In last night's Game 6 elimination win by the Lakers over the Nuggets, the key stretches were late in the first half when they made that run to close the half, and early in the 3rd quarter with the fine play of Pau Gasol in the post. I've watched several games so far throughout these playoffs where Gasol played very well, and it shouldn't be surprising because the triangle offense after all is predicated on good post play.

In contrast to a power center like Dwight Howard or Shaq, Gasol is the kind of post player that beats you will exceptional footwork and fundamentals, much like a Tim Duncan. When he's got his back against the defender in the post, he reads the contact and then makes his move depending on where the contact is from. Take a look at a few plays from the 3rd quarter,



With Pau Gasol, it's a matter of simple mechanics. He receives the ball in the post, and plants his feet shoulder width apart. He leans back as he feels the weight of the defender deciding where the contact is and how he will attack. As he gathers himself, he takes 1 or 2 dribbles knocking the defender back a step or 2. As he gathers himself, he bumps off the defender, pivots and rolls baseline with a drop step and goes up for a hook shot or off the glass,




Summary:

At the end of the clip you heard Mike Breen talk about what Gasol said post-game after the Game 5 that the Lakers needed to get the ball into the post more often. I don't think that was a slight against the Lakers. After all, the triangle offense is designed to be initiated with a post-entry pass to the low post, and depending on how the defense is playing, there is a 3-man game on the strong-side and 2-man on the weak side. So, really Gasol was just saying the Lakers needed to go back to the triangle offense.

Overall, in the past 2 games, I thought the Lakers have really shown why they were the favorites again from the Western Conference. They have the talent, and now the defense to take it all the way. The Lakers will once again be the favorite in the Finals against either the Cavs or the Magic, and once again it will be whether the Lakers can execute that will determine whether or not they are champions or runner-up this time around.

If you're looking for more post development stuff, check out Mike Krzyzewski's DVD on Post-play Development. Coach K is the longtime head coach of Duke and Team USA at the Olympics this past summer. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.

2 comments

  1. Andrew  

    May 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    Pau!

  2. bruchu  

    May 30, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    corrected. One of my good friends is named Pao (from Paolo) so I confuse it all the time.