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A closer look at Doug McDermott’s post game

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If you want a more complete look at Doug McDermott’s offensive skills, you can find a breakdown here. McDermott has many strengths but his post game may be his best feature. He is in the top 10% in the country when it comes to efficiency on possessions described as post ups and the following clips will show why. It starts with McDermott gaining great position on the block and ends with his ability to finish in a variety of ways.

Post Position

McDermott is often able to gain such favorable position on the block that he does not even need to make a move to score, as he already has his defender sealed. McDermott uses his body to put his defender on his back and not allow his defender to get around him and deflect the pass. This creates a passing lane for the post entry pass and opens up a lane to the rim for McDermott to pivot and finish uncontested. That position can be seen in the frame below.

Here is another example of his ability to gain post position and finish without making a move. As the ball gets swung to the top of the key, McDermott is behind Kyle Weems. Once the ball gets to the top of the key, McDermott ducks in front of Weems and seals him on his back. He keeps him behind him with his forearm and does not allow Weems to get around him to defend the pass.

McDermott displays a high level of basketball IQ to seal his defender and create space for himself on the block for the easy finish. He puts his body onto the defender to feel where he is and uses his forearm to keep his defender at bay, which gives him the space needed to make the catch, pivot and then finish at the rim.

Post Moves

While McDermott often earns strong enough position on the block where he does not need to make a move to beat his defender, he has shown that he is comfortable going one on one with his defender with his back to the basket. Three clips are shown below, which highlight the different ways he can score.

He scores with both his left and right hand and from either block when he is in an individual matchup on the block. He often takes at least two dribbles to set up his defender before he uses his superb footwork to beat his defender. His length is also an asset on this level, as he can use his long arms to get his shot off over his defender.

McDermott’s excellent footwork contributes to his strong post moves and combined with his ability to seal his defender and gain position makes him one of the best offensive post players in the nation so far this season. While McDermott has many offensive skills, his post game may be his best.


Written by Joshua Riddell

December 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Player Breakdowns

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