What Is the Post Position in Basketball? High and Low Post Explained

Principally there are 5 positions on the court each seemed to have multiple names assigned. It may confuse the average fans with little knowledge about the game terminologies.

The “post in basketball” is fundamentally defined in a dual context. In one way, the post refers to a “particular place on the court”. In another way, the notion of post correlates with the “play style” of two roles being played by the players (primarily the center, and the power guard).

What Is the Post Position in Basketball

Substantially, the player “posts up” by positioning himself near the rim/under the hoop for achieving successful dunks, where the “post up” is basically an offensive strategy and the offensive player is likely to play the strategy(or posting up) refers as “post player”.

Post Position in Basketball

The term “post position in basketball” refers to an area on the court that extends from the free throw line to the baseline. This particular area is distinctively specified on the court being painted by a unique color and therefore also termed the “paint area or the key”.

Post is the general term relating to the play underneath the basket to get rebounds, post up offensively, and defensively playing for their team. The post position is further divided into two and hence named accordingly. The first is the “low post” which is the area near the rim/down the basket(i.e the bottom of the key), while the other is the “high post or upper post” defining the area up the free throw line.

“Post position” is considered the most difficult area on the court yet the most effective to run offensive and defensive plays. The post-up players are likely to set “offense” for either scoring on their own or by creating opportunities for the team fellows by driving the ball inside and passing it to the relevant team person OR execute “defense” by protecting the rim at the required times.

Recommended to read: Positions in Basketball

Post Play Style in Basketball

The “post” concurrently exhibits the play style of the players positioned at centers or power forward. The post position is interchangeable between the centers and the power forward. The players executing the play at the post (high or low) are called the “post players”. These players basically play with their back at the bucket withal called “post players” when scores from either of the particular post position.

The centers and power forward usually play in inside zones and tend to grab the rebounds. Either of them who wishes to “post up offensively and defend the post” is generally referred to as “post players”.

However, other players of the team can also “post up” and play inside areas if wanted.

Post Move: The prominent move play by the post players is “post-move”. They likely enact play post moves like hook shots, up-and-under, or strong pushes to back down their defenders and tends to score underhand. A post move is basically utilized in the offensive plays to get their foot into the paint and end up playing “post moves”, that involve a single/series of fake moves to ditch the defense and score in a disingenuous manner.

The ‘paint or key’ region is most of the time utilized by the center or power forward players by playing either offense or defense whatsoever. Besides, the offensive players usually ‘post up’ when asking for the ball. Thence, it is the most crowded area on the court. The offensive players usually face interaction with defenders in this particular region which resultantly maximizes the rate of fouls and violations encountered.

Types of Post in Basketball

In essence, there are mainly two post positions on the court.

  1. Low Post
  2. High Post or Upper Post

What Is the Low Post Position in Basketball?

The low post position refers to the area at the bottom of the key on both sides of the basket. The zones underneath the basket or near the rim, inside the paint area, and behind the baseline are also designated as the low post positions.

Detailedly, the low post position ‘spots’ are located on the thick rectangle square(line) just outside the free-throw line, a few feet distant from the basket on both the right and left sides. The power forwards or centers lining up on any of these spots are considered to line up in the “low post”.

In the offensive play, the low post is regarded as the ideal scoring position as the player is several feet away from the hoop. Thence, as the play proceeds most players are likely to see to line up themselves in the post areas especially the point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards in today’s game. Securing the post area with the mannerly approach outcomes in high-percentage shots such as — layups, dunks, hook shots, etc. Further, the post players tend to open up second-time opportunities for the team followed by earlier failed shots.

Defensively, blocking shots, staying physical without fouling, and boxing out to avoid giving up second-chance points. are the jobs of the post defenders. Principally, the centers and power forwards positioned themselves at the bottom of the key(line) and plays with their back towards the bucket in order to protect it as well as to receive the pass down low and make dunks. The poor defense may end up benefiting easy two points to the offense.

