This post summarizes 3 things basketball players need to do well in the post in order to succeed.
Having grown up as a guard I love watching great guards play the game. I love watching Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose among others. Many times though I think fans only watch the player who has the ball and miss out on some of the most under-appreciated skills in the game. Many of those skills are possessed by great post players. They do so many things that go unnoticed to the casual observer. For a guard, they have the ball in their hands usually as they make their move to the basket or as they work to create an open shot. For post players, most of their work is done BEFORE they get the ball and that's what goes unnoticed. Where a post player is on the court and how he is positioned when he gets the ball makes all the difference in the world. If players understand this and execute accordingly, great things will happen.
In today's game players want to move further away from the basket so when you get to watch a guy like Tim Duncan or Shaq you should really learn to appreciate what they can do. Also I've watched Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol this playoff season and I've taken some notes as to how they establish themselves in the post and put themselves in a great position to score time and time again.
1. Strong Base: Every good post player has a strong base. This means they are establishing a stable position where it is tough to move them. For Bynum he 'sits' down at his spot. He bends his knees and leans back on the defense so that he isn't fazed if someone pushes him in the back to try to get him to move. He maintains incredible balance in the post. Sometimes you will see a defender 'pull the chair' on the offensive player by simply moving away and not allowing them to lean you on. It isn't a common tactic in today's game so a player with a strong base is able to establish and maintain position easier.
2. Get to the spot: The best post players have a certain place on the court they like to receive the ball. All good coaches teach post players to set up above the block so they can have a good angle to the basket should they make a move either direction. Defenses will always try to force the offense a step or two away from this spot and will usually try to bump them early so they can't establish position. The best basketball post players walk their defender down the lane until they get where they want to go where they simply sit in the spot and wait for the pass.
3. Read the defense: Every good post needs to know how the defense is playing them so they can get the ball. Example… If a player is playing behind you they are letting you catch the ball. Make sure both arms are up with your elbows out. This keeps the defense from reaching for the ball and knocking it away on the pass. In other cases the defense will try to deny the ball by 'fronting' the post player. Usually the defense plays to a side. They do this to force a pass into the strength of the defense. Always stick a hand up as a target so the person passing you the ball has a good target to reach.
These were just some basics but the basics are what make the great ones great players. It's often said that the great players are the ones who do the fundamentals more consistently than others and I couldn't agree more. By using these 3 skills you'll instantly be a better post player and be someone that a guard would love to play with.