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Gators123
08-05-2011, 09:09 PM
http://nbaplaybook.com/2011/08/05/nba-player-skill-rankings-%E2%80%93-post-play/


NOTE: This skill ranking encompasses post play in it’s entirety, from moves, to ability to handle double teams, and everything else involved.

1. Dirk Nowitzki

When you look at the top players posting up in terms of points per possessions (with at least 50 post up possessions), Dirk Nowitzki is the player who shows up at the top of the list. On the block, Nowitzki scores on over half of his post possessions (58.1% to be exact), getting to the free throw line 16.3% of the time, while only turning it over 6.7% of the time.

What’s interesting about Nowitzki and his post game is that he isn’t a guy who faces up a ton (which is something you would expect from a shooter with his size). Nowitzki’s go to move is turning over his right shoulder while making a move off of the dribble on both sides of the court, though it is more prevalent on the left block (63.5% on the left block/48.1% on the right block). Despite that, when Nowitzki does face up (17.6% on the left/31.9% on the right), he is extremely dangerous because his height allows him to simply shoot it over the defense. Going back to his go to move, what makes Nowitzki so dangerous is that he has that quick spinning unorthodox shot that he can knock down from distance. This means that Nowitzki doesn’t need fantastic positioning. He just needs to get to a spot he is comfortable at (15 feet or so), and he is strong enough to back a defender to that spot.

That ability to back down his man is something that he has developed since that loss to the Warriors in the playoffs. Another skill that was developed is his ability to pass out of double teams. This past season, Nowitzki turned it over just 4.4% of the time when passing out of double teams, allowing his teammates to post a eFG% of 59.1%.

The reason why I have Nowitzki at the top of this list is because he is highly skilled at a lot of aspects you need to be a good post player (that turnaround jumper is otherworldly – he does a fantastic job of using his left foot to create then quickly rocking back, to create even more distance), while being good enough/better than average at the other ones (getting teammates involved/handling double teams).

2. Tim Duncan

Despite taking a few steps backwards in terms of post skill Tim Duncan, in my opinion, is still the 2nd best post player in the NBA (which tells you how good he was at his peak. Even though coach Gregg Popovich scaled back the offense and used Duncan less (and the corner three more), Duncan still got most of his possessions (33.3% to be exact) on the block.

This past season, Duncan was at his best on the left block, where he used 57.3% of his post up possessions and scored on over half of his possessions (50.8%). The reason why Duncan is still on the top of this list is the variety of moves that he makes. On the left block specifically, Duncan makes a move over his left shoulder 25.8% of the time. He turns his right shoulder 36.1% of the time and he faces up his man 33% of the time. All of these are moves he is very good at, so it is tough for defenses to overplay him (For example, if a player is weak going to his right shoulder, you’d force him that way). Combine that with the fact he doesn’t turn it over in the post (13 turnovers in 344 post up possessions) and you have an incredible post threat.

3. Carmelo Anthony

I’ve said for the longest time that I think Carmelo Anthony is the best non-big on the block, and that’s why I got him on the list at number three. Anthony’s best assets on the block is his size and his footwork. At his size, just about any defender that tries to defend him is at a size disadvantage, giving Anthony the edge on the block from the start. Then you combine the fantastic footwork that allows him to get to the rim and truly take advantage of his size and you have a player who is going to have success on the block.

Anthony is similar to Duncan in that he does his best work on the left block (1.057 PPP with the Nuggets – Top 10% among all NBA players) and he is extremely hard to overplay. In addition to his footwork allowing him to get to the rim when his defender is on his back, his size creates a lot of problems. Specifically when it comes to drawing fouls. Anthony got himself to the free throw line 26.6% of the time he posted up when he was the Nuggets. Essentially, one in four post up possessions, Anthony was going to the line and shooting free throws. That’s an incredibly high rate. Finally, if you try to front Anthony and keep him from making the catch, he does a great job of pinning his defender high, making himself available for the lob, then quickly converting

4. Nene

Nene is the second Denver Nugget (though the only current Nugget) to make this list and he’s the first (and only) true center to make the list. When looking at Nene’s number, you see how complete his post up game is and that is why he is on this list. Overall, Nene posted a PPP of 1.123 (which was good for the top 7% among all NBA players) and what makes him so dangerous in my opinion is that he can (and has) have success on both blocks. Nene posted up on the left block 46.6% of the time and the right block 41.5% of the time, posting a top 15% PPP (among all NBA players) from each side. Nene has a nice shooting touch and that allows him to be able to face up and be a threat to knock down a jumper. In addition to that, Nene is quicker than you’d expect a man of his size to be. That size though is his greatest advantage on the block. It’s what allows him to establish fantastic position every time he posts up, and once he gets the ball he is able to back down him man to the rim, getting to spots where he can finish with either hand (another thing that Nene does well).

In addition to creating for himself, Nene also does a great job of setting up his teammates when the defense commits to him. When Nene kicks the ball out of a double team, his teammates are shooting 59% and posting an eFG% of 71.7%. He does all of this while just turning it over 4.4% of the time when kicking it out. Nene is almost inviting the double team, waiting until the last possible second before kicking it out to an open teammate:

5. LeBron James

This might be a shock of a pick, especially considering you hear everybody and their mother saying that LeBron James needs to develop a post game. I tend to disagree with those people (though if you want to argue that he doesn’t do it enough, I’m with you). If that’s the case, LeBron James is going to be a scary player when he learns how to post people up, because right now he’s posting a PPP of 1.091 (among the top 9% of all NBA players) while getting to the line 16.2% of of the time and only turning it over 6.5% of the time. Like Carmelo Anthony, James biggest advantage on the block is that he is basically stronger than anyone trying to defend him. Like Anthony’s former teammate Nene, James is strong on either block, making him incredibly hard to defend. James just does a good job of using his size well. While he doesn’t have this great wealth of moves, a guy his size doesn’t need that. He is able to back down his man and he has a drop step move, which he uses when his defender starts pushing off of him too hard. That’s all he needs.

On the left block, James posts a PPP of 1.011 (top 15% of all NBA players) and on the right block, James posts a PPP of 1.317 (top 4% of all NBA players). James’ size advantage tends to draw double teams, and when those doubles come, James is an accurate and willing passer. Out of the 75 kick outs when doubles came, James turned it over just 4 times. The completeness of his post game (being able to post on both blocks and still being an accurate passer) is why I have him in the top 5:

Honorable Mention

I have a hunch that I am not going to be a fan of Lakers’ fans after this post for a little while, for leaving off two of their players, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, who are in my own personal top 10, but just don’t crack the top 5. With Gasol, while he does great work with the basketball, he doesn’t do a great job of establishing position. That inability of establishing position tends to hurt him a bit and and make him a tad too inconsistant in the post to crack the top five.

Kobe Bryant on the other hand was a much tougher decision. The final spot came down to LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, and in my opinion I had to give James the edge. Because I feel like this is going to be a talking point, I decided to break down my decision (and keep in mind, I’m not saying LeBron is the best post player while Bryant is the worst, saying there is a slim gap between James and Bryant and this point in these players respective careers). While Bryant’s post game is prettier than LeBron’s bullying style, I just can’t overlook the efficiency from LeBron on both blocks. Bryant is slightly more efficient as James on the left block (1.048 PPP vs. 1.011), but on the right block the drop off is pretty significant (1.024 PPP vs. 1.317 PPP). In addition LeBron James draws twice as many fouls in the post and turns it over less (9.7% TOs vs. 6.5% TOs). With everything else being just about equal, James gets the edge in my mind.

Also left off a few true centers, in Brook Lopez and Dwight Howard. Again, these two would probably crack the top 10, but don’t fit in the top 5. Lopez, while displaying a great array of post moves is awful when defenses send double teams at him. With Howard, I had to drop him because of his foul shooting. So many of his post opportunities end in fouls, that the fact he can’t shoot foul shots well really hurt his efficiency in the post.

A few other guys that pop into my head are power forwards Amar’e Stoudemire, Lamar Odom, and LaMarcus Aldridge. I’m probably missing a few more great post players as well, this was definitely a tougher list to complete than the pick and roll skill ranking.


Thoughts?

Wasn't expecting LeBron to be on the list.

MacFitz92
08-05-2011, 09:12 PM
This list is pretty bad.

shep33
08-05-2011, 09:29 PM
If we're talking about "skill", I honestly think Kobe and Dirk have the best post skill in the league. Their footwork is amazing, they can hit the fade, back people down, go up and under... they IMO are the two best offensive post players in terms of "skill set" in the NBA.

sventhedog
08-05-2011, 10:08 PM
isn't it a little obvious that kobe has a better post game than lebron???

Nyc4You
08-05-2011, 10:22 PM
If we're talking about "skill", I honestly think Kobe and Dirk have the best post skill in the league. Their footwork is amazing, they can hit the fade, back people down, go up and under... they IMO are the two best offensive post players in terms of "skill set" in the NBA.

and melos "bully ball" is nothing right? Melo is KNOWN for post play.

GhostfaceDrilla
08-06-2011, 01:25 AM
and melos "bully ball" is nothing right? Melo is KNOWN for post play.

Yes but in terms of overall talent, Melo doesn't even come near Dirk or Kobe.

b@llhog24
08-06-2011, 01:38 AM
Yes but in terms of overall talent, Melo doesn't even come near Dirk or Kobe.

In terms of talent he actually is. :confused:

coryd238
08-06-2011, 02:16 AM
Yes but in terms of overall talent, Melo doesn't even come near Dirk or Kobe.

In terms of talent Melo is a top 5 player.

I've seen you post enough, and you're one of the biggest haters on PSD.


And Lebron thrives on posting up guards.

shep33
08-06-2011, 02:35 AM
and melos "bully ball" is nothing right? Melo is KNOWN for post play.

