut at the rim, there’s not a lot more to it.  The key is to make an angled cut instead of a straight cut to the rim.

Post Moves/Pivoting

On the catch, the post player must maintain solid feet and solid footwork.  This could mean pivoting to protect the ball, see the other side of the court, make a move to the basket, or gain an advantage.  The ability for a post player to pivot shows a high level of patience and control of the situation.  A post player with patience and proper footwork will create scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates.


Whether it’s the post player or the cutter, both of these players are going to have opportunities to score around the basket. The best offensive execution in the world doesn’t mean much if you can’t put the ball in the hole.  Players must be able to finish.  One foot, two feet, right hand, left hand, with and without contact, over, under, and around defenders. Players must be able to finish in traffic with contact and sometimes after a couple fakes.



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