One of my basketball ‘pet peeves’ is being invited to a gym and seeing less and less emphasis on the post up. Players are posting up less and less and it’s a shame. The post up in basketball has almost become like a lost art, going from essential to almost non-existent. However, to me the post up is still essential to the game of basketball and here are a 3 reasons why.
1. It makes ‘the two easy points’ even easier
Everyone knows that the easiest shot in basketball is the layup. The whole point of the post up is to get a layup. Therefore by using footwork, shot fakes in the post; a layup is what the player posting up will almost certainly get. Even if that is not the end result for the player posting up, that player will make cutting opportunities much more dangerous and can set up high percentage shots in the paint.
2. It is a nice back up plan when the outside shot is not falling
Here is a little secret… Sometimes even the best shooters can simply have off shooting nights from the perimeter. Case in point, Steph Curry. Steph ‘Dell Curry Jr.’ Curry will probably go down as the greatest shooter ever when he decides to call it a career but we have seen that even he will go cold from deep. When that does not work out, a nice plan B can help the team out. No I am talking about a contraceptive, I am talking about posting up for layups. Klay Thompson type players are rare but many, many teams can decide to play big when deciding to execute a game plan. The post up is usually done best by the biggest and the strongest. There is a reason why Shaq was so efficient. Thus if your team’s shooters are struggling, having a post player that allows you to change strategy mid game is a really nice asset to have.
3. It’s another great way to get an open perimeter shot
Fact is the post up is not only for the shot but it’s for the pass and it is probably the most ruthless pass in basketball. If a player in the post draws a double team, an open shot is ALWAYS available. Usually the open shot is in the paint, which is ideal, but it is a harder pass due to the simple physics of turning into the paint and rifling a pass through a double team. Thus the pass to the outside is not only easier but sets up some many things. Besides the fact that the pass is a simple chest pass away: it’s going to an already set shooter, it sparks ball movement, and it forces the opposing team’s defense to play both the perimeter and the post more honest or at the very least make the opposition think twice about doubling.
The post up is still effective so to all coaches out there… Please spend some time emphasizing to your players, especially big men, how important it is to master the post up.