Playing off the Post Play – by Chris Filios

post play

Playing off the Post Play

While getting the ball inside to a post player to score is often the main reason to feed the post play, it isn’t the only reason. Feeding the post-play can create a multitude of options and opportunities to score. The game has become more dribble dominant where guards do the scoring and creating with the dribble, and bigs now play facing the basket. Unfortunately, feeding the post-play has become a lost art. As the emphasis on having a back to the basket game has become less emphasized, so too has the art of feeding the post and how to play off it once thrown in. Players just do not know after passing the ball to the post. Often times, they think their job is done. So they stand and watch. However, this is a great time to create other scoring opportunities for the offense beyond the post player going 1 v 1. Here are just a few options for offenses: 

Space

This is the most basic option. Once a player throws the ball into the post play, he can look to space. Not standstill. Space. If feeding on the wing, that means drop to the corner or slide up towards the high slot. This concept is beneficial if you have good perimeter shooters on your team. This also creates easy passing decisions for the big as they will generally know where the perimeter players will be with the lack of cutting. You could look to add a weakside dive or cut to the spacing option especially if you have a player that is not a perimeter threat. 

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Cut 

Maybe the most popular option. Pass and cut. This creates a little movement. It also creates more space for the big on offense as it vacates the ball side dig defender. You can have the other players hold and leave the ball side completely open or you can have players rotate over. This was a staple in the triangle offense of the great Bulls and Lakers teams. They would hold the other perimeter players and dive the weak side big (or the center if they were posting a guard/wing). It is also a great option to get a cheap basket against the lazy defense. Whether the defender falls asleep or gives a lazy dig, the offense can look to get a give and go bucket. 

Pinch/Split/Squeeze 

There are a handful of terms for this pass and screen away action. This is the most complex action but gives you the most options. After passing to the post play, the passer will screen away for the next player over (most likely in the high slot). The split-screen will be set in the area of the elbow or high slot. This is where the player receiving the screen makes a read. They can choose to: 

-take the screen and pop to the wing…if a good shooter and the defender trails -back cut…if the defender is cheating the screen or use as a bump if a poor perimeter shooter 

The screener also has a read to make. They can: 

-slip the screen if defender cheats the screen or switches out hard -screen and then dive -screen and pop -screen and pop back if the cutter back cuts 

This can create opportunities for shooters (and screeners). This is a good option if the big can pass, but may not be a scorer. It can also be used to occupy the defense, giving the post space to play 1 v 1.

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