The following 9 post moves are designed to take advantage of the open baseline when the defender is playing close and to the middle. The moves are either on the catch or created through solid footwork.
- Baseline Power Move 1
When looking over the inside shoulder, the post player sees that the defender is playing close and on the high side. The post player reads that the baseline is open. With the back vertical and a low center of gravity, the player makes the pivot and takes a long step directly toward the area immediately beside the rim (but not under the backboard); the lead foot is point to the hoop.The footwork necessary to make this move can be described as “step, hop, jump stop”. The first step (the drop step toward the rim) is accompanied by a simultaneous two-handed dribble. This dribble is performed close to the floor so that it almost appears as if the player has simply touched the floor with the ball without releasing it. After the dribble, the player springs off the lead foot and comes to a jump stop in the spot just beside the rim. This “step, hop, jump stop” action is difficult to explain but can be clearly seen via video and/or demonstration.As a general rule, contact works in favor of the offensive player; it seals the defense and disallows defensive reaction and countermovement. When a player is making the baseline power move, contact is even more important because it ensures that the offensive player maintains inside position. When taking the initial long step toward the basket, the offensive player contacts the defender’s legs with the backside. And when executing the following hop and jump stop, the player moves into the defender to maintain that contact.
- Baseline Power Move 2 (Pump Fake)
When a player is making a power move to the baseline, the defender may sometimes recover enough to be able to put pressure on the direct layup. If so, a pump fake is needed to either freeze the defender or cause that defender to leave the feet.The idea of a fake implies that the offensive player is deceiving the defender into thinking the shot will be taken. That means the fake must be convincing. Any action other than what is involved in the actual shot will hinder that deception. Therefore, when faking the layup, the player flexes the knees, moves the upper body slightly upward, and moves the ball up to, but no higher than, the eyebrows.After a fake of any kind — in any situation and from any area of the floor — immediate counteraction is necessary. For that reason, especially when under the basket with the ball, the pump fake should be executed with no change in the center of gravity; the legs remain bent so that the shot can immediately follow the fake. In other words, for the actual shot, there is no need to lower the center of gravity again to coil the knees.
After the fake of a direct layup, the appropriate counteraction is the reverse layup. To avoid the traveling call, the player must jump off both feet (without moving either one) to reverse the ball.
- Fake Baseline Drop Step, Square Up, Jump Shot
The baseline is open, and the offensive player begins the power move. However, the defender slides back and over to cut off the path. The offensive player counters with a step back, creating space for the jump shot.
- Middle Sweep and Drive
After faking the drop step and squaring up, the offensive player reads that the defender is reacting quickly and is coming out to put pressure on the jump shot. The player fakes the jump shot, sweeps the ball from right to left — with the ball very close to the floor — and drives to the middle for the layup.
- Middle Kiki 1
As the offensive player drives toward the middle, the defender retreats to cut off the driving lane. The player reacts by planting the right foot and springing back to create space for the jump shot. When springing back, the player must turn to square up to the basket when landing. This will help ensure high-percentage shooting.
- Middle Kiki 2
If the defender reacts well when the offensive player springs back for the Kiki 1 move, this triggers the countermove, the Kiki 2. The offensive post player reads that the defender is reacting and closing the gap created by the Kiki 1 move. To counter, the offensive player raises up the head as if beginning the jump shot and then dives low toward the basket for the layup. The entire move requires two dribbles: The first dribble takes the player back away from the defender, and the second dribble should be past the defender and toward the basket.
- Baseline Step Hook Shot
If the defense is giving the baseline but is not playing tight, the baseline step hook is available. The step directly toward the baseline creates the space necessary to get this shot off.The accuracy of this shot is dependent on some very important details. Turning the stepping foot in the intended direction in order to release the hips is of great importance. This allows the hips to rotate, freeing the upper body to rotate as well. The upper rotation permits the head to turn and look at the target. It also frees the shooting arm to follow through in the direction of the basket. In other words, a chain reaction is initiated with proper footwork — the rotation of the stepping foot. At the completion of the shot, if all is done right, the shooter will be facing the target, ready to move to the offensive rebound.
- Baseline Jump Hook
Some players seem to be very effective with the jump hook, which is executed off two feet rather than one foot as required for the hook shot used in the previous move. This shot has become the most used post shot in today’s professional game. The player begins in the crouched position, looking across the key toward the play. After reading that the baseline is open, the player steps toward the baseline, again releasing the hip to rotate, hops off that foot into a two-footed jump stop, and releases the jump hook. The ending position is identical to that of the hook shot in the previous move; the player is facing the basket and should move toward the possible rebound.
- Baseline Spin Move
As mentioned, the post player should look at the play when receiving the basketball; however, there is one exception — when the defender is playing very aggressively, physically pushing the back of the offensive player on the high side. In this situation, the offensive player must keep the back vertical and the center of gravity low.The idea is to make the defensive pressure work against the defender by releasing it. The offensive player spins the body 180 degrees and literally falls toward the basket with the upper body, while dribbling the ball with the hand away from the defender. The baseline foot is used as the pivot foot, and the outside foot comes completely around to step toward the hoop. The dribble is made with the outside hand (away from the defender) in order to protect the ball and is immediately picked up with both hands. This action is followed by a hop off the lead foot and a jump stop beside the basket.
Source: Modified from Pete Newell’s Playing Big