404 Post Defense

Post Defense

Different strategies and skills are needed to guard perimeter players versus how a post player is guarded. A team with good post players can be a nightmare to defend. Most great teams at any level have a strong post player than they can run their offense through. These post players more often than not demand double teams. This puts your team at a disadvantage because the 3 remaining defenders have to guard 4 offensive players. If you (or someone on your team) is a strong enough post defender, your team will not continually be put at this disadvantage.

Before the catch

The first step to guarding a perimeter player is how you handle them when they catch the ball, before they take a dribble.

Deny early position:One of the biggest items in post defense is positioning. The position you allow (or prevent) a post player to get will often times be the biggest determinant in the outcome of the possession. The goal is to force the offensive player to catch the ball as far away from the basket as possible or in a position (through scouting and tape) that they do not prefer.

Deny (or allow) the catch: Different coaches have very different strategies for how to defend the post. They will also have different strategies depending on specific post players, position on the court, or specific situations. Some of the most common are:

Deny (or allow) the catch: Different coaches have very different strategies for how to defend the post. They will also have different strategies depending on specific post players, position on the court, or specific situations. Some of the most common are:

Full front: this is when the defender plays in front of the post player, forcing the offensive to lob the ball over the defenders head.

Play behind: this is when the defender is allowed to catch the ball in the post, while the defender plays behind them.

¾, ½, ¼ deny: This refers to what percentage of your body is in front of the defense. ¼ deny would refer to basically playing the post the body behind, but hand in front of offensive player. ½ is when the defender is essentially beside the post player. ¾ is almost, but not completely in front of the post player.

 

Once the ball is caught

Once the offensive player catches the ball the defender should make an adjustment in their positioning and stance. This adjustment does depend on the location of the offensive player, but the typical positioning would be to separate slightly (breaking contact) from the offensive player, and guarding them straight up. By breaking contact this no longer enables the offense to feel your body to determine which way they should make their move. Once you have broken the contact, bend your knees slightly and get into an athletic stance. At this point, most of the principles used to guard perimeter players apply. Make sure you keep your balance. Have high hands to contest a shot and take away their field of vision. If the player you are guarding does not like to go a certain way (e.g. over their left shoulder), then force them to go over their left shoulder. Try not to leave your feet on fakes, and don’t reach.