Is Post A Position In Basketball: Demystifying the Post Position

Jalen Rose

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Post A Position In Basketball

Basketball, a dynamic and strategic sport, boasts a variety of player positions, each with its unique set of responsibilities. One often-discussed and vital position is the “post.” 

The post position isn’t just a place on the court; it’s a cornerstone of basketball strategy. From scoring in the paint to defending the rim, from setting screens to grabbing rebounds, post players are versatile assets that every team values.

In this post, we’ll explore the key responsibilities of post players, the distinct roles they play on both ends of the court, and the skills essential for success in this position.

Join us on this journey as we unravel the significance of post players in the game of basketball.

Is Post A Position In Basketball?

Yes, in basketball, the “post” is indeed a distinct position. It refers to the area on the court extending from the free-throw line to the baseline, commonly called the “paint” or “key.” 

Players in the post position, known as “post players,” have two main positions within this area: one below the free-throw line and the other positioned close to the basket. 

Most post players play a vital role in both offense and defense, utilizing their physicality and positioning to score points in the paint, set screens, and protect the rim.

What Are the Positions of a Post in Basketball?

In basketball, the term “post” refers to a specific position on the court and also to the area on the court known as the “paint” or “key.” Post players are those who primarily operate in and around this area. 

The positions of a post player can vary depending on the specific offensive and defensive strategies employed by a team, but generally, there are two main post positions:

Low Post

This is the area of the paint closest to the basket. Players who operate in the low post are often known as “low-post players” or “big men.” They typically have their backs to the basket and use their size, strength, and footwork to score close-range shots, such as layups, hook shots, and short jumpers. 

Low-post players are also responsible for grabbing offensive rebounds and setting screens to create scoring opportunities for their teammates.

High Post

The high post is the area of the paint between the low post and the free-throw line. Players who operate in the high post are often referred to as “high-post players” or “stretch forwards” if they have the ability to shoot from mid-range or beyond. 

High-post players may face the basket and have a broader range of offensive skills. They can take mid-range jump shots, pass the ball effectively, and make decisions that facilitate ball movement and spacing. 

High-post players are essential for offenses that emphasize ball movement and outside shooting. In addition to these primary positions, post players are expected to excel in several key aspects of the game:


Both low-post and high-post players are crucial for securing rebounds on both ends of the court. Offensive rebounds lead to second-chance scoring opportunities, while defensive rebounds help the team start fast breaks or maintain possession.


Post players play a critical role in protecting the rim and contesting shots in the paint. They must be effective shot blockers, shot alterers, and interior defenders. Their presence can deter opponents from driving to the basket.


Post players often set screens to free up their teammates for open shots or drives to the basket. Effective screening requires good timing, positioning, and communication.


High-post players, in particular, need to be skilled passers, as they often serve as facilitators in half-court offenses. They need to make quick decisions and accurate passes to keep the offense flowing.

The positions of a post player in basketball encompass the low post and high post areas of the court. The post players are known for their scoring ability in the paint, rebounding prowess, defensive presence, screening, and passing skills. 

Their role can vary depending on the team’s offensive system and the player’s individual strengths, but they are essential components of a well-rounded basketball team.

Roles of the Post Players in Basketball?

Is Post A Position In Basketball

Post players in basketball, often referred to as “big men,” play crucial roles on both offense and defense. Their unique skill sets and physical attributes make them valuable assets to their teams. 

Here are the key roles of post players in basketball:

Offensive Roles

Scoring in the Paint

Post players are responsible for scoring in the paint area, which includes low-post moves like hook shots, drop steps, and layups. They use their size, strength, and footwork to establish a position near the basket and convert high-percentage shots.


Post players are expected to be strong offensive and defensive rebounders. Their ability to secure offensive rebounds gives their team second-chance opportunities, while defensive rebounds help end the opponent’s possession and initiate fast breaks.

Setting Screens

Post players often set screens, both on and off the ball, to create scoring opportunities for their teammates. They use their bodies to impede defenders and free up shooters or ball handlers.


While not as common as guards, post players should have passing skills. They may need to kick the ball out to open shooters when double-teamed or pass to cutters moving to the basket. High-post players, in particular, are expected to facilitate ball movement with their passing ability.

