In the modern age of basketball, with the amount of three’s we see go up from night to night. One thing that is often barely even brushed upon is how important scoring the ball 5 feet and in can be. Being with the two solid ways, layups created various ways which you may hear people talk about every once in a while, but most importantly the post play. Something hardly anyone wants to talk about. Some centers still exist who excel at getting their matchups out of the game from foul trouble and making the right moves within that 5 foot span.
Now as important as the post spins, hesitations, up and unders, and just overall recognition of the defense is. The one thing that a lot of great post players all do and they have in common, is they fight and work to keep the defense on the center of their back. Karl Anthony Towns against the Hawks on December 29th showcased this for only even the first 4 minutes of the game and had Dewayne Desmond who had accrued and a steal and two free throws of his own at the time, in foul trouble and on the bench.
When you have the defense behind you in the post and you don’t have the ball if any defensive rotations or schemes are being ran immediately their portion of the rotation is going to be a step slow to their next spot. If you come from the post to set any screen or hand offs, your defender now isn’t moving with you, they are behind you and working to get back completely in the play to some degree, this will give space and opportunity for the guard with the ball to work with the ball and make decisions.
When you have the ball and the defender is guarding you from behind, you now have the complete ability to go or pass both ways to your advantage. You can face up. Most importantly the defender is not indicative of the possession, they will only be able to react to your next movement.
Now obviously the next option the defenders will have will be to take away your post up completely, they will try and front the post. That is the most welcomed thing for any offensive post player that has ever existed. This is where that 5 foot zone away from the basket becomes important again as, as long as you push the front outside of that bubble. The pass Over the top comes in over the top for a lay up or dunk almost 70% of the time as the rotation to that runway is hard for the help to get to. If the help does get home, with even the slightest bit of basketball iq from the player with the ball the shooters will be waiting for the ball to be zipped over the helps head.
Guarding the post is simple, if anyone who wants to post is trying to sit on you deep in the post, make sure you pick a side you’re sitting on and make it their strong hand. Fronting can be good but you have to work hard to do it, and don’t let them even 3 feet from the basket, you start to allow room to operate with much more space. Be physical in the post, not over the line but make sure early on in the game you work your body, and make it known what space is going to be yours.