Posting Up: The Rules

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Next Best Actions

Just like with other post related topics, there are no rules that discuss when players should post up. You have total freedom to do what you want.  Some people struggle with that freedom.  Others thrive on it.  I hope we can give you some guidance to help you make the best decisions for your team. You know you have some players who you want posting up sometimes, but not necessarily as permanent post players. You think you can exploit mismatches around the basket, but you want to keep the lane open so that your players have space to attack the rim off the dribble.  You want to be able to tell them when to post up, where to post up, and how long they should post up. We’ll answer these questions one at a time.

When Do I Post Up?
The short answer to that question is that a player can post up anytime you cut to the basket.  So let’s review when a player makes a basket cut.  They make a basket cut when….

1.  Someone dribbles at them.
2. They pass to a player 1 pass away.
3. Someone throws a skip pass and they are 1 pass away.
4. A defender jumps over the Read Line and forces a back door cut.

There are a few other scenarios where players may basket cut that we haven’t covered yet. However, these are the most common ones.  The question the coach has to answer is what rules do I set for my team.  What do I tell my players?  Which players are allowed to post up?  Do I tell them to post up on every basket cut?  Only on a certain action? Only on a certain side?  Only when the post is open? Only when a certain player is guarding them?

Where Do I Post Up?
This one seems pretty straightforward. Maybe it isn’t as obvious as it seems.  We’ve talked about the 6 “post spots.” When most people think about posting up, they think about the mid/low post.  Some players are going to be successful there.  Others will be more successful in the high post or the short corner.  Posting up may look different from these spots, but these are certainly areas on the court where different types of players will find success.

Have you ever considered having a player cut and post up on the weak side?  It might be easier for them to get good position on ball reversal or off of some other action. Some players are much more effective in the high post.  If your players are smart enough to read the defense, maybe you can give them the freedom to post up anywhere they want.

You can institute as many or as few rules as you want. The more rules you institute, the harder it will be for the players to learn.  Know your players.  Know your team.  Know your situation.  Know your opponents.

How Long do I Post Up?
So I cut, and I post up.  Do I stay for as long as I want?  Do I stay in the post for the rest of the possession?  Do I stay for a  certain number of passes?  Do I stay until someone else posts up?  Maybe I get to stay until I touch the ball.  Do I stay until I set a screen or until someone screens for me?  Again there are a number of different ways to play it based on the variety of factors.  If you only have one player posting up, then obviously you would have a lot more flexibility in your rules than if you had your whole team posting after every cut.

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