I watched the first half of the Detroit game against Houston earlier today in between football games. Detroit was doing it's usual best to free up the deadly Rip Hamilton, 1-on-1 post up iso's with Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups. Another Pistons staple is their tough defense. I took this nice overhead clip from the FSN slow-mo that shows Antonio McDyess' great post defense on Houston's Yao Ming. One of those little things that make a big difference, force the post player to catch the ball 1, 2 feet further from the low block. It may not sound like much 1-2 feet, but it makes a huge difference for a big man trying to make a move and get into position to shoot. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

The Pistons used a variety of defenders on Yao and limited him to 4-13 shooting, for 12 points total. Again, not a dominant defensive shutdown, but effective nonetheless. Don't let the post-player catch the ball any closer to the basket than they need, try to force at least 1-2 feet further out.

Post Defense Drill:

One of the things we work on in our 4-out 1-in offense is post entry. At the same time, we want our post-players to be good post defenders. This drill works on both. You can run it with just the 3 perimeter or with 4 perimeter players.

The idea is to pass the ball around the perimeter looking for a good post-entry while the post-player fights the post-defender for position going from block to middle to block and reverse. A lot of times, young players post up once, then they give up. Also, perimeter players usually look into the post once, then try to do their own thing. This drill helps to reinforce the idea of constantly fighting for position and being patient on offense looking for good post-entry opportunities. While on the defensive side, it helps reinforce the idea of battling the post-player to gain that extra 1-2 feet we talked about above.

You can add a competitive aspect like if the offensive player scores, he stays on while the defender must do a set of lines. When the defender deflects the ball, the passer does a set of lines. If the defender stops successfully, the defender becomes the post-player and the offensive post-player has to do a set of lines.

For some more great info on post=play, take a look at Coach Mike Krzyzewski's DVD on post-player development. Coach K and his assistant Steve Wojciechowski go through fundamentals both on post-offense and post-defense. Coack K has developed some of the best big men in the game such as Carlos Boozer. Happy holidays and don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes.