Splitting the Post

What to discover or recall:

Post splits are an intregral part of basketball on all levels (youth to professional).
Although, many offenses incorportate post splits, most coaches take their execution for granted.
Similar to executing off ball and on ball screens, players need to possess a working knowledge on how to read and counter the various defensive techniques that are use to disrupt post splits.
High post split is also an excellent way to isolate a great player one-on-one.

Post Split

| Low Post Split | Solo Post Cuts | High Post Splits | HP Automatics | Side Post Splits |

Post splits include Low Post Splits, High Post Splits, Solo Post Cuts, and Side Post Cuts. In addition, post splits are an excellent way of isolating the post one-on-one since they take away any post help.

Basic Rule: On post splits, whoever passes to the post, cuts first.

 


5 Stars

Low Post Splits

The basic option of the sideline triangle is the post split. Wing O3 feeds the post O5 and makes a baseline cut to the basket for shot. The corner O1 uses O3 as a moving screen, and cuts tight off O3 over the top of the post for shot. If O1's is not open for shot, O1 can continue out and set a screen for O2 at top of circle.

Post Split Reads & Counters:

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Low Post Split

Click below to view low post split options.

| Post Split Cuts | Fake Split Cuts | Screen & Roll | Two Same Side |

What if the....

Defenders CHASE OVER the post.

Counter: Post Split Option

Zipper Post Split

O1 feeds the post O5 and cuts over the top. O2 cuts off the point's moving screen for shot. Post O5 has option of feeding either cutter.

Note: Both cutters clear out if they do not receive the ball allowing the post to isolate one-on-one against X5.

What if the....

Defenders SWITCH against the post split.

Counter: Passer Post Split Option

Post Split vs. Switch

If the defense switches on the post split, the post looks primarily to feed the O1 cutting to the basket.

What if the....

Defenders ANTICIPATE switching on the post split.

Counter: Fake Post Split Option

Fake Post Split

When the defense anticipates the post splits, one or both cutters can stop and back cut to basket for shot.

Post Split Screen/Roll Option

Post Split Screen & Roll

Instead of splitting, the point guard O1, after feeding the post O5, executes a contact screen & roll to free up the shooting guard O2.

What if the....

Defender plays high forcing baseline or anticipates switching.

Counter: Two Same Side Option

Post Split Two Same Side

When O1's defender plays high or anticipates switching, O1 can feed the post O5 and make a baseline speed cut instead of going over the top on a post split. O2 can either make a solo cut over the top of the post or go opposite isloating the post one-on-one. Post O5 has option of feeding either cutter.

Post Split - Back Cut Option

Post Split Back Cut

When O1 feeds the post O5, if defender X2 anticipates the post split, O2 back cuts to the basket instead on splitting the post. O1 makes a solo cut over the top of O5.

Post Isolation Option - Speed Cut

post Iso

To isolate the post, in lieu of spliting, O1 after feeding the post executes a baseline speed cut and if not open empties out weakside. O2 also clears to the weakside.

In addition, once the guards split the post, it also creates a post one-on-one isloation.

Learn More Post Up Reads & Counters

 

 


5 Stars

Solo Post Cut Actions

Solo cuts provide for another array of low post split options. After feeding the post, the cutter can cut either baseline or over the top of the post depending on their defender is playing. The basic options are basically the same: Handoff & Drive, Fake Handoff, Pull up Jumper and Post Roll. In addition, the cutter can set an On Ball screen for the post. The post can also has step out and set an On Ball screen inititating side screen action.

Reads & Counters:

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Solo Cut

Drive Left

Pass & Cut Baseline Options:

| Handoff | Fake Handoff | Step Back Jumper | Post Roll |

Pass & Cut Top Options:

| Handoff | Fake Handoff | Pull up Jumper | Post Roll |

Other Options:

| Side Screen | Post Pick |

 


Baseline Solo Cut Reads & Counters

On Ball Defender Plays High & Forces Baseline

What if the....

Defender CHASES OVER the post.

Drive Left

Base Drive

COUNTER: Handoff and Drive

When the defender X3 plays on the high side of wing O3, after feeding the post O5, O3 should fake high and then cut baseline for possible handoff and shot. When O3 does not receive a return pass from O5, O3 continues out to the weakside isolating the post O5 on a one-on-one situation.


What if the....

Post defender CHEATS OUT (SHOWS) to help.

Fake Handoff

Fake Handoff Base

COUNTER: Fake Handoff and Post Drive Opposite

When defensive post X5 tries to step out and help out on O3's base cut, the post O5 has option of faking the handoff and making a quick move opposite into the middle for shot.


What if the....

Defender goes BEHIND the post on base cut.

Step Back

Step Back

COUNTER: Step Back Jumper

When when O3's defender X3 goes behind O5, cutter O3 fades out by executing a "V" cut or step back move for a pull up baseline jump shot.


What if the....

