A GREAT POST ISOLATION PLAY
How many post players can drive? Very few. How many post players can defend a driver? Even fewer!
Why would you want your post player to drive? (1) His/her defender is probably not a good defender of the drive. (2) He/she will probably draw a lot of fouls and end up on the free throw line, (3) He/she will stand a good chance of getting his/her opponent in foul trouble, and (4) He/she will shoot a lot of lay-ups when the play situation is presented to him.
So, why not teach your post players to drive and to take advantage of the defender who cannot defend the drive? And why not let the post player drive and get his/her defender in foul trouble!! And what a great last second play a post-drive is.
Two things are required for your post player to drive.
(1) He/she must be taught the correct footwork for driving and for finishing
Drive. This footwork and driving ability should be developed in your individual workout program and your pre-practice program.
(2) Your post player must be put in the situation that will enable him to drive without running into traffic. A post player who drives between two defensive players is very likely to turn the ball over. Therefore, a coach MUST create a situation or play pattern in which the post player has the freedom to drive without running into traffic.
Following is a great post player isolation play:
The play can be run to either side of the floor. It is best to run it for the (1) best post driver, or (2) the post player who either has the weakest defender or has a defender in foul trouble.
The point guard should drive to the side of the court that the desired post driver is located. In the above diagram, 4 is to be the driver. Therefore, the point guard (1) dribbles to the left side of the court which keys action by the other players. 2 then comes to the left side and takes a “decoy” screen from 3. This is just to keep the defense occupied and avoid help on the post driver. 4 then cuts hard to the strong side help area and calls for the ball as 5 rolls under the basket and curls to the free throw line extended to take a pass from 1.
A key teaching point is that the point guard should dribble to a spot half way from the lane to the sideline and even with the top of the circle. This enables the point guard to make a diagonal pass to 5. If the point guard dribbles too deep, or too far toward the sideline, the pass to 5 will be too flat or too long and can be intercepted.
Diagram 2 shows the position of the players after the initial cuts. Notice
how the court is overloaded to the left and 5 has a clear drive path to the
basket. All of this action happens quickly and little opportunity is given for
defenders to help.
A teaching point is that 5 should attempt to drive to his/her right and go hard to basket. However, if the defender guarding 5 overplays and forces 5 to the middle of the court, 5 should pull up half-way to basket; otherwise, 5 will run into the defense and most likely charge.
Here, the point guard has dribbled too deep making the pass to 5 too flat and easily intercepted.
Diagram 4 illustrates the point guard dribbling too wide necessitating a longer pass to 5. Even though the pass is still a diagonal pass, this wide pass is too long and may also be easily intercepted.
Another teaching point is to teach 5 to curl to the elbow. Diagram 5 shows 5 curling too wide which causes the help defense to sag toward the ball.
As said earlier, the play can be run to either side of the court. If 5 is being guarded by a poor defender or a defender in foul trouble, then the point guard should dribble to the right. The point guard always dribbles to the side of the floor the intended driver is located.
Diagram 6. Point Entry and Post Drive Drill.
Draw 2 chalk circles halfway from the sideline to the top of the circle and even with the top of the circle. #1 must dribble into one of the circles before making his/her pass to 4 or 5. In this drill the point guard gets work at entering the pass and 4 and 5 can get work at driving to the basket.
This is a great play to run when (1) an opposing post player picks up his/her third foul in the first half and a sub is waiting at the scoring table to replace him/her. Run the play before the substitution can be made, (2) when you have been downcourt on offense several times and have not scored, this play can stop the drought, and (3) when you get the ball with 10-15 seconds left and the score tied. A drive by the post can result in victory either by scoring a lay-up, or by sending the post player to the line for two free throws.