The 8 C’s of Post Play

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series R&R Intro

We’ve been talking about all sorts perimeter actions. You’re probably the team with more post players than guards. You are tired of all this talk about attacking off the dribble. You want to attack the paint with the pass. You want to get the ball inside to one of your dominant post players and all this dribbling is taking away from their touches. Trust me, post play is a huge part of the success of the offense.

The perimeter actions may get all the attention, but post play is the secret ingredient. There are so many ways for post players to contribute to the success of your offense. You can really tailor your offense to your personnel through the use of your post players. More on that later. For now, I thought a quick intro on how to be successful in the post might be useful.

The post is no place for the faint of heart. You have to expect collisions, contact, conflict, and confrontation. You are going to play against the biggest, tallest, and strongest players. You’re going to have guards coming around you like little gnats trying to bug you. You have to run baseline to baseline. You might even go multiple possessions without touching the ball. It takes courage to play in the post. It doesn’t come in pill form.

So you tell me you have the courage to mix it up in the land of the giants? Then you have to claim your spot. Whether on offense or defense, playing in the post is a fight for territory. Who gets there first? Who can hold their ground? You must claim your spot and fight for every inch. If you let a player take you off your spot, you’re not going to be very good. Stake a claim to your territory. Learn how to get it, keep it, and protect it.

On offense, you gotta call for the ball. Your guard may not see you. Even if they do, if you don’t call for it, they probably think you don’t want it. Call for the ball.
On defense, you gotta communicate with your teammates. You can probably see more of the floor than they can. Talk to them. Let them know what’s going on.

If you’re gonna claim your spot, and you’re gonna call for it, you better catch it. A post player with good hands is a valuable asset to any team. Any ball movement that’s going towards the basket will likely touch a post players hands. Whether it’s a good shot, bad shot, good pass or bad pass, a post player who can suck up anything in their area is invaluable. The more area they can cover, the better. You gotta have the ball to score. If your team has the ball, the other team can’t score. If your post player squeezes those loose balls, the other team has less chances to score.

Once you catch it, you gotta put that ball under your chin. It’s the strongest position that a player can be in with the ball. Catch it in the post? Chin it. Catch a rebound? Chin it.

You’ve done everything to catch and secure the ball. Now you have to check. Check for the defender. Check for the opportunity to score. Check for the double team. Check for the open teammate. This may or may not involve footwork. It always involves knowing where the other 9 people are on the floor. If you can know before you catch it where people are, that’s even better. You still gotta check.

Now it’s time to execute. Maybe it’s the outlet pass. Maybe it’s a post move. Maybe it’s the skip pass or a kick out. Whatever you decide to do, you must have the confidence that you can do it. You can’t think you can. You gotta know it. You gotta know that you can make your move in either direction and finish with either hand. You have to know that you can make that pass out of the double team. You have to know that nobody is going to take the ball from you because you put the time in the weight room to have the strength to protect it.

Finish. Get it done.
Finish. Put the ball in the hole.
Finish. Snatch that defense rebound.
Finish. Start the break.
Finish. Hit the open man.
Finish. Finish. Finish.
And no I’m not talking about a language from a Scandinavian country.

More 3 player diagrams are coming. Isn’t it about time to start talking about post play?


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