Post Pass – Points of Emphasis

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Post Play

There are a number of points of emphasis for Post Pass Layer.  The passer and post player must work in tandem to execute this layer.  Both players have certain responsibilities they must execute to successfully get the ball in this position for this layer.

The 8 C’s of Post Play discuss some of these general details.  I don’t want to take time getting into the specific fundamentals.  There are numerous ways to teach players how to be successful in the post.  I may touch on these later. These 8 qualities are critical for a post player to be able to successfully execute their half of the action associated with this layer.

Again, the perimeter players are the real key.  Can the guard get the ball to post player?  This is a skill that does not come naturally to most players.  Some players don’t see the post player because they only see the defender in front of them.  Some players don’t feel comfortable getting it to the post player, so they do something else.  Some players try and fail. I watch guards all the time who can’t hit the biggest targets in the post.  Yes, we have to teach them that too.

Ball Fakes

  • Ball fakes are probably the most under utilized skill in the game of basketball.  Whether it’s a shot fake or a pass fake, a good ball fake can get on-ball and off-ball defenders out of position for just long enough to get the ball into a post player.  

Location and Angle

  • The location of the players on the court is important to getting the ball inside.  Ball handlers must have an angle to be able to get the ball into the post player.  They must be aware of help side defenders who may be anticipating any entry passes.  They must understand the distance between them and the post player is  important.  If they are too close, the post won’t have space to operate.  If they are too far away, defenders may have a chance to deflect or steal the pass.  

Catchable Passes

  • Guards have to understand their post players.  They have to understand that they may be holding off a defender while trying to secure the catch at the same time. Passing to a post player is different from passing to a perimeter player.  Passes must be catchable.  Of course a post player with great hands increases this room for error.  But guards still have to understand how to deliver a good pass that is away from the defense yet catchable by their teammate.


  • The Laker Cut is not a difficult cut to make, but it must be made with good pace and spacing.  The cutter must maintain separation between themselves and the post player.  This forces the defender to make a decision and makes the post player’s decision easier.  It also makes the double team on the post player more difficult.  If the cutter doesn’t cut to space, the post player can be put in a pretty precarious situation in trying to protect the ball.

Hitting the Cutter

  • Of course we want to hit the cutter if they are open.  This is a very advantageous position for the offense.  Conventional passes probably won’t be available here.  Post players will learn how to deliver the ball in close quarters, over, under, and around defenders.  They must understand that bullets are going to be tough to catch in these close quarters. Cutters must always be ready.  The opportunity for a pass to a cutter may be slim.  Cutters must always expect the pass.  



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