The post-up game has become increasingly phased out of modern basketball
Only eight teams this season finished even 10 percent of their possessions with a post-up, according to Synergy Sports. A decade ago, 22 teams hit that mark, and every team ended at least 7.5 percent of its trips with some kind of post-up. One-third of teams finished with a lower post-up share than that this season.
“We are losing a part of our sport,” Jason Kidd says.
“The game is getting out of balance,” says George Karl. “But until we figure out a way to make the post-up more efficient, we’re not going back. You just can’t win throwing the ball into the post 60 times per game.”
Steve Kerr believes it is something players need to work on before they arrive in the NBA.
“You need to work on your post game against Vanderbilt, not against the Spurs,” Kerr says. “If you come into this league, try to post up, and some 10-year vet swats your shot into the fifth row — that’s hard to deal with.”
AAU and the one-and-done system have been blamed, but young players also simply want to play the same way as the NBA players they watch on television.
“Go to any AAU game, and no one wants to play in the post,” says Kiki Vandeweghe, the league’s senior vice-president for basketball operations. “Everyone wants to dribble and shoot jumpers. But at the same time, NBA coaches have looked at the numbers and found that 3-pointers are efficient, the pick-and-roll is efficient, that it’s more efficient to shoot early in the shot clock.”