Drawing Fouls

Post players who are aggressive in the paint can draw fouls from defenders. Getting to the free-throw line not only generates points but can also put opponents in foul trouble.

Defensive Roles

Rim Protection

One of the primary defensive responsibilities of post players is to protect the rim. They contest shots, block attempts, and alter opponents’ scoring opportunities near the basket.


Defensive rebounding is equally important. Post players must box out opponents and secure the defensive rebound to prevent second-chance points.

Interior Defense

Post players defend against opposing post players, preventing them from scoring in the paint. This involves good positioning, shot-blocking, and denying easy entry passes to the low post.

Screening Defense

Post players may need to defend against screens set by the opponent’s big men. They must effectively hedge or switch to disrupt the opponent’s offensive flow.

Transition Defense

After securing a defensive rebound, post players must quickly transition to defense to prevent fast-break opportunities for the opposing team.

Other Roles


Post players, especially if they are experienced veterans, can provide leadership on and off the court. They often have a strong understanding of the game and can mentor younger players.


High-post players who can shoot from mid-range or beyond can help space the floor, stretching the defense and creating open driving lanes for guards.


Post players must adapt to various offensive and defensive strategies. They may need to play in different post positions or adjust their game based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

The post players in basketball have multifaceted roles. They are instrumental in scoring in the paint, rebounding, setting screens, passing, and providing a defensive presence. Their contributions go beyond statistics and are essential for team success.

Strategies of the Post Players

Post players in basketball employ various strategies to be effective on both offense and defense. These strategies leverage their size, skills, and positioning to impact the game positively. Here are some key strategies used by post players:

Offensive Strategies

  • Establishing Position: Post players aim to establish good position in the low post, near the basket, or in the high post. They use their bodies to seal off defenders and create scoring opportunities.
  • Reading the Defense: Post players must be able to read the defense quickly. They assess whether they are single-covered, double-teamed, or facing zone defenses. This influences their decisions on when to shoot, pass, or kick the ball out to open shooters.
  • Counter Moves: Post players develop a repertoire of post moves, including drop steps, jump hooks, up-and-unders, and spin moves. They use these moves to keep defenders guessing and adjust based on the defender’s positioning.
  • Passing Out of the Post: When double-teamed or when a teammate has a better shot, post players should be able to pass effectively. This requires recognizing open teammates and making accurate passes to maintain ball movement.
  • Pick-and-Roll: Some post players can be effective in pick-and-roll situations. They set screens for ball handlers and roll to the basket, where they can receive a pass for a quick score or draw defenders away from shooters.

Defensive Strategies

  • Shot Blocking: Shot-blocking is a crucial defensive strategy for post players. They use their size and timing to block or alter opponents’ shots in the paint, discouraging drives to the basket.
  • Boxing Out: Post players must excel in boxing out their opponents when a shot goes up. This involves positioning their bodies to create space and secure rebounds for their team.
  • Help Defense: Post players need to provide help defense when perimeter players are beaten off the dribble. They should be ready to rotate and protect the rim, even if they are initially guarding a player away from the ball.
  • Communication: Effective communication is vital in defense. Most players often have a clear view of the court and can direct teammates, call out screens, and help with defensive rotations.
  • Defending Pick-and-Roll: When defending against the pick-and-roll, post players must decide whether to hedge, switch, or drop back in coverage based on their coach’s strategy and the opponent’s personnel.

General Strategies

  • Conditioning: Post-players need to maintain good conditioning because they often engage in physical battles in the paint. Being in shape allows them to run the floor, contest shots, and grab rebounds effectively.
  • Understanding Roles: Post players should understand their roles within the team’s offensive and defensive schemes. This includes knowing when to be aggressive and when to facilitate for teammates.
  • Exploiting Mismatches: Recognizing and exploiting mismatches is a key strategy for post-players. If they have a size or skill advantage over their defender, they should work to capitalize on it.
  • Reading Double-Teams: Post players who are consistently double-teamed need to develop the ability to read the double-team and make quick decisions, such as passing to open teammates or finding the open passing lane.
  • Patience: Patience is crucial in the post. Post players must wait for opportunities to develop, make the right decisions, and not rush their moves or shots.

The post players in basketball utilize a combination of offensive and defensive strategies to excel in their roles. These strategies involve positioning, reading the game, making smart decisions, and contributing to the overall success of the team.