What Is the High Post Position in Basketball?

The High post or Upper post refers to the area above the free throw line — extended outside — to the top of the key. It’s farther out, about 12 to 15 feet distant from the basket, and situated at both sides.

Normally not considered the ideal scoring position, however, it spreads the defense out and creates balance with the other players on the floor on offense. Initiating the offense in the high post, against zone defenses is considered eminently beneficial as it opens up the lanes for either the offender himself to make to the hoop, or to pass up the ball to an open teammate by shooting a jumper to gain a shot.

The high post is usually exploited by proficient outside shooters and adept dunkers therefore, the power forwards are more likely to play at the high post position for scoring.

Offensively, the power forwards and centers usually line up before setting a pick or setting up a play. The screener if doesn’t roll and step toward the basket after setting the pick, he likely tends to wait at the high post area to get the ball. Fadeaways and unbalanced shots are the most played shots in the high post area.  

In a good defense, the overall playing ability and scoring opportunity of the offense can be limited at the high post by the constantly failed moves. Resultantly, this leverages the entire defense.

What Does It Mean to Post up in Basketball? What Is Posting up in Basketball?

“Posting Up” refers to when a player decides to position himself in either a high post or a low post. The prime purpose of  “posting up” is to create the space necessary for the player to make their next move.

Once set in a post-up position, the players have several options to choose for what move or shot to adept.

First, the player may aspire to drive to the hoop while continuing with backing down the defender. In the desire of reaching close to the hoop in the scenario, the player steps towards the basket with their back facing the basket and front facing the defender. This strategy is formerly executed to protect the basket(by directly facing the defender) as well as outstretching to the desired spot near the bucket (by taking backward steps).

Next, if the player finds them in the perfect position to play a shot, they eventually strike to the hoop for the bucket rather than backing the defender down or passing the ball to another team fellow.

Subsequently, from the post positions the player may receive the ball and plays the spin, fake out, or power dribble to create scoring opportunities.

Posting-up in the basketball benefits the players with various play choices and moves to initiate — where each outcome in any offensive or defensive activity.

How to Post up in Basketball in 4 Steps?

The “posting up” is usually executed when a turnover occurs. The offense gets towards the basket they are trying to score on and lines up themselves in positions including post ones. The “post up” position can be achieved following the four steps mentioned below.

  1. Perfect Positioning: Any of the players of the team may tend to “post up” while positioning, yet the most likely to be posted up are centers and power forwards. Whatsoever, the post players must be known prior and should accurately position themselves in either post zone to receive a pass from the point guard.
  2. Receiving a Pass: Afterward setting the post position, the player is expected to receive the pass from the point guard while facing him directly. The player may also receive it from any of the passers of the team.
  3.  Making a Move: Once the post-up player gets the ball in their hands, the player is open to many choices and to execute any one of them according to the situation. Post players can power dribble, power move, shot fake, pump fake, get into the triple threat stance, or return the ball to an open teammate. Moreover, they can outflank the defender by their lateral quickness and footspeed, or can bring damage to the defense by drawing fouls.
  4. Shooting Ball: Be it the high post or low post, the players when gaining the ball play/shoot accordingly. The players in these positions can go in for a layup, up and undershot, or slam dunk. Further, they may likely perform a mid-range shot like a jump shot, fadeaway, or hook shot. With the ball in possession, they may also go for rebounds.

What Are the Most Effective Post Shots in Basketball?

There may be a combination of post moves adept by the post players, however, the below mentioned are considered the winning shots in a post play. Let’s have a look.at some of the most effective post shots:

1. Up and Under: The offender when fakes the move of making the bucket underneath the hoop and jumps (Up), the defender eventually jumps too in order to defend. Meanwhile, the offensive player changes their movement while the defender is still in the air (under) and takes a move for an open shot.

2. Hook Shot: In the scenario, the offender is placed/present in between the ball and basket, he tends to utilize the gap and shoots with the hand away from the basket to create more space for the shot.

