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Becoming a Great Big Man Tips

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How can I best play against a defender in the low post?


A Great Big Man catches the ball and waits a split second to survey the court, to see how the individual and team defense will react to the low post pass. One thing I teach Big Men is after receiving the pass, to throw a fake pass out to the teammate who just passed you the ball. This usually prevents any sagging guards from reaching in and taking your precious rock, also giving you that split second you need to survey and then attack. This split-second rule let´s a Big Man: 1) read if a double team is coming, 2) who is collapsing, and 3) who might be left open should the double occur. It also helps in keeping good court vision so you can spot an open teammate caused by a rotating defense.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Use the Glass

A Great Big Man can use the backboard when scoring to reduce the effectiveness of a great shot blocker. Shooting "off the glass" also creates higher percentage shots by increasing your room for error in close quarters.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Be Active

Great post player stay active to force their defender to respect and defend each position on the court as a possible scoring threat position following each pass whether they are at the strong side low post, weak side, or high post.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Be a Leader

A Great Big Man is a leader by example in practice, in conditioning, and all aspects of training. They do not walk through the motions some days, and attempt to bring their "A" game to the top level with inconsistent practice methods and intensity. The greatest post players are nasty to play against every single day. No one wants to get in the trenches with this player. It´s almost futile to stop the power, intensity, and determination of a great post player.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Free Throws

Great Big Men can make their free throws because they know they will be fouled and most likely to go to the foul line over the course of a season more than any other player or position. Post players who can make 80% of their foul shots are less likely to be strategically fouled in the post, and more likely to be more honestly defended to keep them off the foul line. This makes them more difficult to defend in the normal 1 on 1 low post confrontation.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Recognize Scoring Opportunities

A Great Big Man is neither a "black hole" nor a "automatic toss-back machine" when the entry pass is made. They recognize scoring opportunities but also see when a pass-out is necessary, either because of a double team, or to get better post position for himself. Trust in your teammates. Shaq is a great example of this. Watch how many times he passes out, just to get deeper position, usually receiving the ball right back for an easy post score.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Keep Working

A Great Big Man does not belly-ache about not getting the ball down low. They work so hard and efficiently that it is totally obvious to their teammates they are open and can score. If one "moment of opportunity" is missed they don´t sulk and quit playing, they remain hungry and continue to work for the "next moment of opportunity" when it comes.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Be a Good Passer

Great post players can pass off the dribble. By this I mean once they have put the ball on the floor during a post move, they have the skills to immediately pick up the ball, center it and pass it back out to an open perimeter player, teammate cutting freely toward the basket, or with ease back to the person who entered the post pass. I have coached against some excellent post players who could score, but once the ball was on the floor, it was Johnny in a barrel over Niagara Falls with no chance of a return pass. These skilled post players are relatively easy to defend. Just force the dribble, trap the dribble and look for the loose ball.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Be Durable

Great post players "take a licking and keep on ticking" (to borrow the age old commercial phrase from Timex watches). They have great upper and lower body strength and can take hits and punishment without losing the ball. Able to maintain possession in traffic, take a foul, and complete the play.

how do I play defense?

Hustle Up-Court

A Great Big Man hustles back on defense in transition and never lets either the post player they are defending nor their other low post teammate´s beat them up the court. Getting back every single time enables early transition defenders to keep pressure on the ball reducing rapid ball movement which might isolate an open offensive player in transition.

how do I play defense?

Talk on Defense

Great post players talk on defense and move their feet to support the defensive perimeter. They call out screens well before they are set and adjustments when the angle or location of a screen changes. They also keep light on their feet and active to show and release, or trap on tough perimeter pick and roll screens. They rarely come late to support the pick and roll screen hanging their perimeter defenders out to dry.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Chairmen of the Boards

Great Big Men are extremely active on the offensive backboards. They are relentless, with the scent of a bloodhound for the loose offensive rebound, and an insatiable desire to get points from loose ball situations at the offensive end of the court.(see Rebounding the Basketball section)

How do you execute the jump hook?

Executing the Jump Hook

The jump hook is executed just as you would a regular hook shot. The differences are that you jump when you shoot the hook shot. The ball is brought up higher and closer to the body and you flick the shot without using the arm.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Seal Defenders

A Great Big Man knows how to use their back side to position and seal off defenders from getting good defensive position. Not only that but they are intelligent enough and skilled enough to bait even the best defenders into fighting for a seemingly desired position, only to gain a better offensive position and chance of scoring from a more effective angle or position near the basket.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

"Hide" behind defenders

A Great Big Man knows how to hide behind defender's eyes, make them turn their heads, and get the defender "flat" footed to create quick flash post chances in very high percentage scoring areas. Their activity is purposeful and not wasted. Staying active does not mean just constantly moving with high energy for no purpose. It means playing an active chess game with their individual, and against an inspired team defense to find those "moments of opportunity".

how do I play defense?


A Great Big Man can defend on the ball, keeping themselves between the basket and ball at all times. Rarely do they leave their feet to give up a foul, or position. Great defensive positioning also contributes to better rebound position, thus keeping them in the game by avoiding foul trouble, a common problem amongst mediocre low post players.

How can I best play against a defender in the low post?

Chin the ball in the Post

Great post players keep the ball tucked under their chin, keeping the ball in a position of strength. The only time the ball comes down is a low-explosive-power dribble into an open space behind a defender, or down between the post players own legs where it is the most difficult to have a ball pocked out by a pesky defender. The time the ball is low and exposed is very limited in great post players. The same technique is used after grabbing a defensive rebound. Chin the ball until you find a good passing lane to one of your guards.

how do I get the ball in the post?

Strong and Soft

A Great Big Man has both soft hands and strong arms. The ball lands on their finger tips like a butterfly to a flower but sticks like velcro to...velcro. This comes from well developed finger strength, good hand-eye coordination, and excellent techniques in keeping the elbows pointed out to press the ball inward.

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Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar