Kevin McHale – The ‘Black Hole’ of the Low Post
Boston has a very rich culture of sports, as many historical figures have risen from its various teams. One who demonstrated excellence was Celtics center, Kevin McHale. Stephen Stapinski of Andover tells about the man who was once called the “black hole” of the low post.
Kevin McHale had an incredible physique, one that even sports scientists have observed to be geometrically and physically ideal for the game of basketball.
At 6 feet and 10 inches, he was gifted with some amount of ceiling. However, this was not an extraordinary height to have during his time, as other players were taller, yet even less dominant than he was. One might argue a stronger case for his giftedness with his wide wingspan, which measured 8 feet, says Stephen Stapinski Andover.
A low post is an offensive set in basketball wherein the team with the ball lobs to a player who is close to the basket with his back towards it. McHale knew this dynamic extremely well.
It was with his long arms and legs that Kevin McHale became one of the game’s best inside players. There was no stopping McHale on the post whenever he made the catch. He used his long arms to give him an angle to release the ball over a taller defender and make the shot consistently.
Once he received the ball, he would gently feel the defense of his opponent and gradually back up closer to the basket, observes Stephen Stapinski of Andover. With his strong lower body, he would go for the shot straight on. With strong enough defenders, he would pivot to create space and bank the ball off the glass.
If the defender were smart, he would do a head fake while flailing his long arms with the ball, and when his defender reacted, he would do a pivot spin and look for a different angle to make the ball go in. When this attempt seemed less, Kevin McHale would spin back to reclaim space and release an easy floater, scoop shot, or hook.
While these may sound like basic moves today, these were new during his era, making Kevin McHale quite an innovator of the sport as well, Stephen Stapinski from Andover notes.
It also helped a lot that whenever the opponents had full coverage on him, he had the option of passing the ball to an open man, such as a Robert Parish lurking in the perimeter, or even a Larry Bird who could take shots from far away effortlessly.
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