3. Turn-Around Fadeaway: Is achieved by the post player, when he is backing down the defender while having the back towards the basket, and swiftly turns around to execute the fadeaway jump shot in the post.

4. Layup & Dunk: are executed underneath the hoop. These are the most basic yet effective form of post shots often played by the post players.

5. Jump Shot: Is simply achieved when the post player jumps and makes a bucket. The post player may sometimes be such accurately positioned, that no extra effort or extra movement needs to be made to score a shot. Afterward receiving the pass, the player may plainly jump and gains a successful dunk.

What Are the Most Effective Post Moves in Basketball?

These crucial and pivotal moves are usually played in scenarios when the players run into limited space and aspire to create space for the play. 

1. Drop Step: With the intent to play layups and dunks, the post players when gets the ball (usually in low post), they often dribble or step towards the middle of the court. If the defender tries to block off the play, the offensive post-up player is supposed to spin in the opposite way, hence executing the drop step.

2. Dream Shake: The offensive player fakes a layup move while backing down on the baseline and then goes up for the hook shot.

3. Sikma Move: It’s more likely a ‘catch and shoots’ move by the post players. Basically, the players initiate the crossovers, and at a specific interval during the play, receive the bounce pass by the team person. Upon catching the pass with one hand they instantly shoot and finish up with a layup.

4. Spin Move: Spin moves are highly utilized by the post players with swift footspeed. Where the power spin moves are adapted by the big men players.

5. Triple Threat: In the triple threat position, the post player with possession of the ball, has many choices to strike a move. The player then initiates the best suitable move and thus may go for the pass, shoot, or dribble in accordance with the position and situation.

Why Is It Called the Post (Position) In Basketball?

Well, the question has no exact answer till now rather numerous assumptions of its origination. The term “posting up” is considered to be driven by one concept or another.

It’s presumed that “posting up” is stem from the notion of assigning some particular duty to a person, being designated to a peculiar post in a war/battle or a security post, etc.

Another concept believed is, as “post” maybe the high or low. There are basically four ‘posts’ to the paint area (the four corners) that dictate the location of the low-post or high-post.

Further, in the US, it’s informally used by the people, claiming an area that belongs to them.

Who Are the Famous Post Players in the NBA? 10 Best Players

The renowned post players that mark the record in the NBA basketball history with their conversant skills and proficient “post play” are listed below.

1. Hakeem Olajuwon

Expertise: Fadeaways, Fakes, and Spins. Midrange player with exemplary footspeed.

2. Shaquille O’Neal

Expertise: Drop steps, Baby hooks, and Up-and-under. 

3. Dwight Howard

Expertise: Rebounds, and Dunks.

4. Wilt Chamberlain

Expertise: Finger roll, Fadeaway, and Rebounds. 

5. Michael Jordan

Expertise: Midrange Fadeaways, Adaptation of upgraded rules.

6. Tim Duncan

Expertise: Rebounder, Shots Blocker, and Bank Shots.

7. Chris Webber

Expertise: Professional high-post plays setter

8. Pau Gasol

Expertise: Baseline drives, Spin moves.

9. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Expertise: Skyhook

10. Kevin McHale

Expertise: Proficient post player 

Wrapping Up

Post positions on the court is the allotted or designated zones(post) to the players where they are accountable to create space for the team’s players to successfully run the offensive play, responsible for efficiently defending the hoop, and performing other various duties. It refers to the power forwards or centers normally, yet the small forwards may also post up at times.

In the “post position” in basketball, no offense leads to great game-winning moves and facilitates both offensive and defensive plays. Regardless of the fact, with the evolvement in the basketball game, the “post plays” have been shaded away and the game has become more about the shooting, and spacing. Nevertheless, it is considered an essential and mandatory skill to learn by today’s players whether big or small.

If you have reached far here in search of “what is the post position in basketball”, you may better know the prime importance of it and hence must be considered to-learn list to round out your abilities as a basketball player.

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