Whatever happened to the power post game? | The Boneyard

Whatever happened to the power post game?

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Today whenever I watch big man, all I see are finesse moves. It's either a jump hook from the base line or a running hook across the middle. Post players no longer rely on strength, they now simply rely on touch.

This is not simply a college basketball observation, it extends to the NBA as well. There are very few guys who aren't afraid to lower their shoulder, bully their way into position, and slam it on their man.

Do you think all of the flopping in the game today has to do with this? Are big men afraid to use their strength because they are afraid they'll be called for an offensive foul? I definitely think that plays a big part in it.

With Shaq now retired, the only power big man I can think of in the game today is Zach Randolph. That guy uses his natural strength to establish position in the post, and doesn't mind hurting a few feelings in the process. I guess you could put Greg Oden in the conversation as well if he ever got healthy.

As I watch the game today, I see a league of big men primarily cut from the Yao Ming and Tyler Zeller braed.

The reason I bring this up, is because UConn has two exceptionally strong men in the post. Not boys, men. One of them is 6'11, 275 pounds and the other one is 6'9, 240 something. Much has been said about the lack of touch around the rim, and that would be correct. Drummond and Oriakhi throw some ugly stuff up there. But, you don't have to be the most graceful of species if you know how to use your strength effectively.

As you know, half the battle is establishing deep post position, something Drummond and Oriakhi should be able to do as well as anybody in the game with how stron gthey are. From that point on it's just one dribble, drop the shoulder into your man's chest, and an easy layup. From Oriakhi's perspective, he tends to be bothered by length around the rim. Hasheem Thabeet's lenght bothered a lot of people as well. Until he met Dejuan Blair. Length can be neutralized by attacking the chest of the man guarding you. Worst case scenario Drummond and Oriakhi likely get fouled and go to the line. They may not make their free throws, but it gets the other teams bigs into foul trouble, opening up the lane for our guards.

As we go forward in the 2011-2012 season, I want Drummond and Oriakhi to be BULLIES. Alex, you are a strong, strong kid. Stop being soft, stop fading away from the basket when you shoot, and be physical! One dribble, and score. Same for Drummond. You're never going to be Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But you can be Shaq. With your size, power, and athleticism, you can dominate a game on your physical gifts alone.

So in conclusion, leave the fade away hooks to the Tyler Zeller's and Anthony Davis' of the world. Here at UConn, we play smash mouth basketball. Feed the post, and bully your man until you're underneath the basket. It shouldn't take you more than one dribble.

Shabazz, Lamb, and Boatright are playing exceptional baketball right now. Time for the front court to catch up.
 
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The reason I bring this up, is because UConn has two exceptionally strong men in the post. Not boys, men. One of them is 6'11, 275 pounds and the other one is 6'9, 240 something. Much has been said about the lack of touch around the rim, and that would be correct. Drummond and Oriakhi throw some ugly stuff up there. But, you don't have to be the most graceful of species if you know how to use your strength effectively.

I think the two of them are 'men' body-wise, but they are not there yet with the kind of power to be beasts down low.
AO is a junior now and is certainly 'strong' in the traditional/athletic sense, but he doesn't have the same basketball 'strength' as guys like Adrien, and certainly not Dejuan Blair. I think part of it is that AO is not as compact (i.e. longer, less bulky legs) and therefore doesn't have that stout foundation to just bully his way down low. It's strange though that he looks so similar to last year around the rim. AO can make some nice moves when he's close to the basket, but just can't seem to finish.

AD just doesn't have a down low game. He looks a lot like Amare Stoudemire in that he he looks a little awkward backing his man down. Of course, Stoudemire is now an all star, who has found a way to be a very good center and I think AD will eventually get there. For now, it's asking way too much for him to become an offensive force down low this year since he just doesn't have that skill set at this level.

As we go forward in the 2011-2012 season, I want Drummond and Oriakhi to be BULLIES. Alex, you are a strong, strong kid. Stop being soft, stop fading away from the basket when you shoot, and be physical! One dribble, and score. Same for Drummond. You're never going to be Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But you can be Shaq. With your size, power, and athleticism, you can dominate a game on your physical gifts alone.

I think the most likely scenario is that AO develops into an offensive weapon and picks up where he left off lastyear. This will happen at some point. I think we can just be content with AD being a load on defense and getting offensive rebounds and dunks. I really just don't see feeding him down low as an efficient offensive plan at this point because he doesn't know what to do.
 
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Thanks for the reply. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting Drummond to turn into a reliable low post scorer overnight. But, I think there are certain habits a big man of his size should learn at a young age. I want him to try to flush everything around the rim. Whenever he gets the ball down there I want him to make a quick, aggressive move. You may not see a ton of results right away, but as I said, the mentality is half the battle. I would much rather have Drummond plow into his defender and pick up an offensive foul then to take an ugly fade away from the baseline.

Same thing applies to Oriakhi, but the biggest thing he seems to lack is footwork, rarely showing awareness around the rim. I wasn't trying to compare him to Blair, just trying to make the point that a lack of length can be compensated for when using your strength effectively. Oriakhi's lower body strength leaves much to be desired, but shot blocking can be neutralized if you know how to throw your body around down there.
 
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You're absolutely right, of course, and the best thing for AO and AD would be to take your advice and get physical.

That said, I much prefer a finesse game - much more fun to watch.
 
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TIRED of seeing Alex fading away. So annoying to watch the shot always come up short. Agree 110%.
 
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ITS SO OBVIOUS!!! we just gta start throwing alley-oops to drummond! anybody watch the kensucky games, they just lob it to davis every times...drummonds a better athlete and bigger...throw it up to him!
 

fleudslipcon

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I think the refs take a lot of this game away.
 
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JC agrees- he wants AO to be a "bully" in the paint.
 
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Flopping has destroyed the power game in college hoops along with rampant, ridiculous loose ball fouls(over the back in particular). 2 fouls is such a death sentence that you get called for a charge and you will soon be riding the PINE

Look at Shaq's college highlights, he is just bouncing dudes off of him.
 
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Flopping has destroyed the power game in college hoops along with rampant, ridiculous loose ball fouls(over the back in particular). 2 fouls is such a death sentence that you get called for a charge and you will soon be riding the PINE

Look at Shaq's college highlights, he is just bouncing dudes off of him.

I agree with you and fleud. It seems like the days of big men murdering each other in the post are over. Still, I think if you catch the ball in the post, and slowly back your man down, the refs will be less likely to make the charge call. A lot of these offensive fouls tend to occur when the player is out of control, or unsure of what he wants to do with the ball following the catch. The key is to utilize this power, but also to utilize it in a controlled manner. Many young big men are overly anxious to make their move, and as a result, put up a bad shot, or turn the ball over. A combination of power and control is key.
 

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Although not a "power inside game" observation, I wonder why in the world there has not been one other person to really master Kareem's sky hook. I guess it helped a lot that he was 7'2" tall, but what a weapon. I wonder if AD could learn a shot like that? I know he needs to work on more fundamentals, but the way he can jump he would be hard to block. I know that Kareem was a fantastically skilled player for his height, but it just seems strange that no one else (unless I'm mistaken, which is possible) has really used the Sky Hook effectively.
 
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