Defenders SWITCH on base cut.

base switch left

Switch

COUNTER: Post Roll

When the defense switches, O3 strings out the defense with dribble, isolating the post O5 against the smaller defender X1.

Switch

Switch Clear Right

COUNTER: Outside Mismatch Isolation

The post O5 can also clear out, isolating O3 one-on-one against the bigger defender X5.

 

 


 

Solo Top Cut Reads & Counters

On-Ball Defenders Plays on Baseline Side (Low)

What if the....

Defender CHASES OVER the post.

Top Cut Drive Left

Drive Top

COUNTER: Handoff and Drive

When the defense plays to the low side of wing O3, O3 after feeding the post O5, should fake low and then cut over the top of the post for possible handoff and shot. When the wing does not receive a return passfrom the post, the wing continues out to the weakside isolating the post on a one-on-one situation.


What if the....

Post defender CHEATS OUT (SHOWS) to help.

Fake Handoff Left

Fake Handoff

COUNTER: Fake Handoff and Post Drive Opposite

When defensive post X5 tries to step out and help out on top cut, the post O5 has option of faking the handoff and making a quick baseline drop step or spin move to basket for shot.


What if the....

Defender goes BEHIND the post on top cut.

Pull Up Lrft

Pull Up

COUNTER: Pull Up Jumper

When when O3's defender X3 goes behind O5, cutter O3 fades out by executing a "V" cut or step back move for a pull up baseline jump shot.


What if the....

Defenders SWITCH against the top cut.

Switch Post Left

Switch Top Cut Right

COUNTER (1): Post Roll

When the defense switches, O3 strings out the defense with dribble, isolating the post O5 against the smaller defender X1.

Switch Left Iso

Switch Iso Right

COUNTER (2): Outside Mismatch Isolation

The post O5 can also clear out, isolating O3 one-on-one against the bigger defender X5.

 


 

Other Solo Cut Actions

What if the....

Post steps out and screens.

Side Scrfeen Left

Side Screen

Side Screen Action

Post can initiate side screen action at any time by stepping out and setting an "ON" ball screen for the O3 on wing. O3 drives hard of O5's side screen and has layup, pull up jump shot, or pass to O5 rolling to basket.


What if the....

Cutter screens the post's defender.

Post Pick Left

Post Pick

Post Pick Action

Wing O3 after feeding the post sets a screen on he post's defensive player, allowing the post to wheel into the middle off pick for shot or drive.

Note: most teams are not prepare to defend the on ball post pick.

 


5 Stars

High Post Splits

High post splits have been a staple since the game was invented and were used extensively during the jump ball after a made shot era. The basic option is for one of the guards to hit the high post and split the post. The guard making the pass to the high post cutting first, the other guard cuts tight off the first guard's moving screen. The high post has the option of feeding either guard. Wings O3 and O4 set up for down screens.

It is important that the high post player to meet and catch the ball in the air. Basic receiving rule: always catch the ball with two hands, two feet and two eyes. Also, never catch the ball with your back to the basket. Upon receiving the ball, make a strong pivot and square up to the basket in a triple threat position.

Basic Reads & Counters:

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High Post Split

| Split | Fake Split | Back Cut | Two Same Side | High Post Isolations | Automatics & Exchanges |

High Post Split

Read: Defenders play tight and do not switch.

Counter: Handoff on Split

Basic option is for the high post to feed either guard cutting to the basket.

Fake High POst Split

Read: Defenders drop off anticipating split and switch.

Counter: Fake Split

Guards have option of faking the high post split and cutting same side to the basket.

Back Cut Option

Read: Defenders anticipate the split and sag off on post or watch the ball.

Counter: Direct Basket Cut

Any time the defenders anticipate the post split and collapse on the post, the guards have the "Green Light" to back cut directly to the basket for shot.

High POst Split Two Same Side

Read: Defenders anticipate and automatically switch.

Counter: Two Same Side

When the defenders drop off and automatically switch, both cutters can go same side creating a two-on-one situation on X1.

 


5 Stars

High Post Isolation

If neither guard receives the ball on the high post split, they continue to the baseline where they can either receive down screens from the wings or step out and set back screens for the wings.

Once the guards split the high post, the high post makes a strong pivot and faces the basket assuming a triple threat position. From the triple threat position, they can drive, shoot or pass. Since the ball is located in the middle of the court ("Red Zone") the high post's defender X5 has no defensive help isolating the high post one-on-one.

Note: High post has "Green" light to shoot or drive any time they have an advantage.

 

 


5 Stars

Automatic Counters Against Defensive Overplay

Anytime the defender overplays and attempts to deny the high post pass, it can be quickly counter with lob passes and post exchanges.

| Point Lob | Wing Feeds | Post Exchange | Screen Exchange | High Post Isolation |

Post Lob vs Post Overplay

High Post Lob

When the pass to the high post is overplayed, post O5 releases to the basket for an "over the Top" lob pass. Other counters against the high post overplay:

Wing Post Feed

Wing Feeds

If the ballhandling guard cannot feed the post direct, they can pass to either wing, who in turn, can feed the high post rolling to the basket.

