I see more and more youth players struggling when it come to feeding the post. This is quickly becoming a lost art in the game of basketball. I've seen players in a practice setting throw the ball out of bounds without being guarded and without a post defender. How does that happen?
When I was younger and went to basketball camps there was always a passing station that stressed passing the ball into the post. I see a lot of YouTube videos of players and trainers doing ball handling drills, but not many passing drills. Especially drills that stress passing into the post. So in this blog I have 4 tips or reads a passer should make before making the pass into the post.
1. How your defender is playing you - When you have the basketball you must understand how the on ball defender is playing you. Are they playing you tight? Or are they sagging off to defer or intercept the pass into the post? By understanding this, this will give you what you need to pass the ball into the post. If the defender is playing you tight you may have to create space to get the defender off of you to make the entry pass. This could be off a jab step, step back, or fake drive. Once you create the space needed you can then make your pass.
If the defender is sagging off you to defer or deflect/steal the pass, then you want to use a solid ball fake to get the defender off balance. There are three fakes you can use: 1. Ball fake high 2. Ball fake low 3. Shot fake if you are in shooting range.
2. How the post defender is being played - Once you have read your defender and created space you must now recognize how the post defender is being played. Is the defender fronting, playing behind, or denying the post player? Understanding what the post defender is trying to do will give you the solution needed to feed the low post player. But, understand that based on how the post is being defended will tell you if you need to make the pass or give the ball to a teammate who may have a better angle.
3. Where the help defenders are - Before you make a pass into the post you must also read where the help defenders are. If you play with a dominant low post player, teams will likely sag off to give more help on the post. This will give the defense a quicker opportunity to double team on the catch if they desire to do so. So you have to realize if you have the ball in the corner and the post defender is on the baseline side of the offensive player denying the pass, you have to see where the post defenders help is coming from. More than likely it will come from the middle with an extra defender sagging to give help. If you see this you can't force the pass because there's a high chance of the ball being stolen. Be aware of the help side when the defense fronts the post. I see players all the time make the pass over the top and completely ignore the backside defender helping off the weak side. This can end with a steal, deflection, or double team.
4. Where is the post player asking for the ball - The last thing you must read is where the defender wants the ball. Post players are taught to read and feel their defender. If the post is calling for the ball high then you want to make every effort to make the entry pass high. If the post wants the ball low, then you must try to get the ball in low. When passing to the post, or just passing in general, you want to keep the ball away from the defense. Now, I say that meaning you still want to make a good pass to your teammate.
You can really get detailed in how to feed the ball in the post. You can talk about angles, go in detail on ball fakes, post position, ball reversal on post fronts, cuts and movement off post feed, and other ideas. I just wanted to post a few ideas that you could pass along to you players when teaching post feeds. Pass along this information to your players and see their post feeding skills go to another level.
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