Off the ball movement: Ball in the post
This post will touch on what players should do when the ball is in the post. While sometimes it is fine to stand and watch the post man go to work, some off the ball action can give the post player more options and more openings to create for himself.
There are basically two options that offensive players have once the ball is entered into the post: Dive from the high post or relocate to a new spot. Let’s look at these after the break.
High Post Dive
This occurs when a player at the top of the key dives when the ball is in the post. This may leave him open as his defender is focused on stopping the ball in the post or will draw his defender, leaving the paint open for the post man to work.
As the ball gets dumped into the post, Michigan State shows a quick double. Chuck Hayes recognizes this and dives down to the open spot. His defender recovers but Drew Neitzel is there as well to cut off the paint, leaving Patrick Sparks open in the corner.
If Morris would have tried to made this pass, it would have been off line or intercepted. By making the pass to Hayes cutting through the lane, he has given the ball to the player with the better opening to score or pass. This leads to an open three for Kentucky from the corner.
Chris Hill brings a late double team in this clip against Duke, leaving his man, DeMarcus Nelson. Nelson recognizes this and cuts through the lane. Since Hill was focused on defending the post, his man was open to cut through the lane for an open layup.
Relocate to a new spot
Sometimes it just takes a little shuffle one way to get in the vision of the passer from the post. In the above clip, watch as Ravi Moss (#2) dives and #3 Ramel Bradley takes a few steps to his left to fill the spot left by the cutter.
The key to this play is relocating to a spot in the vision of the passer. Similar to the dive move, once the ball goes into the post, the defense will key on this action and have a tendency to lose sight of their man. An offensive player can take advantage of this by moving to an open spot or one cleared by a cutting teammate.
These are two simple off the ball movements that can make a big difference in successful possession. While sometimes it can be effective to watch a big man go to work in the post, it is often more helpful to move off the ball, in the ways described above.