Post Exchange

Post Exchange

If the high post releases to the basket, they can empty out to the weakside wing. The weakside wing then breaks into the high post postion.

Diagonal Screen

Screen Exchange

An high post exchange can also be initiated by the high post setting a diagonal down screen for the weakside wing.

Post interchange

Player Interchange

The high post position is not limited to just the post players. It is a great way to isolate your best triple threat player one-on-one.

 


5 Stars

Side Post (Two Game)

Anytime the defense sags off to disrupt post or post splits, it opens up the weakside two game.

When the small forward makes a reversal pass out to the off guard it sets up a two person weakside attack. This "Two Game" provides a multitude of  a quick hitting options that can be initiated with either a pass or dribble entry.

Side Post Reads & Counters:

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Pass Series: | Handoff & Drive | Handoff & Jumper | Handoff & Roll | Fake Handoff | Cut Opposite | Post Lob |

Dribble Series: | Drive | Pull Up Jumper | Screen & Roll | Cut Away | Drive Opposite | Double Team |

Two Game - Pass Series

Side Post

 

Read: The Defender CHASES OVER.

Counter: Hand-off & Drive

When the defensive player trails and goes over the top of the high post, the guard turns the corner receives the ball back for drive to the basket.

 

Read: The Defender goes BEHIND.

Counter: Hand-off & Pull Up Jump Shot

When the defensive player goes behind the high post in an effort to cut off the guard, the guard upon receiving the ball back pulls up for a wide open jumper.

Read: The Defense SWITCHES.

Counter: Hand-off & Roll

Post Isolation

When defensive players X2 and X4 switch on screen, O2 looks to feed the screener O4 rolling to the basket or posting up against the smaller defensive guard.

Wing Isolation. Against the defensive switch, when ball handler O2 has a definite advantage over bigger X4, O4 clears out allowing O2 to go one on one against X4 on wing isolation.

Read: The Defense SHOWS & RECOVERS.

Counter: Fake Hand-off & Roll

Drive Opposite

When the defensive player X4 shows to force the cutter wide, the high post fakes the hand-off and drives to the basket.

fake & shoot

Shoot or Fake Shot Pass

When the defensive player X4 recovers, O4 has jump shot option or can make a fake shot pass to O2 cutting to the basket.

Read: The Defender anticipates and CHEATS over early.

Counter: Cut Opposite Hand-off

When the defensive player X2 cheats to beats O2 over the screen, O2 reverses and cuts directly up the middle for inside hand-off and drive to basket.

Read: The defender denies the High Post Pass.

Counter: Lob Pass

When defender X4 overplays and cuts off the passing lane to O4. O4 back cuts to basket for lob pass from O2.

 


Side Post - Dribble Series

Dribble Series

The "Two Game" dribble series is similar to the pass series except that it is initiated with a screen and roll action rather than a pass.

Reads & Counters: | Drive | Pull Up Jumper | Screen & Roll | Cut Away | Drive Opposite | Double Team |

 

Read: The Defender CHASES OVER screen.

Counter: Drive

When the defensive player trails and goes over the top of the O4's high post back screen, O2 should turn the corner and drive hard to basket for lay up.

Read: The defender goes BEHIND the screen.

Counter: Pull Up Jump Shot

When the defensive player X2 goes behind O4's high post back screen, the dribbler O2 should pull up for an open jump shot.

Read: The Defense SWITCHES on screen.

Counter: Screen & Roll

Post Isolation Option

When defensive players X2 and X4 switch on screen, O2 looks to feed the screener O4 rolling to the basket or posting up against the smaller defensive guard.

Wing Isolation Option

Against the defensive switch, when ball handler O2 has a definite advantage over bigger X4, O4 clears out allowing O2 to go one on one against X4 on wing isolation.

Read: The Defense SHOWS & RECOVERS on screen.

Counter: Screener Slips the Screen

Fake Screen & Cut Away

When the defender X4 shows(steps out) to force the ballhandler wide, O4 slips (fakes) the screen screen and cuts away to the basket looking for a quick pass from O2.

Read: The Defender anticipates and CHEATS over screen early.

Counter: Drive Opposite

When the defensive player X2 steps over the screen early, the ballhandler O2 should make a cross over dribble and drive down the middle.

Read: The Defense TRAPS the ballhander

Counter: String Out & Flash (2-1-2 Alignment)

Short Corner Pass

When the defensive tries to doubles team the dribbler coming off screen, the dribbler O2 should string out the trap with dribble. The screener O4 cuts to a short corner position, and the post O5 flashes into the middle. This immediately creates a two on one situation against defensive post X5.

Middle Flash

If post defender X5 steps out to help out on O4, O2 looks to pass to O5 flashing into the middle. O5 has options of shooting or passing to either O4 or O1 back cutting along baseline.

 

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