Significance of the Post Players in Basketball

Post players hold significant importance in the game of basketball due to their unique roles and contributions. Their presence and performance can greatly influence a team’s success in various ways:

Interior Scoring

Post players are often the primary scorers in the paint, close to the basket. Their ability to score efficiently in this high-percentage scoring area can provide a consistent source of points for their team. This takes pressure off perimeter players and provides balance to the offense.


Post players excel in securing both offensive and defensive rebounds. Offensive rebounds lead to second-chance scoring opportunities, while defensive rebounds end opponents’ possessions and initiate fast breaks. Their rebounding prowess helps control the flow of the game.

Paint Presence

Post players deter opponents from driving into the paint with their shot-blocking and shot-altering abilities. This makes it difficult for opponents to score close-range shots and forces them to take lower-percentage shots from the perimeter.

Drawing Fouls

Aggressive post players often draw fouls from defenders while attempting close-range shots. This not only puts pressure on the opponent’s frontcourt players but also gets the opposing team in foul trouble, potentially leading to free-throw opportunities.

Setting Screens

Post players set screens to free up teammates for open shots or drives to the basket. These screens are crucial for creating scoring opportunities in half-court sets and can enhance ball movement.

Defensive Anchoring

Post players are key components of a team’s interior defense. They protect the rim, contest shots, and force opponents into difficult attempts. This can disrupt the opponent’s offensive flow and decrease their overall scoring efficiency.

Transition Play

Effective post players can trigger fast breaks with quick outlet passes after grabbing defensive rebounds. This transition offense catches opponents off guard and can lead to easy scoring opportunities.


Some post players possess the ability to stretch the floor by shooting from mid-range or even beyond the three-point line. This versatility adds another dimension to the offense and forces opposing big men to defend farther from the basket.


Experienced post players often provide leadership on and off the court. They can mentor younger players, provide guidance during crucial moments, and set an example with their work ethic and attitude.


Post players must adapt to different game situations and strategies. They may need to adjust their offensive and defensive approaches based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, making them versatile assets.

The post players are integral to a basketball team’s success due to their ability to score in the paint, dominate the boards, defend the interior, and contribute in various other ways. 

Their presence and skills provide balance to the team’s offense and anchor the defense, making them invaluable contributors on the basketball court.


Is “post” a position in basketball?

Yes, “post” is a recognized position in basketball. Post players typically operate in the paint, close to the basket, and play a crucial role in both offense and defense.

What are the primary responsibilities of post-players in basketball?

Post players are primarily responsible for scoring in the paint, rebounding, shot-blocking, and providing a defensive presence near the basket. They also set screens, pass the ball, and adapt to various game situations.

How do post players differ from other positions in basketball?

Post players differ from guards and forwards by their proximity to the basket and their focus on interior play. They rely on size, strength, and positioning to score and defend in the paint.

What are the two main post positions in basketball?

The two main post positions are the low post and the high post. Low-post players operate closest to the basket, while high-post players play in the area between the low post and the free-throw line.

What skills are essential for success as a post player in basketball?

Essential skills for post players include scoring moves in the paint, rebounding, shot-blocking, passing, reading defenses, and understanding their roles within the team’s offensive and defensive strategies. Adaptability and conditioning are also crucial for their success.

Wrapping Up

In the realm of basketball, the post position stands as a testament to the sport’s diversity and strategic depth. Post players, with their unique blend of size, strength, and skill, anchor teams with their scoring, defense, and rebounding abilities. 

Whether you’re a basketball enthusiast or a player looking to hone your skills, understanding the role of post players is crucial.

As we conclude our exploration of the post position, we’ve shed light on its multifaceted nature, its significance in team dynamics, and the indispensable contributions it offers to the game. 

So next time you watch a basketball match, remember the unsung heroes in the paint, the post players, who play an instrumental role in shaping the outcome of every game.

Thank you for your time.

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Jalen Rose

I am a sports analyst in USA and I have been writing about sports for more than a decade. My career started with writing about the NBA for my school newspaper. After that, I became the Sports Editor of my college paper, then the managing editor of my university’s official website. After graduating from college, I started working as an Assistant Sports Editor at the local newspaper in Atlanta. per. I've been there ever since and have had many opportunities to write about different aspects of sports journalism and interact with other writers and editors from all over the world. LinkedIn

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