The 365 Commitment

Defending the Low Post

In the game of basketball there is this concept of putting a taller, stronger offensive person in a post up position, closer to the basket. The idea is that the taller person can perform a maneuver and get the ball into the basket with an easier play. A slam dunk, a layup, a hook shot or a turn and shoot type of play. As players got bigger and stronger over the years, many college and professional teams have had to deal with this, or face an opponent with a significantly higher shot percentage. Just for example, Shaq (famous center) had a career shooting percentage of almost 60%. Most good players are in the 30% range. Kobe Bryant was around 44%, which made him phenomenal. Michael Jordan was at 50%, which was godlike. Same with Lebron James, who has adopted a strong post up style with the ability to be highly accurate from 10 to 12 feet from the basket.

The defensive challenge became even worse when you get players that can post up further from the basket and also have a higher shot percentage. Very difficult to defend against. The response was to initial double and triple team these players to reduce this percentage. This was funny with the famous hack-a-shaq where they chose to foul him to put him at the free throw line instead, where his shooting percentage was much lower. In the last few years, we have seen a shift in this dynamic.

The real challenge, which modern defense has adapted to, is to prevent the ball from being given to the posted player in the first place. Defense has become my dynamic, rushing into prevent the post and moving out to guard the perimeter. As a consequence, players with a higher field goal (3pt) percentage have increased in value. A player that gets about 30% in this percentage is a real threat to this defense. However, it is still only 30%. This is why Stephen Curry dominated the entire league when he got to a 40% rate at the 3pt. range.

However, back to the idea. How do you defend against someone who gets right up in your face (aka posting up on you). Well, if you follow the defensive strategy of modern basketball teams – just stop letting them have the ball. Force them to take shots at you from long range, just never let them in close.

So, that is my new strategy for all the people causing me problems lately. Stop letting them have the ball!

Guy Reams

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