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How to score in the post in basketball

by | Dec 22, 2020

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Having the power to score in the post will help you get buckets all game long.

Post offense is an art overlooked by many, but is almost unguardable when mastered.

Here’s a quick breakdown, plus three post moves you can use to score.

What is post offense in basketball?

Post offense in basketball refers to scoring (usually in the paint) with your back to the basket.

To be an effective post player, here are some qualities you’ll need:

  • Embracing physical contact – you can’t shy away away from initiating or receiving contact
  • Excellent footwork – to score in the post, your footwork needs to be clean, with no travels
  • The ability to finish at the rim with BOTH hands
  • Lower body strength, so you can back down your opponent to the basket, making it easier to score

Post move #1: The drop-step

The aim of this move is to get as close to the basket as possible and finish at the rim.

Usually, your defender will be pushing against one side of your body.

This gives you an opportunity to score by spinning off them towards the other side.

First, imagine a defender pushing against your left side in the post.

Here, you would spin off to the right, with this drop-step post move…

Step 1: Take a dribble and as you pick up the ball, try to place your right leg behind you AND your defender, so you can cover more ground

Step 2: Use your final step to turn right, towards the basket. Try to get as far past your defender as possible.

Step 3: Jump up and finish at the basket, with your body in between the defender and the ball for protection.

basketball tips and tricks to score in the post

Post move #2: The hook shot

This is one of the best ways to score in the post as a basketball player.

While taking two steps sideways/away from the basket to turn around, you shoot the ball over your head with one hand.

Here are some tips for a great hook shot:

  • Use your non-shooting hand to keep the defender at distance, to prevent your shot from being blocked
  • Use a shoulder feint (a.k.a a “dream shake”) to fake a turn to one side, before turning to the other side to score
  • Put arc on your hook shot to make it harder to block

A traditional hook shot is taken by jumping off two-feet.

However, you can experiment and take two longer and more separate steps to jump off one foot to finish.

The hook shot does take a little practice, but, it’s all worth it.

Once mastered, it’s pretty unstoppable.

Post move #3: The fadeaway

A post fadeaway is when you turn away from your defender to face the basket and take a jump shot.

It’s a move master by NBA legends such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

This is probably the most difficult out of the three moves listed here…

  • Out of all three moves, a fadeaway is usually from the furthest distance
  • It requires you to hit a jump shot with accuracy while moving in mid-air

I remember when I first tried to hit a fadeaway.

It felt like I was using all my strength, and my shot had no accuracy.

It’s a tough shot for beginners. However, don’t be discouraged.

With training, it actually becomes a lot less complicated.

Here are some things to keep in mind when practicing:

  • You need to jump high enough so that your defender can’t block the shot
  • Whilst in the air, you need to turn and release the ball once your shooting arm faces the basket
  • As mentioned with the post hook, you can add a dream shake to make the direction you turn towards less predictable

***

Arguably the best post player of all time was Hakeem Olajuwon. He was strong, but still skilled with a variety of footwork.

Plus, Hakeem had mastered all three moves we just went through and is responsible for the “dream shake”.

Here’s a compilation of some of his post moves for you to watch:

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