I love Melo bullying guys on the block, however, I still don't think his skill level in the post is as good as Kobe or Dirk. I'd put him 3rd... Melo is a beast overall, no denything that, but if the title question is talking about "skill" I think overall Dirk and Kobe have the best post game still. Footwork, turn arounds, those two are just out of this world.

Wish Melo would post up more in all truth, guy is a mismatch on the block every game, just on size and strength alone.

THE GIPPER
08-06-2011, 02:37 AM
I dont get why people say kobe has such an amazing post game. All I see him do when he catches the ball in the post is shoot a fade away. Ill take melo in the post over kobe any day.

Storch
08-06-2011, 05:52 AM
I dont get why people say kobe has such an amazing post game. All I see him do when he catches the ball in the post is shoot a fade away. Ill take melo in the post over kobe any day.

:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:

Have you ever seen Kobe post-up after Hakeem taught him some moves?

Evolution23
08-06-2011, 07:46 AM
Lebron's biggest weakness is his lack of a post game. Replace Kobe with Lebron and this list will be at least a bit fair.

LakersIn5
08-06-2011, 07:52 AM
Dirk,kobe

UKblazers
08-06-2011, 09:58 AM
No Al jefferson surprised me,Dirk definitely deserves the number 1 spot.

Brooklyn Mets
08-06-2011, 10:13 AM
no ZBo???????

GhostfaceDrilla
08-06-2011, 06:21 PM
In terms of talent Melo is a top 5 player.

I've seen you post enough, and you're one of the biggest haters on PSD.


And Lebron thrives on posting up guards.

No, I am a Melo, Heat hater because of fans like you. Knicks fans act like Melo is better than Jordan and so do some old Nuggets fans. Heat fans act like Miami is the only relevant team in the sporting world.

Chill_Will_24
08-06-2011, 06:29 PM
Deron Williams?

beasted86
08-06-2011, 06:44 PM
This list is pretty bad.

This... I don't think the writer knows what post skill is.

Sure, there is a high post and a low post to group players, but players like Nene just face up and use speed. He doesn't have a very diverse post arsenal of fakes, up and unders, nor does he have elite footwork, and IMO the most important judge of post talent... touch around the basket. Same applies to LeBron... relies on athleticism in post rather than a repertoire of moves.

My top 5, seperated in 2 categories: Low post & High post

Low Post:
1) Al Jefferson
2) Tim Duncan
3) Zach Randolph
4) Brook Lopez
5) Dwight Howard

High Post:
1) Dirk Nowitzki
2) Amare Stoudemire
3) Pau Gasol
4) Kevin Garnett (when motivated to play in post)
5) Too many ties (Aldridge, Kobe, Pierce, Melo, etc.)

Slimsim
08-06-2011, 07:01 PM
No, I am a Melo, Heat hater because of fans like you. Knicks fans act like Melo is better than Jordan and so do some old Nuggets fans. Heat fans act like Miami is the only relevant team in the sporting world.

Cory is a denver fan so what does that have to do with knicks fans ?

GhostfaceDrilla
08-06-2011, 09:15 PM
Cory is a denver fan so what does that have to do with knicks fans ?

If you read, I said "and some Nuggets fans." It's a rumor but I think it might be there.

MTar786
08-06-2011, 09:43 PM
more proof that this computerized bull **** doesnt match the human eye. advanced stats are trash when it comes to reality.

kobe >>>>> lebron in the post

pau >> nene in the post

melo is a really good post player.

wheres z bo?
id take randolph in the post these days of duncan. I wouldnt even think twice

DR_1
08-06-2011, 09:47 PM
:facepalm: Bad list...what are LeBron and Melo doing on this list (coming from a Melo fan), where is D12?

sofa_king_great
08-06-2011, 10:12 PM
Well IMO

1. Dirk
2. Kobe
3. Dwight (Low-post, if that counts)
4. Z-Bo
5. Pau/Melo

Tree Rollins
08-06-2011, 10:30 PM
Lebron doesn't have ONE distinguishable post move. This list made itself totally meaningless.

coryd238
08-06-2011, 11:16 PM
more proof that this computerized bull **** doesnt match the human eye. advanced stats are trash when it comes to reality.

kobe >>>>> lebron in the post

pau >> nene in the post

melo is a really good post player.

wheres z bo?
id take randolph in the post these days of duncan. I wouldnt even think twice

THANK YOU. I'm glad someone doesn't trust all this advanced statistic bull ****. I thought I was the only one fighting the good fight.

MackSnackWrap
08-06-2011, 11:18 PM
KG when he decides to post up is a beasttt.

Cano4prez
08-06-2011, 11:52 PM
I've said it time and time again STATISTICALLY LeBron is really good in the post as mechanical as he may seem

tp13baby
08-06-2011, 11:53 PM
I want Melo posting up before Nene. Wow this list is bad outside of Dirk

PrettyBoyJ
08-07-2011, 12:41 AM
I hate when these guys look up all these advance stats to judge a player and not taking in to account what actually goes on in a game..