Monstering the Low Post

When defending a team that has a dominant low post player, I think it's important to show different looks. I believe in fronting and bringing helpside defense to cover the lob pass, but I think you need to constantly change things up so that the offense doesn't get comfortable to your defense, you want them to have to constantly adjust.

I read an article on this concept of "Monstering" the post and it's basically just a double-team from the weak side. What you want to accomplish with this defensive play is,

1. Surprise, give the defense a different look at how you will defend the post by bringing the double-team from the weak-side.
2. Steal the ball, once you set the trap, the hope is that combined with the element of surprise you will force a bad pass. The other three defenders are either denying or anticipating the pass.


Depending on which side their post player is setting up on the low block, the basic setup is to allow the wing pass but deny high-side so that P1 can't get the ball inside directly.

Once the pass goes from P1 to P2, X5 needs to shift down immediately and cover P5 straight-up with back to the basket. Allow P2 from the wing to make the post-entry into P5.

Double the Post:

As soon as the entry pass to P5 takes place, X4 must immediately go to double P5 from the high-side along with X5. X3 immediately drops down to the middle of the key and X1 drops down to the free throw line. X2 goes to deny the pass back to the wing.

If the trap set is a good one, the only pass you want to allow is the long skip pass to P3. X3 and X1 form the 'I' of the help-side defense. X3 is anticipating any pass to P4 or P3 trying to cut into the key. X1 is anticipating any pass from the high side and cutters going thru the top of the key. X2 will shadow-deny his man. If P5 dribbles to the corner, X5 and X4 continue to double (this is even better).


Now, this is not a defensive play you can run over and over. Once P5 anticipates the trap coming, he will probably hit P4 on the basket cut as soon as he sees X4 coming. But you have the element of surprise, so if you pick and choose your spots, this can work very well in disrupting the offense. Switching up from straight up fronting to this weak-side double-team will keep the offense guessing what you will do.

For more great ideas on the post-defense amongst other defensive topics, check out Jeff Lebo's DVD. Coach Lebo is the head coach of Auburn University of the SEC. I have plenty of notes on low post defense so check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum and request them.