In the previous post, we discussed utilizing the inside-out game with the Read & React: how there is always an inside threat in the Read & React, whether the ball is thrown into the post or not.
What we didn’t mention, though, is the sure fire way to block that inside threat: lazy (or uninformed) post players.
As a coach, you cannot allow your post player in a 4 OUT or post players in a 3 OUT to stand in the mid post for entire possessions. Whoever plays in the post, whether it’s a designated post player or a cutter who has stopped in the lane, must be trained to use the weapons of the Read & React.
Start with these four options:
1. Use all three posting spots: High Post, Mid Post, and Short Corner. A higher level player may even be able to use each spot strategically. Have a guard who loves to drive right from the right wing? Perhaps that post should go to the High Post to open up that opportunity. A smart post (or a well coached post) will learn the best spots to use at given times in possessions based on ball position, game situation, and personnel.
2. Set screens for cutters as they are entering or exiting the lane. This allows both the cutter and the post to threaten inside in that order. It also forces the post defender to decide how to guard the screen, which may be just enough on its own to open up scoring opportunities.
3. Step out and set a Back Screen on a perimeter spot, then roll back into the post. Again, this opens up a scoring opportunity for the cutter first, then the post. As a bonus, you may be dragging a large help defender (and shot blocker/intimidater?) out of position to open up driving lanes.
4. Don’t always follow the ball. Sometimes the best idea is to remain on the weak side and set a Pin Screen. Now, the ball handler has an open lane to drive into or a Skip option. If the ball is skipped, the post can quickly hunt his defender (who is probably in a helping position) and seal him deep in the lane.
The bottom line is this: a post should get active on every possession and share the lane. What if your post used each of the four options (or even just two) in one possession? How difficult would he be to guard? What kind of pressure would that put on the defense?
You may be surprised how many scoring opportunities open up.