Basketball is a game of strategy, skill, and positions, each with its unique responsibilities and opportunities. One of the critical positions on the basketball court is the post, a role that can be both physically demanding and technically challenging. Understanding what the post entails is crucial to appreciate the nuances of the game.

The Role of a Post Player

A post player is typically the tallest player on the team, such as the center or even power forwards. They operate near the free throw line and the low post area; close to the basket. These players are pivotal in both offense and defense, using their size to score, block shots, and rebound.

On offense, post players receive the ball in a position that allows them to either take a close shot or create scoring opportunities for their teammates. They must have a high basketball IQ to make quick decisions, whether it's executing post moves or finding an open teammate.

Offensive Strategies in the Post

When it comes to scoring, a post player have a variety of moves at their disposal. From hook shots to drop steps and spin moves, these techniques are designed to outmaneuver defenders and make space for an open shot.

A good offensive player knows how to use a pump fake or shot fake to draw fouls or get their defender off balance.

Moreover, a post player can also step out for a mid range shot, adding another layer to the team's offensive strategy. This versatility makes it harder for the other team to predict and defend against post shots.

Defensive Duties of Post Players

Defensively, a post playe is the last line of defense against the other team's offensive players. They are responsible for blocking shots and securing rebounds. Their presence in the paint can deter opponents from driving to the basket, forcing them to settle for long shots or jump shots.

A post player must also be adept at basketball screens and zone defense, working to disrupt the offensive flow of the other team. They need to communicate effectively with perimeter players to ensure the defense is cohesive and strong.

The Importance of Post Position

Securing the right position on the court is crucial for post players. Being in the right position can mean the difference between an easy basket and a contested shot. Post players must fight for position against their defender, often using a reverse pivot or a spin move to gain more room to operate.

The high post area and the low post are two key spots where post players can be effective. The high post area is around the foul line, offering a clear view of the court and the ability to make plays. The low post is closer to the basket, where players posting up can use their strength and post moves to score.

The Evolution of Post Play

Historically, post players were primarily tasked with scoring from close range. However, the modern game has seen an evolution in the role of post players. Now, they are expected to have a more diverse skill set, including the ability to hit a mid-range jump shot and even step out to the three-point line on occasion.

This evolution has been driven by the changing dynamics of the game, where speed and versatility are highly valued. Post players must adapt to these changes to remain effective and contribute to their team's success.

Training for Post Players

To excel in the post, players undergo specific training that focuses on strength, agility, and skill development. Drills that improve footwork, such as the drop step or the hook shot, are essential. Additionally, post players must practice securing the ball with a strong entry pass and using their body to protect it.

Conditioning is also a key aspect of training for post players. They must be able to maintain their physicality throughout the game, battling for position and enduring the physical toll of playing near the basket.

The Synergy Between Post Players and Guards

The relationship between post players and guards is vital for a team's offense. The point guard or off guard must know how to deliver the ball to a post player in a way that sets them up for success. This includes understanding the timing of entry passes and when to utilize basketball screens to free up a post player.

Conversely, a post player must recognize when to kick the ball out to the ball handler for open shots, especially if they're double-teamed. This inside-out dynamic can be incredibly effective in breaking down defenses and creating high-percentage shots.

Post Play in Different Basketball Systems

The role of the post player can vary significantly depending on the basketball system employed by a team. Some systems emphasize the use of the post to create scoring opportunities through post moves and shots, while others may use post players more for their defense and rebounding.

In systems that focus on perimeter play, post players may be used to set screens and open up space for point guards or shooting guards wing to take jump shots or drive to the basket. In contrast, systems that prioritize inside play will often feature post players as the primary offensive option.

The Psychological Aspect of Post Play

Playing in the post is not just about physical skills; it's also a mental game. A power forward or center must be able to handle the pressure of being a focal point on offense and the anchor on defense. They need to have the mental toughness to battle for position and not get discouraged when things don't go their way.

A good post player also understands the importance of patience and timing. They must wait for the right moment to make their move or to pass the ball, ensuring that they don't rush their decisions and compromise the team's play.

The Future of Post Play

As basketball continues to evolve, so does the role of the post player. With the increasing emphasis on versatility and the ability to shoot from distance, post players are expanding their skill sets to stay relevant. The future of post play may see even more integration of perimeter skills, as players continue to break the traditional molds of their positions.

However, the fundamental aspects of post play—such as footwork, positioning, and physicality—will always remain essential components of the game. Players who can master these elements while also adapting to new trends will be the most successful in the post.

Basketball Post FAQs

We hope you can join us to browse through our frequently asked questions section to learn more about this crucial court position.

What is the post in basketball?

The post refers to the area near the basket on the court and the players who operate in this space. These players are typically responsible for scoring close to the basket, defending the paint, and rebounding.

What are some common post moves?

Common post moves include the hook shot, drop step, spin move, and up-and-under. These moves are designed to create space and scoring opportunities against defenders.

How has the role of post players changed in modern basketball?

In modern basketball, post players are expected to have a more diverse skill set, including the ability to shoot mid-range and even three-point shots. They must also be able to move well and defend multiple positions due to the faster pace and more versatile players in the game today.

What is a "post" move in basketball?

A post move in basketball refers to a play where a player, often a strong and tall forward or a center, positions themselves with their back to the basket in the low post area near the rim. It's a method for players to score or create scoring opportunities using a combination of footwork, strength, and positioning against a defender.

Why is the post game important in basketball?

The post game is vital because it traditionally offers a high-percentage scoring opportunity, especially for teams with a skilled post player. It also allows a team's offense to work from inside-out, potentially drawing double-teams and leading to open shots for teammates. Defensively, a strong post presence is equally critical for rebounding and rim protection.

How can I improve my post play in basketball?

Improving your post play requires practice and a focus on the fundamentals. This includes refining footwork, working on different post moves, and developing the physical strength necessary to establish position near the basket. Additionally, watching and learning from experienced post players can be highly beneficial.

What are common mistakes players make in the post?

Some common post play mistakes include over-reliance on a dominant hand, failing to secure good post position, not recognizing double-teams, and not using proper shot fakes to set up defenders. It's also common for players to commit offensive fouls by hooking defenders with their elbows or pushing off.


The post in basketball is a dynamic and multifaceted position that requires a blend of physical prowess, technical skill, and mental fortitude. Post players are crucial to a team's offensive and defensive strategies, providing a presence in the paint that can influence the game's outcome. As the game of basketball evolves, so too does the role of the post player, with an increasing need for versatility and adaptability. Understanding the intricacies of post play is essential for players looking to excel in this position and for fans who want to appreciate the depth of the game.