NBA Playbook: What A Post Threat Does To The Defense

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The name of this post could very well be what a post threat does for the offense. A couple of days ago Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook took a closer look at the Memphis - Oklahoma City series and specifically how Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol were causing problems for the Thunder in the post.  

As an offense, once you establish that post threat, you can do some things working off of that post threat, using it as a decoy, and setting up other stuff.

If you compare this to the Atlanta Hawks who didn't have a bonafide post scorer. Many times Atlanta would run its motion set to get a favorable match up in the post but they struggled playing off of it as Pruiti suggests in his post. In my opinion this stems from two things. It was apparent in the Chicago series at how much the Hawks struggled playing out of the Bulls double teams of Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. The same thing applies to playing out of the post where the double team is much more likely to come on a consistent basis. 

Second Atlanta lacks that pure post scorer that can get quality looks one on one with their back to the basket although they have three pretty good candidates. Joe Johnson could be the Hawks most polished post scorer and Atlanta looks to put him in that situation as much as possible when the situation calls for it. This however, forces the double team and given the Hawks struggles against the double this season, it wasn't always a win for the offense. 

Josh Smith could be the Hawks best option in the post as he showed a surprisingly nice post up game until he discovered the fall away jump shot. He possesses the keen passing ability to make opposing defenses pay if they are forced to double. Of course for this to be successful Smith actually has to be in the post and anyone that follows the Hawks knows what I am talking about. 

Becoming more polished in the post is one of the biggest advancements Al Horford could make in his game this offseason. Horford is a willing post player but he looks mechanical and holds the ball for a long time before making his move. A summer full of working on his footwork and adding a drop step to his post arsenal could make him a much better post scorer. 

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